Healthy Home Market Opens in Lenoir NC


Hey Lenoir, are you getting fresh with us? It sure looks that way now that you’ve welcomed one of our favorite health food stores to the neighborhood! We couldn’t believe our luck when we discovered the new Healthy Home Market right there at 1208 Hickory Boulevard.

On behalf of all the nutrition buffs, frugal foodies, and eco-friendly shoppers in Lenoir, we couldn’t be happier to have this specialty store located right in the heart of it all. Shopping at this family-owned grocer and full-service natural health store is sure to become one of our favorite things to do in Lenoir NC.

Healthy Home Market has four stores in Charlotte and neighboring mountain towns in North Carolina. Branded “Farm 2 Family Foods” (or “FF2F”), this newest location in Lenoir features all the same great offerings local health-conscious shoppers have come to love – gluten-free, organic, and special-diet foods, fresh deli cuts, smoothie bar, extensive bulk food section, vitamins and supplements, and locally brewed cold draft beers – plus an expanded selection of fresh produce and meats, all of which makes the Lenoir location the largest of the four stores.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the cool things we discovered as we sampled and shopped our way through the February 2017 grand opening of the Lenoir FF2F store:

Buying in Bulk

Of all the awesome offerings we explored, this one’s definitely worth writing home about. After all, bulk shopping is what Healthy Home Market is known for. When founders Betty and Jerry York opened their first store in 1979, it was a bulk supply shop known as The Home Economist. Today their business has grown into the Healthy Home Market chain we know today. But these family-focused health food stores maintain their strong ties to the community and their commitment to all things locally owned and locally grown.

Why is buying in bulk so popular? According to the staff at HHM, there are tons of great reasons! First of all, bulk shopping is a money-saver. Whether it’s “a pound or a pinch,” you only buy what you need. This personal portion control not only helps you budget, it keeps you from buying extra food that ends up going to waste.

Bulk buying also helps eliminate excess packaging. How many times have we bought a big bag of chips only to find there’s mostly air inside? That’ll never happen with bulk shopping. What you see is what you get! And if that’s not reason enough to bulk it up, think about the good you’re doing the planet by keeping landfills free of all that excess packaging.

The F2FF bulk department is the largest in the area with hundreds of items to choose from. They’ve got a fabulous assortment of baking ingredients, grains, beans, legumes, spices and herbs, dried fruit, coffees, teas, popcorn, snack mixes, and all kinds of pantry staples. There’s also a machine for grinding your own preservative-free nut butters. And when you fill up on local honeys and syrups, be sure to save your container to bring back for refills – another great way to go green!

The Main Squeeze

When you’re browsing through the delectable deli, be sure to sample the smoothies or enjoy a shot of wheat grass at The Main Squeeze juice bar. Pick your favorite smoothie or fresh-prepared juices. They’re fresh, healthy, delicious, and made-to-order for you to grab and go. They’ll even add a dash of protein or a dropper of vitamins to up the nutritional value of your tasty juice drink.

Meet your Meat Cutters

Tom, Mike, and Craig run the F2FF meat department. These friendly and knowledgeable meat cutters are more than happy to help you plan your meal, and they’ll even educate you on how to make the best selections from among a wide array of quality grass-fed beef, fresh seafood, pork, poultry, and even organic meats.

Need an Extra Boost? 

When you’re looking for products that cleanse, nourish, and replenish, the dedicated wellness staff can help you select top-quality wellness products, including vitamins, natural remedies, herbal supplements, essential oils, incense, and candles. The vitamin department stocks your choice of vegan, vegetarian, or animal-produced proteins. And supplements come in liquid, tablet, and powder forms. There’s even a homeopathic section that features Boiron products, Beach Flower Essences, Rescue Remedies, and a variety of gentle and safe products from industry names you know and trust.

We could go on and on! And, in fact, on the day of the Lenoir store’s grand opening we did go on and on – through bin after bin of dried cereals and grains, shelf after shelf of delectable condiments and dressings, row after row of fresh artisanal pastas and breads, and a whole range of grab-and-go snacks, sweet treats and protein bars. Then there were the beverages – What a fantastic selection of wines, local craft beers, juices, flavored mineral waters, and soft drinks. The kind you don’t find at your average grocery store!

