Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital Brings Expanded Services to Murphy, NC

If you love living in our beautiful mountains, or are considering a move to Murphy, NC or the surrounding counties, you likely appreciate our region’s gorgeous scenery and feast of outdoor activities. However, you’ve probably wished that premier medical facilities, and highly regarded specialists, were much more accessible – especially for those facing serious or chronic health issues.

Fortunately, Chattanooga, TN-based Erlanger Health System has stepped in to provide a solution. In April 2018, after two years of due diligence and planning, Erlanger announced plans to acquire Peachtree-based Murphy Medical Center (MMC). By bringing our 40-year-old community hospital into the Erlanger family, our residents and visitors will benefit from an expanded menu of services and specialists. Continue reading “Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital Brings Expanded Services to Murphy, NC”

How to Coexist with the Wildlife around Murphy, NC

When you’re living in the mountains around Murphy, NC, you’re surrounded by lush green forests and sparkling mountain lakes. You’re also sharing your life with a diverse population of native wildlife.

On most days, you’ll likely spot a group of deer munching on tasty bushes and trees. Wild turkeys perform seasonal struts across nearby driveways, and squirrels and raccoons scurry about looking for food and mischief. On rare occasions, you might even glimpse a lumbering black bear. Because some residents might wonder how to peacefully get along with the local wildlife, here are general tips that should apply to most situations. To resolve a specific issue, contact a local wildlife expert.

DEER

Limit Their Landscape Impact
Deer are voracious vegetation eaters who often gravitate to desirable trees, bushes, and groundcover plants. To discourage deer browsing, make your landscape less attractive to the hungry grazers. If possible, add deer-resistant shrubs, flowers, and groundcover to existing greenery. Protect individual trees, bushes, and groundcover with stiff plastic netting that still permits sunlight. These tactics should reduce the deer’s impact on your landscape.

Banish Them from Your Garden
If you’ve carefully cultivated a vegetable garden, or planted colorful flowers around your home, you want to discourage hungry deer from decimating your plants. First, trim the grass and underbrush around the garden. If you have nearby fruit trees, promptly harvest your ripe fruit and remove fallen fruit from the ground.

Properly fencing your garden’s perimeter should effectively stop most deer in their tracks. Choose durable fencing with sturdy metal, wood, or fiberglass posts. Ensure that the fencing is at least eight feet high (yes, deer can jump that high), and set at least one foot below ground (yes, deer can stomp flimsy fencing into the ground). Allow no more than four inches between fence components. Visual stimuli such as mylar tape, strobe or bright lights, scarecrows, and motion-triggered water sprays might also help.

If a persistent deer somehow navigates your fence, discourage their snacking behavior by surrounding vulnerable edibles with deer-repellent plants. Examples include lavender, sage, spearmint, thyme, catnip, chives, garlic, and onion. For more information, contact a local plant nursery or your Cooperative Extension Service’s Master Gardener Program.

WILD TURKEYS

Wild turkeys are constant grazers who naturally consume leaves, berries, seeds, nuts, insects, small frogs, lizards, and even snakes. Traveling in small family groups or flocks, they scratch their way through an area while searching for food. Next, they move to another spot and repeat the exercise. At night, they roost in convenient trees. Left alone, wild turkeys should cause minimal damage to surrounding residential areas.

How Human-Supplied Food Changes Turkeys’ Behavior
However, wild turkeys’ behavior can change when they’re given human-supplied food, such as deer corn or other tasty snacks. This new food source will first alter the turkeys’ foraging habits, and then their flock size may increase as other birds arrive to enjoy the bounty. The turkeys’ roosting behavior can also change, and they’ll likely decrease their travel range. The net effect: more turkeys will be living in a smaller geographic area.

If wild turkeys settle near your home, and continue their scratching and foraging behavior, they can tear up your landscape and damage your vehicles, decks, and shingles. Male turkeys can show aggression when they’re expecting a handout or during breeding season.

How to Resolve Your Turkey Problems
The answer is deceptively simple: Stop feeding the turkeys. Feeding them smaller portions will only cause the problem to continue. Once you stop providing any food, the turkeys will gradually return to their natural activities.

Or, maybe you haven’t actively fed the turkeys, but they’ve been gorging themselves on leftover dog or cat food that you’ve left outside. Opportunistic turkeys also gather under bird feeders, methodically scarfing up stray seeds dropped by careless birds. To discourage this scavenging, promptly remove your pets’ food dishes, and keep your bird feeding stations squeaky clean.

