Archive for August, 2014

Gators Grace Greenfield Lake

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

To paraphrase one of several signs posted around Greenfield Lake: Yes, indeed, there are alligators in this lake and if you feed them you put yourself and others in danger. For those of you who don’t know about this hidden gem of a lake and park, Greenfield Lake is just a little over a mile from the Camellia Cottage Bed and Breakfast in downtown Wilmington.

For hikers, joggers and bikers there is a 4.5 mile paved trail around the lake. Pursue this path with eyes and ears wide open and you will be rewarded with wildlife encounters that include turtles galore, Great Blue Herons, egrets, anhingas, kingfishers and sometimes the aforementioned gators.

We love the idea that we live a mile from gators. We throw a canoe on Greenfield Lake about twice a year and the experience can be serene, beautiful, restful and just plain fun but it isn’t complete without a gator sighting or two or three. I’m not sure how many of these guys live around the lake but I would have to guess about a dozen, including a couple 8-footers.

Guests ask me if I’m afraid to paddle among these apex predators but I truly believe that to them we look like a 2-headed, 17-foot long monster one step above them on the food chain. If I were sitting alone and closer to the water in a kayak I might feel a little different but it would still be exciting to paddle among these bad boys.

You can rent a canoe, kayak or paddleboat at a concession on the lake run by Cape Fear River Watch. I can’t think of a better way to spend two hours at $10 an hour.

They’re Here!

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Last week we told you that the breweries were coming (to Wilmington). We are now happy to report that the first new micobrewery has opened. Join us in welcoming the Wilmington Brewery Company at 824 S. Kerr Street. Their initial offerings include an India pale ale, an extra pale ale and a porter, soon to be augmented by seasonal brews. Check it out. I plan to.

On the established microbrewery front, Front Street Brewery has a new featured beer — THE GREAT BAMBINO: OAK AGED BELGIAN TRIPEL. According to their announcement : “A unique sharp tartness is pitched to the palate with strikes of sour cherry, fresh flowers, & oak. Aged in a Jim Beam barrel  Dry, tanic, & structured, this is a grand slam for sour ale fans. 9.6%. Available in 10 oz glasses for only  $5.99!”  I gotta try that one too!

So many beers…so little time.

The Breweries are coming…the Breweries are coming

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

I hope some of you have had a chance to quaff a few brews at the Front Street Brewery over the last 13+ years. The lineup is in constant flux but when I was there this week, I could choose from Riptide Raspberry Wheat, Coastal Kolsch, Amberjack Extra Special Bitter, Port City IPA, Dram Tree Scottish Ale, Corncob Cream Ale, El Hefe HefeWeizen, Absurdity Belgian IPA, and Iron Horse Pale Ale. I had the Coastal and the Absurdity (8.2%) and I was a very happy camper. Paula had the Corncob.

But, move over Front Street Brewery! Rumor has it that several breweries of different sizes are making their way to Wilmington. Up until now, Ashville has been the local brewery capitol of this state but I think we’re going to be number 2 in no time. We’ll let you know when they start actually opening  and you can start bending your elbows at these new brew pub locations.