This was one grand opening we’ll never forget. We came for the ribbon cutting, the raffles, the discounts and the goody bags. But we stayed for the amazing shopping experience. And we’ll be coming back week after week to stock up on fresh, healthy delicious foods that live up to the healthy lifestyle standards we’ve become accustomed to living in the mountain towns in North Carolina.

It’s true, we couldn’t believe our luck when the new HHM opened up in Lenoir. And according to HHM, the feeling is mutual. Their marketing director called Lenoir “the perfect place to expand our Healthy Home Market brand,” and we think we know why…

Those of us who live in Lenoir – like so many others living in mountain towns in North Carolina – are people with a passion for healthy living. We value physical fitness, and we get plenty of it in the great outdoors. We tend to be financially smart, socially conscious, and eco-friendly. And while we welcome all our neighbors with open arms, we have a special fondness for fun-loving foodies with an appreciation for good music, good food, good beer (preferably a local craft brew), and good friends! Because if there’s anything better than gathering friends and neighbors together to share the best life has to offer, we can’t think what it is.

When it’s time to make a move to the mountains, take a tip from us and tour The Coves Mountain River Club. If you value health and wellness, The Coves has got you covered. With a year-round schedule of heart-pumping activities (including yoga Mondays), plus a landscape with endless paths for dog-walking, horseback riding, biking, and hiking (elevations ranging from 1,000 to 1,700 feet), and a state-of-the art fitness facility, outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, this popular gated community with riverfront living and spectacular views of Lenoir’s majestic mountains represents the best of North Carolina mountain real estate… not to mention it’s the perfect place to enjoy those retirement years, living the peaceful, healthful, relaxing-but-active life we’ve all been dreaming of.

The Coves is ideally located in Lenoir, North Carolina in the Blue Ridge foothills, where nature meets luxury living. And did we mention there’s a Healthy Home Market in town?

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule your visit to this gorgeous mountain community. And we’ll point you in the direction of the F2FF juice bar, where you can treat yourself to a protein smoothie to celebrate your decision to follow your mountain living dream!

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84-page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide, which gives you more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Lenoir | Shopping & Antique Hunting

Smart and Attractive Ways To Use Reclaimed Building Materials


Reclaimed building materials – also referred to as recycled, vintage, antique, historic or just “used” – are simply those saved from a trip to the landfill by an architect or interior designer who sees their potential to be re-purposed for another application.

At The Coves Mountain River Club and gated communities near Asheville NC, it’s common to see reclaimed wood, tile and other items seamlessly incorporated into the design of new mountain homes.  The most obvious advantage is that they create a visual blend with the natural splendor of the surrounding property.  But there are more practical considerations as well.

Old lumber easily finds its way into cabinetry, furniture and architectural details.  But it’s particularly popular for use as siding, timbers and floorboards because it doesn’t require much maintenance.  The wood has already settled and shrunk into a permanent form and developed a tightness of grain that makes it considerably more durable.  Most comes from old barns, factories and warehouses, but other sources can be as diverse as coal mines, wine barrels and even boxcars.  And old fencing is valued for consistency, structural soundness and its low moisture content that minimizes the need for treatment.

From a cosmetic standpoint, it’s worth noting that reclaimed beams can be sawn into wider planks than newer lumber.  And, because the old wood has already expanded and contracted over many years in response to changes in humidity, it is likely to be more stable and can be used with radiant heating systems.  Some attribute the greater strength of reclaimed wood to the absence of air pollution prior to the 20th century and the fact that it was harvested from virgin growth timber that was hundreds of years old.

As you’re building a mountain home, you might consider the use of reclaimed slate, clay or concrete tiles for your roof.  There are several good reasons for doing so.  They’re fireproof, extremely long-lasting and environmentally-friendly.  Even with older material, the quality is likely to be very good.  They enhance the beauty of a property, adding character and style.  Little maintenance is required for a tile roof.  And they’re usually cost-effective compared to the alternatives.