SQUIRRELS

Squirrel-proof Your Bird Feeders
Clever little squirrels naturally gravitate to any potential food source. In fact, you’ve probably seen them gorging themselves under your bird feeders. Although this seems harmless, it conditions the squirrels to expect free handouts at your house. If you really enjoy feeding the birds, buy “squirrel-proof” feeders with metal baffles that prevent the squirrels from climbing up to the feeding stations. If possible, locate the feeders in an open area so the little gymnasts can’t jump on a feeder from a nearby tree limb.

Banish Them from Your Roof
If a squirrel jumps onto your roof from a nearby tree, they’ve surmounted a major hurdle in the quest to access your home. To deter them, trim tree limbs so they’re six feet (or more) away from your house. Although squirrels can also climb along cables or wires attached to your home, decreasing the rodents’ potential access points is a step in the right direction.

Keep Them Out of Your House
Chances are, you know someone who has experienced a squirrel home invasion. These determined little rodents often sneak into houses, settling in the attic to nest and raise their young. They can access a home through an existing entry point, such as a chimney or open vent. If another animal has created a hole, a squirrel will happily use it to get inside your home. If necessary, they’ll gnaw their way in, often chewing on electrical wires and drain pipes in the process.

To prevent the squirrels from entering your house, regularly check for potential openings, especially signs of active chewing. After confirming that no squirrels are in the house, block all openings with half-inch wire mesh. If a mother squirrel is raising her young in your house, wait until the youngsters have departed the nest. Then, place a one-way gate over the opening so the squirrels can leave but can’t return. Once everyone has exited the building, permanently seal the opening.

Finally, remember that squirrels don’t usually launch unprovoked attacks on humans. However, if you attempt to catch a squirrel, it will probably scratch and/or bite in self-defense. To avoid that unpleasant outcome, contact a wildlife removal expert with the equipment and knowledge to safely resolve the situation.

RACCOONS

Discourage the Crafty Creatures’ Visits
Raccoons are shrewd little problem solvers who will seize any opportunity to grab some food. To discourage them from visiting your property, securely fasten your garbage can lids. Remove your pet’s food and water dishes each night. If your property contains fruit trees, harvest the ripe fruit and quickly collect fallen fruit.

Finally, don’t feed the raccoons under any circumstances. By providing them with regular meals, you’re acclimating them to humans, and possibly giving the quick little animals a chance to get inside your home. So, keep the “raccoon restaurant” closed, and the hungry little diners should look for a more hospitable location.

Raccoon-proof Your Garden
Keeping raccoons out of your carefully tended garden might be an ongoing challenge. To increase your odds of success, consider acquiring a dog. Your pooch’s barking, and possibly their scent, may discourage raccoons from exploring your property.

Inside the garden, grow a generous crop of squash, as raccoons don’t seem to like walking on the prickly vines. Sprinkle cayenne powder, or a 50/50 mix of garlic and chili powder, throughout your garden. Place motion sensor lights around the garden, as bright lights might discourage raccoons from prowling through the plants at night. Install a motion-detector sprinkler system, which you’ll activate during nighttime hours.

BLACK BEARS

Promote Your Personal Safety
Our mountain region is home to numerous black bears, which typically stay in their forest habitats and avoid human contact. However, on rare occasions you might spot a bear wandering through your property, searching for food. If you give the bear a wide berth, and don’t provide any food, the bear should eventually leave the area. If you make the mistake of feeding the bear, however, it’s likely to become dependent on human food handouts. As a result, the bear will increase its presence near your home, and will likely exhibit bolder behavior over time.

If you do encounter a bear, don’t attempt to become “The Bear Whisperer.” Instead, remain calm and back away slowly while making as much noise as possible. Don’t ever approach or corner the bear, as it’s an extremely powerful animal that can move with incredible speed. Finally, as a general guideline, if the bear seems to alter its natural behavior while you’re there, you’ve definitely gotten too close and should carefully leave the scene.

Minimize Your Bear Problems
To discourage bears from hanging around your property, eliminate all potential food sources. Store your trash cans inside your basement, garage, or other inaccessible area. On trash pick-up days, take the trash outside that morning – not the night before.

