Wild Lives, Wild Places: Mountain Wildlife Days
The beasts of the forest and the birds of the sky get their chance to shine in the spotlight at Mountain Wildlife Days, July 16-17 at the Sapphire Valley Resort Community Center. For additional information, visit mountainwildlifedays.com or call the Sapphire Resort Community Center at (828) 743-7663.
It’s one thing to see images of local wildlife in books, zoos, movies or TV, but a very different experience to see them in person.
Of course, the best place to see wildlife is in their natural habitat, though a personal encounter with a bear or rattlesnake can be far from entertaining. A safer way to experience these Wild Lives and Wild Places is by taking in the 17th Annual Mountain Wildlife Days, July 16 and 17, at the Sapphire Valley Resort Community Center.
After a pandemic-induced sabbatical, it appears this popular program can resume this year.
Plans are to open Friday morning, July 16, with a bird walk led by “birders” from the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society. There are also two hikes to scenic locations and waterfalls led by experienced local hike leaders.
The Friday afternoon program for youth groups, campers, and children will feature Balsam Mountain Trust and their Birds of Prey Program. From the tiny Eastern Screech Owl to a Bald Eagle, this is an unforgettable opportunity to see these hunters of the sky up close and personal.
A Friday evening program at the Sapphire Valley Resort Community Center begins with local favorite Bryan Heller on the piano, followed by another favorite, Bill Lea, with a special presentation, Caring for Creation, accompanied by his incredible photography.
The fun continues Saturday morning with “Snake Man” Steve O’Neil and his collection of native reptiles, amphibians and other animals.
Next up is the ever-popular Rob Gudger and his wolves, bringing attention to “our most misunderstood creatures.” The Saturday afternoon program will likely be the North Georgia Zoo to You with some unusual animals from the Australian Outback.
There is a $5 entry fee for adults for the Friday evening event and $8 for all day on Saturday. Children are admitted free.
Mountain Wildlife Days is directed by John Edwards and sponsored by the Sapphire Valley Resort, area merchants and friends of wildlife. All net proceeds are used to fund the Mountain Wildlife Days’ Western North Carolina Wildlife Outreach. This program provides wildlife and outdoor education throughout the year to schools and other organizations throughout Western North Carolina. For additional information, visit mountainwildlifedays.com or call the Sapphire Resort Community Center at (828) 743-7663.