When you use reclaimed building materials, you’ll be adding instant value and unique charm to your mountain home.  And, by choosing vintage instead of new, you’ll be helping to conserve our natural resources.

So where do you find these gems from years gone by?

The simplest approach is to find a company that sells them.  But if you’d rather do the work yourself, there are a number of options to investigate.  With some research, you should be able to find older buildings that are being demolished.  Salvage sites may have exactly what you’re looking for and at a very reasonable price.  Farm auctions are another good place to look.  And check the local ads or place your own, specifying what items you’re seeking.

But beware of imitations.  With the popularity of reclaimed material, it’s becoming more common for some sellers to try to pass newer wood off as antique.

It’s also important that the source of your reclaimed wood be able to verify what it might have been treated with over its lifetime.  You want to avoid possible harmful off-gassing of volatile organic compounds associated with lead paint, stains and other treatments – especially when the wood will be used inside the house.

Gated communities near Asheville NC such as The Coves Mountain River Club make every attempt to be respectful of the magnificent place in which we’ve chosen to live, and we encourage anyone building a mountain home to consider using reclaimed materials wherever possible.    

Whether it’s chimney bricks for a fireplace, a mantle made of an old post, or antique doors, hardware and fixtures…talk to our home design team and let us help bring your ideas to life. 

Stop by and take a tour, and we’ll show you how other homeowners have made good use of reclaimed building materials.  And, you’ll soon see why so many people have chosen to retire here. 

Our five miles of frontage on the Johns River, the splendor of the mountains and their foliage, the mild year-round weather, and the wealth of opportunity for outdoor activities make our mountain community a very special place in which to build a home!

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page Complimentary Magazine

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

Standard Oyster Company Opens in Hickory NC

One sure thing for the North Carolina mountain communities, is the broad range of restaurants that have either been preparing mouth-watering cuisine for years, or have just sprung up in a refurbished spot with a dash of historic charm and ambience.  When you’re searching for things to do in Hickory NC, perhaps looking for a romantic evening, or the fun spot to be where everyone flocks for some much-needed social time,  our restaurants in Hickory NC are sure to please.  Those of us who live in The Coves are fond of new culinary pleasures, and this region is rich in its offerings. 

Just under a year ago, in April of 2016, Standard Oyster Company opened its door to the North Carolina mountain communities, offering the most delectable fresh and seasonal seafood as well as a full bar that includes regional spirits, great wine, and North Carolina beers. Located right on 2147 N Center Street, off of Hwy 127, in the heart of Hickory, the Standard Oyster Company is open Monday through Thursday from 4 in the afternoon, for those of you who love a little raw bar happy hour before dinner, until 10 at night.  Friday and Saturday the hours are extended from 11 in the morning, (who can refuse a delicious brunch on the weekend?) to 11 at night, and Sunday’s hours are 11 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon. Do you want to indulge in chilled seafood platters, steamed shellfish, and other classic American fare?  Then this is the perfect place!  

The Standard Oyster Company was created with a relaxed atmosphere in mind, so you feel a sense of kicking back with an urban vibe—industrially metro.  “It was cultivated and brought to life by seafood enthusiasts for seafood enthusiasts.  Our mission is to create an energetic dining experience…” their website promises, and once you step off the street and into their restaurant, you’ll understand how they succeed.   They offer a variety of fresh oysters and seafood that will make you think you’ve left the gorgeous mountains and magically stepped onto the Atlantic seacoast.  But the truth is, your sweet home at The Coves is close by, and this outstanding restaurant needs to be added to your list of amazing things to do in Hickory NC.

No matter the day of the week, those of us in the North Carolina mountain communities can find something delicious happening in this new kitchen.  Crabby Mondays deliver endless crablegs for $35; Steamy Tuesdays bring $1-steamed oysters accompanied by red bliss potatoes and kale slaw, and draft beer for a mere $3.50; what would the middle of the week be without Wine Wednesdays (half price bottles of wine and all wines are included!); and Date Night Thursdays provide a savory seafood three-course meal– $50.00 for you and your sweetheart.