If you (or a neighbor) has spotted a bear nearby, minimize your outdoor pet feeding, and ensure that all bowls are removed each evening. Also, bears are notorious for vandalizing bird feeders and gorging themselves on tasty seeds and suet. To prevent this carnage, remove all bird feeders (and hummingbird feeders), even the “bear proof” models. Finally, clean your barbecue grill after each use, as bears are attracted to the enticing food and grease odors.

Now that you’ve gotten acquainted with the Murphy, NC area wildlife, and learned how to share their natural environment, relax on your deck and enjoy living in our beautiful mountains.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.ILoveMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Bring the Train Home to Murphy NC! A record is made in the Guinness Book of World Records!

On October 5, 2018, Downtown Murphy NC had thousands of residents on the square whistling and singing a custom version of “She will be coming round the mountain when she comes!” and signing a petition with the goal of bringing the train back to Cherokee County. It would stimulate tourism, commerce, and more. Watch to see what it was like to be in the crowd!

It was a great event led by many of our area’s leaders including: Mayor of Murphy NC Rick Ramsey, Mayor of Andrews NC James Reid, Representative Kevin Corbin,  Jim Davis, and more. It shows our community spirit here in Murphy NC. We are proud to be here!

Murphy Spring Festival Offers Good Old-Fashioned Family Fun

Let’s face it: a good old-fashioned community festival just gets your juices flowing. Residents and visitors come from miles around, gathering in a convenient central spot for an event filled with local flavor and fun activities. Throw some gorgeous spring weather into the mix, and you have an unbeatable combination that appeals to festival attendees of all ages.

So, come on out to the first annual Murphy, NC Spring Festival, hosted by the Murphy Business Association. This exciting event is set for Saturday, May 5 from 11-6 on downtown Murphy’s Tennessee Street. Browse this tempting menu of festival activities, and come enjoy a healthy serving of small-town family fun.

STREET VENDORS AND ARTISTS

As you stroll along Tennessee Street, you’ll happen upon a variety of colorful vendor booths, many offering a locally sourced product or service. Talented local artists will also showcase their work, and some artisans will also demonstrate their craft throughout the day.

CLASSIC CAR SHOWCASE

When you see a nicely restored classic car, you can’t help admiring its often-impeccable paint and trim work. These vehicles often feature period-appropriate décor and accessories, and the owner(s) frequently sport authentic-looking outfits from that era. Not surprisingly, classic car clubs and car shows have become very popular around our region.

Many community festivals and parades also include classic car displays. At the Murphy Spring Festival, take a leisurely walk along Tennessee Street, where you’ll find a nice lineup of classics vying for your attention. Remember to vote for your favorite car, as event judges will award prizes to the winners.

FUN KIDS’ ACTIVITIES

A community festival just isn’t complete without kids’ activities, and the Murphy Spring Festival certainly offers some options for the younger set. Youngsters can try their hand at an art project or select another age-appropriate activity that intrigues them. Of course, the Pet Adoption Exhibit will draw children and adults alike, and they just might find an adoptable pet to add to their family.

LOCAL FOODS & RESTAURANT SPECIALS

If you enjoy buying fresh local produce, and you take every opportunity to try locally made foods, you’ll be delighted at the festival’s varied food options. In addition, downtown restaurants will feature festival specials throughout the day. The bottom line: arrive with a hearty appetite, and you’ll find plenty to satisfy your taste buds.

LIBATIONS AND LIVE MUSIC

Western North Carolina offers an ever-increasing number of craft breweries and local wineries – some right here in Cherokee County. Several of these businesses have banded together to present the Murphy Spring Festival’s Beer Garden, sure to become a popular spot for thirsty adults throughout the day.

Our mountain region is also home to many talented musicians, several of whom will take the Tennessee Street Stage during the festival. While you relax and listen to the performers’ toe-tapping music, quaff a tasty brew or sip a fragrant glass of wine from the nearby Beer Garden.

With plenty of lively activities, tasty foods, and infectious music, the Murphy Spring Festival promises to be a popular destination for residents and visitors alike. So grab your sunscreen and a hat, and spend the day soaking up downtown Murphy’s distinctive ambience. We just might see you there!

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.ILoveMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team


Catch This Snapshot of Spring and Summer Weather in Murphy, NC

Here in Murphy, NC and Cherokee County, weather forecasting has become a real spectator sport. You’ll likely hear spirited discussions at the gas station or coffee shop, or among shoppers in the grocery store checkout line, about our region’s notorious wild weather swings.

