One month of bitter cold does not disprove global warming. However, this is the coldest month we have had here at our event venue in the North Carolina mountains in the eight years we have been here. Tuesday January 7 we recorded a low at Brahma Ridge of minus four (an older thermometer read minus five) and the high that day was only eighteen degrees. Not wedding or camping weather. Pipes froze for a day at two of our buildings but no burst pipes. It was a minor inconvenience but, needless to say, we are hustling to keep there from being a repeat of that. And our old kitties have been kept inside at night.
Snow this winter has been limited to only flurries and dustings. Only a very few of us here want to see some accumulation as we do not want heavy snow weighting down our tent pavilion. Plenty of birds have stayed for the winter but we have resisted hanging bird feeders in light of the problems neighbors have had with bears tearing down the feeders. Squirrels are one thing but bears are another! Keep warm!
The record rainfalls this year have taken a break and left us with a long-deserved dry stretch of beautiful September and October weather! Here at our wedding and event center in the North Carolina mountains crisp cool nights and blue skies have ruled much of the last couple months interrupted by only a few inches of rain. Unbelievably, we endured an average of seven inches of rain per month January through August of this year!
Not once all summer did we run our irrigating pump for water from our pond. In years past that has kept our ceremony lawns bright and green and required many hours of irrigating. But now soft, mushy, lawns have dried out enough and bumpy gravel roads are once again smooth after repairs. The new french drainage ditches have helped dry the wedding ceremony sites.
As we begin November we are near the annual rainfall record for this area in the North Carolina mountains. And who knows what the Winter and next year’s summer season will bring?
Seems the weather continues to be the big story at our wedding and event venue in the mountains outside Asheville, North Carolina. Over 50 inches of rain so far through the first seven months of 2013. That’s over seven inches per month, every month! These rains have come as slow drizzles, light rains, steady downpours, and also rushing torrents during thunderstorms. Over and over.
The excessive rainfall has impacted farmers by the hundreds here in western North Carolina. Flooded fields have destroyed crops and limited harvests of those plantings that have survived the flooding. Roads have been washed out in many areas. We are lucky to be afloat!
We have had our own issues here at Brahma Ridge with roads washing and gardens underwater but restoration efforts have been successful. We have ditched and laid hundreds of feet of new drainage pipe and gravel. Luckily, much of our summer vegetables come from inside our greenhouse which has yielded great tomatoes, basil, and peppers – shared with our neighbors and made into fresh salsas and pestos (eggplant parm has been delicious, too).
We have managed to keep all of our brides, grooms, and guests dry even on rainy wedding days and nights. Our tent pavilion comfortably holds nearly 200 people for receptions, dinner, and dancing.
The drought in the mountains of western North Carolina of a few years ago is a distant memory. Since the first of the year we have had a cool and late Spring and rains and more rains. National Weather Service data shows the Asheville area has received 15 inches above normal precipitation so far in 2013. Needless to say, this has delayed planting of some of our gardens and the mowing of many of our lawns.
The water table is showing itself to be higher than we’ve ever seen in our eight years here at Brahma Ridge. This is great for our spring-fed pond which relies on replenishment from the rains. But our roads have taken a toll from the heavy downpours, requiring scraping with the tractor and ditching by hand. New springs have emerged in some not-so-favorable locations – like driveways. We have ditched and laid pipe and gravel in the troublesome spots and are hoping for a long stretch of dry weather to help us out (we never thought we would want a long dry period of weather!).
The late cool Spring delayed the blooming at our venue of some of our earliest flowering plants. Our two large rhododendrons by the pond usually are in full bloom the first week of May – as they
were when we had our wedding in 2006. But this year those did not peak flowering until late May – coinciding with Adam and Sara’s wedding on May 25. Other perennial flowers are budding and blooming late, too, including our many varieties of Daisies. The grasses in the meadows are growing tall from all of the wet weather and we will probably allow most of the meadows to stay long and natural this summer – with only some footpaths mowed for pedestrian traffic.
Here’s hoping for some sunny and dry weather to begin the summer!