For private events the Standard Oyster Company offers unique, off-site catering options–low country boils, crawfish boils, on-site raw bar, and custom buffet services that will ensure your event is raved about to those who love the restaurants in Hickory NC.  Call (828) 322-1705 for more information and remember that their space is available for private events daily for breakfast or lunch and all day Sunday. Give them a call for more information.   A limited number of reservations are accepted in advance and walk-ins are more than welcome, but for parties larger than six,  when you’re looking for things to do in Hickory NC with your friends and family, please make a reservation.

If you are in search of new restaurants in Hickory NC, the extensive and rotating menu at the Standard Oyster Company will be sure to keep you coming back to the heart of town for brunch, lunch, happy hour and dinner.  Visit their website for the complete every day menus as well as special event menus that will inspire your palate and give you one more reason to appreciate the fine life we live at The Coves surrounded by our glorious mountain community.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Hickory | Restaurants & Breweries

Dowsers – Skilled Ways to Find Gushing Water

dowsing for water

We are all aware of the importance of water in our every day lives.  Through the centuries and across the continents, people have developed methods to find essential water sources.  Dowsing is one of these methods, using a Y or L-shaped twig or rod.  In the late 1900’s those who headed across the country relied upon dowsing to locate wells on their property.  When the dowsing rods cross into an X, the water source is likely to have been found.

For those of us in modern day times, there are more reliable ways to find water sources for our homes in the North Carolina mountains yet you will still find dowsers in the mountains. Although it may sound a little hokie pokie but there’s actually a real science to it. Skeptics may dismiss dowsing but farmer’s in the draught stricken state of California rely on them.

From day to day, we don’t typically tally up how much water we’re using in our NC mountain homes.  But for those of us who have decided on The Coves as the best place to retire in North Carolina, we have a little homework to do along the way.  Most people use approximately fifty to a hundred gallons daily.  Multiply by the number of family members living beneath your roof, and you’ll see how quickly these gallons add up.  Showering, bathing, running the dishwasher, using the hose outside—all these activities mean we need a steady water source to rely upon.

Our real estate team and home builders help simplify the process by taking the budget, design, and lifestyle needs into account.  There are manageable steps to take into consideration when building Carolina mountain properties. 

When considering our water source, it’s important to understand the property and have a realistic understanding of your budget.  The well is of course part of the budget since most NC mountain homes don’t have access to public water.  The cost of drilling for water is usually calculated by the foot as well as what type of ground is being drilled. We always suggest getting an estimate in writing but remember, it is an estimate. Until the proper water pressure is obtained and final depth determined, you wont’ know the exact cost. Fortunately, our team is made up of seasoned professionals with years of home building (and drilling) experience.

It’s important to know that seasonal changes can also impact the well’s capacity. For the most part, keen geophysical, geological and hydrologic knowledge are needed as well as the ability to test for water at potential Carolina mountain properties.  Our professionals can help in the planning of your water system, and determine the peak demand of your future household. 

The peak demand is most often in morning and evening for a two-hour window.  This means if you estimate the water usage in your home will be 600 gallons daily, then the well system needs to be able to supply that amount in the peak period.  The amount of water that your well can supply is known as its yield, and taking seasonal change into account, the experts you hire will let you know the flow rate of your favorite property.  Higher flow rates are needed for homes that are more expansive with more family members, needs and appliances being used daily. 

Surround yourself with the right team of skilled professionals like us who understand the nature of building NC mountain homes from start to finish.  We will help you will create the affordable house of your dreams in the mountain of North Carolina.

If you are considering a dowser or would like to compare their findings before you drill, The Appalachian Chapter of America Society of Dowsers is where locals connect with dowsers.

Come to The Coves and we’ll share more of our home building secrets with you. It’s our pleasure to help! 

Call 828.754.0700 to schedule a visit.

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

We Won 2017 Bliss Award for Best Mountain Community of the Year!

