From the Editor

With another school year beginning, it’s a good time to reflect on how we all constantly educate ourselves with the many exhibitions, symposiums, literary events, festivals and stage productions in Western North Carolina.

Emma puts the ‘spotlight on’ the Asheville Museum of Science with its fascinating exhibits and activities for young and old. And we’re never too old to learn about the migration of hawks and monarch butterflies. Or about beekeeping and quail hunting. Our newest staff writer, Pamela Pyms, visits our majestic elk by way of Maggie Valley’s inaugural Smoky Mountain Elk Fest.

For things growing, we have an introduction to the lovely and secretive language of flowers in Literary Gardener. And then there’s snakeroot, goldenrod, garlic  and, of course, hemp.

Several area organizations have spent the last year planning You Have to Start a Thing: North Carolina Women Breaking Barriers, a comprehensive symposium on the contributions of women—like the indomitable Lillian Exum Clement—to the advancement of women’s rights in our state and beyond. One of the institutions instrumental in developing these two days of enlightenment is UNC–Asheville. In our History column, read about how a small junior college became the top public liberal arts university it is today.

Autumn, just a cool breeze away as this issue hits the stands, brings an energy with it, a renewed excitement for color and creativity. The longing to display art spills right out into the streets and along the back roads with Weaverville’s Art in Autumn, Art on Main in Hendersonville and the Henderson County Open Studio Tour.

The best part of my job is reading the informative articles from the hardworking Laurel team and our contributors as well as talking to the knowledgeable folks who plan the stimulating, never-ceasing curriculum that is life in WNC. I hope you feel as I do after reading this issue—inspired and just a little bit smarter!

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