Spring and summer are especially challenging to predict, as you can encounter multiple sets of weather conditions on the same day. And because of our region’s widely varied elevations, a cool breeze down in the valley can become a chilly wind up on a nearby mountain ridge. If you’re planning a vacation getaway, or getting ready to move to our beautiful mountains, here’s a snapshot of our changeable spring and summer weather. Continue reading “Catch This Snapshot of Spring and Summer Weather in Murphy, NC”

Get These Guidelines for Trout Fishing Near Murphy, NC

Here in Murphy, NC and Cherokee County, trout fishing season is one of the rites of spring. Whether you enjoy bank fishing along a local river, or cruise your boat on one of our scenic lakes, you’ve got plenty of chances to play cat-and-mouse with those wily trout. So gather your fishing gear, buy a fishing license, and get ready to enjoy some quality time on the water in our beautiful mountains.

Learn About Regional Trout Fishing Spots
In our western North Carolina mountains, you’ll find over 3,000 miles of rivers, lakes, and streams that have been designated as public trout fishing waters. Here in our local region, the Valley River, Hiwassee Lake, and the Nantahala River are popular trout fishing destinations.

Whether you cast your line from a convenient bank, wade into an ice-cold mountain stream, or putter along in a drift boat on the lake, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to challenge those crafty trout on their home turf. To learn about fishing destinations in Cherokee County, or similar spots in other western North Carolina counties, view the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s interactive trout fishing map.

Finally, remember that much western North Carolina trout fishing takes place on private property. In other words, landowners have graciously granted anglers public access to their property for fishing purposes. In return, fishing enthusiasts are asked to respect the landowner’s property, and carry out any trash from the fishing expedition. Continue reading “Get These Guidelines for Trout Fishing Near Murphy, NC”

Bring the Family to These Easter Weekend Events Near Murphy, NC

The Easter holiday weekend is traditionally a popular time for family gatherings in Murphy, NC. Sometimes relatives come from other regions, and everyone attends church together to celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection. Afterward, some families share a hearty meal at a local restaurant, while others enjoy a wonderful feast at someone’s home.

Not surprisingly, the Saturday before Easter is also filled with family get-togethers. In fact, Saturday, March 31 marks the date for Easter events at three separate area venues. Each gathering has its own flavor, giving adults and children alike the chance to enjoy their time together in the beautiful spring weather. And if you plan your time carefully, you can make it to more than one Easter weekend event.

EASTER EGG HUNT
Saturday, March 31 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
John C. Campbell Folk School
1 Folk School Road, Brasstown, NC

The John C. Campbell Folk School’s annual Easter Egg Hunt is popular with youngsters from many area communities. Held at the school’s Open House near the vegetable and herb gardens, this lively event features crafts, games, refreshments, and entertainment. Our sources tell us that the Easter Bunny will also make a special appearance.

Plan to arrive at 12:45 p.m. for the main event, as the free Easter Egg Hunt begins at 1 p.m. sharp. Park in the large gravel lot on the corner of Brasstown Road and Harshaw Road, and walk to the Open House. Once you get there, head to one of three age-divided egg-hunting areas. Then get ready to watch the youngsters scramble for colorful eggs among the vegetable and herb plants. Bring your cameras and enjoy the happy chaos!

EASTER EGG HUNT
Saturday, March 31 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m
Bear Creek Mini Golf,  7289 Highway 64 West (west of Murphy)

This brand-new Easter Egg Hunt takes place at Bear Creek Mini Golf, an entertaining venue on Highway 64 West a few miles past the Route 129 intersection. Co-hosted by Bear Creek Mini Golf and Mountain Memories Antiques, this event promises to be an annual favorite with Cherokee County youngsters.

The Easter Egg Hunt begins promptly at 11:30 a.m., so arrive a bit early. Kids from ages 1-12 are invited to bring their favorite egg basket, and prepare for an egg hunting frenzy among the boulders, bushes, and trees. After the Easter Egg Hunt, kids can have their picture taken with the Easter Bunny.

ALL-DAY EASTER CELEBRATION
Saturday, March 31 from 12:00 p.m – 8:00 p.m.
Fields of the Wood, 10000 NC-294 (off Highway 64 West)

Experience Easter’s grandeur at Fields of the Wood, an acclaimed biblical theme park west of Murphy on Route 294. This free all-day Easter celebration takes place from 12-8 p.m., and kicks off with an Easter Egg Hunt at 1:00 (registration at noon). Come watch the youngsters comb through the park’s bushes and grasses, searching for those elusive colored Easter eggs.