Pisgah Mountain Lodge swimming poolWe just heard the news… we won the 2017 Bliss Award for Best Mountain Community of the Year!

Real Estate Scorecard provides in-depth research and candid insight into the overall happiness and satisfaction of over 390 master planned communities in the Southeast. Each year, they honor the ‘best’ with a Bliss Award in fifteen categories including Happiest Community in America.

“For many of us, sitting on a mountaintop at sunset, to gaze at the layered mountain views in every direction brushed in a kaleidoscope of color, is pure bliss. A moment when watching the eagles dance in the sky above the forest and listening to the whispering wind is all one can think about. And then dusk turns into dark, now twinkling lights far off in the distance compete for one’s attention against the millions of stars in the sky. ‘Heavenly’ is how folks describe living in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The fresh air and quietness invokes a satisfying sense of wellbeing. In fact, science has proven nature makes us happy.

When Real Estate Scorecard finds places like this, NC mountain communities who have preserved the natural setting yet have tastefully built lifestyle amenities people desire, they tune in. The Coves Mountain River Club is one of those places, a gated mountain community they’ve watched unfold since 2006. Mountains and a scenic river! A rare combination to find in Western North Carolina. Spread across 3,600 acres, it’s topography is quite diverse. From elegant homes perched up on a mountain top, to cozy cabins built on gentle sloping land, or riverfront property or larger private estates with over 10 aces, there’s something for everyone at The Coves.

Most folks searching for the best places to live in North Carolina move away from the north to escape the harsh winters. This makes the community’s elevation an important attribute. Unlike the High Country (Blowing Rock, Boone & Banner Elk), The Coves experiences four distinct seasons yet rarely does snow stick around for more than a day, when it happens. It is also located in one of the most affordable mountain towns, the town of Lenoir.

Riverside at The Coves is a neighborhood that parallels five miles of frontage on the Johns River, a mountain-fed stream flowing down from Grandfather Mountain. Here the community’s full service equestrian center, paddocks and training arena hug the banks of the river. Isabel’s Garden and Evelyn’s Vineyard are two community gardens adjacent to Round Mountain Ranch as well as The Coves River Pavilion and Penelope Cascading Falls.

Of the 49 NC mountain communities Real Estate Scorecard has seen, The Coves Mountain River Club is one of the few mountain communities with natural water amenities. Residents enjoy trout fishing, tubing and lazy summer days splashing at the crystal clear Johns River.

With four private cascading waterfalls and 39+ miles of walking and hiking trails that begin in this area, what a place to live with your four-legged pooch or horse. Something else we find significant about The Coves is that Wilson Creek, one of North Carolina’s top trout fishing streams, connects to the Johns River and is less than 10 minutes from a Coves entrance. Wilson Creek is a 49,000 acre designated natural wildness with miles of hiking trails, waterfalls and kayaking rapids.

Elevations rise up to 1,700 feet where the community’s 6,000 square lodge is seated on the mountain summit. A conscious steward of the land, the developer saved this land parcel for everyones enjoyment. Here the timber clubhouse has an outdoor infinity-view swimming pool and hot tub on the mountain’s edge. It’s divine. The lodge is appointed with a fitness center with windows facing the mountains, a billiard room, library and great room with a gorgeous kitchen/bar, fireplace and more entertainment space. The floor to ceiling windows and wrap around outdoor veranda showcase stunning views of Table Rock, Adams Knob, Brown Mountain and the South Mountains range. The lodge is busy all the time with social club events including guest lectures, artist in residence presentations, cooking demonstrations and themed cook-off competitions five times a year.

A couple who owns at The Coves describes the community “The Coves felt like home from the very first time we came through the entrance for a property tour. Very reminiscent of the mountain areas of upstate NY without the harsh winters. The Coves has the best of both worlds; that tucked away suburb life with the city minutes away with everything you need! So much to do I can’t do it in one day; hiking, biking, horse-back riding, taking care of my horse and his stable mates at the barn. I can’t wait to go kayaking down our river and get an ATV to explore the vastness of The Coves. There are also a lot of social activities planned with residents getting together at the lodge, golfing, and visiting the local breweries.”

At the community’s main entrance, is the attractive stone guardhouse and accent lake with a spraying fountain next to Highland Falls, one of four waterfalls at The Coves. In the Round Mountain Ridge neighborhood, residents enjoy walkable mountain property. Why is this important? Many of the people we talk with desire to live in the mountains but want elevations that aren’t so steep so they can walk around the neighborhood. Gentle slopping land also means less site preparation saving money during the home building process. At Round Mountain Ridge, when it’s time to retreat up to the lodge at sunset, residents grab their ATV or golf cart. The pet friendly community is also golf cart friendly.

The Coves Mountain River Club has both walkable mountain land and steeper mountain homesites for those who want to capture the maximum layered mountain views. Folks also have the choice of living along or near the Johns River or owning larger land parcels over 10 acres. We noticed prices are very attractive as well. Larger land parcels in the High Country Farms neighborhood begin around $5,000 per acre or spacious homesites with distant views average in the low $80’s. Coming soon, The Coves Mountain River Club plans on introducing low maintenance cottages this spring near Pisgah Mountain Lodge priced in the $300’s.

From what they’ve seen in mountain communities, no community offers the diversity that you’ll find at The Coves. Still early in development (approximately 75 homes built to date), buyers have an opportunity to find a variety of land types or watch for a resale home. Fortunately, all the amenities are already built for the property owners enjoyment today. HOA fees are around a $1,000 a year. One property owner sites “total satisfaction with: location/views, amenities, affordable dues, great neighbors, many social opportunities, mountain lodge clubhouse, community safety i.e. Firewise Certified, gated community, landscaping.” Property owners have scored The Coves a whopping 92 out of 100 which includes scores about its location.

The Coves is set in a perfect triangle, built between three of the most affordable mountain towns; the town of Morganton, Hickory and Blowing Rock. The towns are very unique and fun. They all have tasty cuisine, unique boutiques and mountain festivals. As these towns continue to attract boomers, businesses like Publix are digging in their roots. The town of Lenoir, where The Coves is located is known for the annual Blackberry Festival, the monthly muscle car Cruise-Ins and it’s Sculpture Art Trail, the largest in the country.

Real Estate Scorecard salutes and honor The Coves Mountain River Club with our 2017 Bliss Award for Best Mountain Community of the Year.”

We at The Coves are thrilled to receive this honor. Come see for yourself and join our Coves family.

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule a visit.


Tags: Lenoir

Birdwatching – The Owls of Western North Carolina


If you are fortunate enough to awaken every morning in your new cozy mountain home in The Coves, now there’s the leisure time to relish your carefree and active lifestyle. So many possibilities lay before you in this incredible region of the country, and The Coves make these possibilities effortless.  In fact, they lay right outside your door. 

Due to our temperate winters, you can explore so many peaceful hiking trails in Western NC 365 days a year, trails that are accented with vistas of the mountains as well as the miraculous waterfalls of Western North Carolina.  These trails near our North Carolina mountain homes, are beautifully maintained at The Coves with more than 39 miles for your recreation, over 3,600 acres with a variation of elevation from 1,040 to 1,700 feet, and no matter your fitness level, there is the perfect hike for you and your companions.  For those of you who adore horseback riding, thirteen miles of the trails are ideal horse trails. 

Be sure to try all of our trails without ever having to get in your car and drive: Switchback Trail, is seven miles skimming along Mila Cascading Falls, and crosses over several streams; Spine Trail is also seven miles adjacent to a stocked fishing pond and a wildlife viewing area; Winding River Trail is a slightly shorter four-mile hike along the Johns River and the River Park to Coleton’s Swimming Hole; Magnolia Trail is a mere three miles that overlooks the river; Tranquility Vineyard Trail brings you on a two-mile journey into the woods; Little Waterfall Trail leads you past several waterfalls and is a brief 1.5 miles; Cedar Cove Trail is a short mile that leads to the well-tended community gardens and stables; Waterfall Trail is also a mile down to Waterfall Park and the community gardens; and Hawks Nest Trail is a one-mile walk down Waterfall Lane and a peaceful stream to the community gardens and stables.