From 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., gather for a memorable special singing program. A dramatic passion play begins at 6:00 p.m., bringing the Easter story to life in a beautiful mountain setting.

Now that you know about these Easter weekend events around Murphy, NC, gather your family together and enjoy some quality time during this beautiful spring weekend.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.ILoveMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

REMAX Hot Air Balloon Pilots Treat Andrews Elementary School Students to an Exciting Flight Demonstration

When it comes to learning about hot air balloons, the kids at Andrews Elementary School have gained some valuable firsthand experience. In mid-November 2017, two REMAX Hot Air Balloon Pilots visited the school’s Andrews, NC campus, and gave an impressive demonstration on the principles of hot air balloon flight. The pilots’ easy-to-grasp slide show, presented in the school’s gymnasium, provided great background information geared to the students’ grade levels.

To bring this entertaining science lesson to life, one REMAX pilot inflated a colorful, lightweight balloon with hot air from a hair dryer. Right on schedule, the balloon lazily rose to the gym’s high ceiling. Naturally, the second pilot had to top that performance, using the same technique to send a plain black garbage bag soaring up as well.

Before the students’ demonstration, the Andrews Elementary School administrators were delighted to get a ride in the real-life REMAX balloon, tethered just outside the building in a spacious open spot. Looking back, you might say a great time was had by all – including the pilots and The Poltrock Team!

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

5 Things to Do Before Listing Your Home in Murphy, NC

Selling your Murphy, NC home can provide a great opportunity. Maybe your circumstances have changed, and it’s time to transition to a new chapter in your life. Or, you’ve decided you love living in our beautiful mountains, but you’d like to enjoy the experience from a different house. Regardless of the reason for selling your home, you’ll increase your chances of success by making the property look attractive to potential buyers. Read on for five things to do before listing your home that will really help your home to shine. Continue reading “5 Things to Do Before Listing Your Home in Murphy, NC”

Total Solar Eclipse Brings Epic Viewing Experience Near Murphy, NC

Watching the August 21 Total Solar Eclipse was like opening a highly anticipated present on Christmas morning. For several weeks (even months) ahead, we read about this rare natural phenomenon. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes in front of the Sun, completely blocking the Sun’s light and briefly turning day into night. During the August 21 event, viewers in a nationwide 70-mile-wide swath would enjoy the maximum effect. Here in Brasstown, the spectacle began at 1:05 p.m. EDT in a clear, hot day dotted by puffy clouds.

As we settled into our Brasstown, North Carolina viewing spot (just a few miles from Murphy, NC), we kept our eclipse viewing glasses and water bottles close at hand. Every few minutes, we slipped on the glasses and gazed at the Sun, watching the Moon’s slow migration across the brilliant white sphere. First, the Moon’s effect was barely noticeable; however, the Sun’s circular shape gradually transformed into an ever-shrinking crescent as the sky darkened around us. Shadows began to appear, and the surrounding landscape took on the colors of twilight.

As the total eclipse (or “Totality”) crept closer, we noticed a drop in temperature, with some observers noting that it felt 10 degrees cooler. Shortly before the magic moment, our environment grew very still, with birds flying up to their nighttime roosts and crickets chirping in the distance. A rooster also began to crow, likely convinced that the “twilight” meant it was time to begin a new day.

Finally, at 2:34 p.m. EDT, we experienced “Totality” in Brasstown, with a dark twilight taking over the forested landscape as the Moon completely covered the Sun. This amazing spectacle lasted only 2 minutes 26 seconds, giving us just enough time to enjoy the view before a sliver of sunlight peeked from behind the Moon’s shadow. When that occurred, we quickly donned our eclipse glasses to safely enjoy the rest of the show. Watching for more than an hour, we saw the Moon continue its path across the Sun, with daylight and warmer temperatures gradually returning as well.

Finally, the Great American Eclipse was over, not to return nationwide for many years. As we swapped viewing experiences and sipped cold drinks, we marveled at this stunning solar extravaganza that had unfolded right before our eyes. This was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime event, made for sharing with family and friends across the country. Even better, we had experienced it from peaceful Brasstown, just a stone’s throw from Murphy, NC in a beautiful little corner of the world.