If you’re wondering about the waterfalls of Western North Carolina that await you at The Coves, there are four right in our neighborhood you can access along the trails.  Grandfather Gorge Falls has a 50-foot triple tier waterfall that spills into a pool.  Mila Cascading Falls is reminiscent of a stairway, and has an easy access; this fall empties into the Johns River at Mila Park.  Highland River Falls also empties into the Johns River, and has easy access for all levels of hikers.  And Penelope Cascading Falls has easy access near Coves River Park, with an impressive 40-foot layered fall accented with splash areas. 

The Coves is truly unique in terms of what residents are afforded while living in their North Carolina mountain homes.  What hobbies are you now free to enjoy?  Whether it’s outdoor recreation, like canoeing, kayaking, hiking, or bird watching, you have acres and acres of pristine nature to make these hobbies real. 

Over five miles of our property parallels the incredible Johns River—a peaceful place to get lost in your favorite book, or the perfect backdrop for those nature shots you want to take with your camera and share with friends and family. 

If bird watching is your passion, those of us who have settled into our North Carolina mountain homes are the most lucky.  The North Carolina Bird Records Committee maintains the records for bird sightings in the state and amazingly nearly five hundred species of birds have been noted in the past decade.  Most of these birds live in the region all year long, which creates quite a haven for bird watchers and other nature enthusiasts–whether you’re on the hiking trails in Western NC, having packed a nutritious lunch, to get some exercise, or perhaps you’re out for a productive photo session with your camera in hand.  

There are many scenic backdrops to inspire your exercise or your hobbies.  Lift your binoculars and you’ll discover a wide variety of birds like lively-colored finches, cardinals, and wood warblers, or traipse along the Johns River or the waterfalls of Western North Carolina and you’ll likely find the ducks and loons, as well as the herons and egrets that wade along.  Pause beneath the trees for a cold drink and listen for the tapping of a pileated woodpecker, or the loud song of a wren.  And who doesn’t adore the sight of the rapid flight of a ruby-throated hummingbird?

The variety of birds of North Carolina doesn’t end there, however, since there are four species of owls in the state that add an air of mystique and majesty to the area—like the Barred Owl which is one of our all-time favorites due to its hooting call.  This owl gets its name from the barred pattern on its feathers. Adults are up to 25 inches long with a four foot wing span, which is quite a sight if you catch it swooping down from a tree—the spot they prefer as opposed to open areas.

Most of us know the Great Horned Owl, named because of the tufts of feathers on either side of its head that look like attentive ears. This owl is the largest of the species in the state, ranging from 17-25 inches, and lives in both wooded and open areas.  You can spot the Great Horned Owl nesting in trees if its found a handy hollow to call home.  

If your meandering along the hiking trails of North Carolina, the Screech Owl you are more than likely to discover, is the Eastern Red Screech Owl. These are small to medium-sized, typically  7-10 inches with wingspans up to 24 inches. They can be mistaken for the Horned Owl since they share the same tufts of feathers on the sides of their heads. This species of owl does not actually screech but emits a fast sequence of notes.  Real bird aficionados who reside in The Coves can differentiate between the various species of Screech Owls that are typically heard in our relatively open areas.

There’s also one type of Barn Owl that calls North Carolina its home, and are rarely seen during the day or night.  They have an easily recognizable heart-shaped pale face, and are 10-20 inches with a three-foot wing span.  Barn Owls make their nests in tree hollows, caves and barns, and bird watchers may hear their shrieking hiss even if they cannot spot them diving for a rodent. 

Simply open the door of your beautiful North Carolina mountain home and discover the nature that surrounds you.  The summit of your neighborhood is accented by eagles that drift overhead. Take a stroll up to our Pisgah Mountain Lodge for breath-taking panoramic views of Grandfather Mountain and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Coves is truly the place where “the High Country begins.”

Come take a tour and explore our amenities. We’re confident you won’t find anywhere like The Coves.

Call us now 828.754.0700. 

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir