Biltmore Estate views

The skies yesterday at Biltmore Estate were inspiring, former rain clouds punctuated by a mixture of fog and mist. We didn't have much opportunity for picture-taking, but I was glad to take another look at these this afternoon.

The expansive views are one of the things I love about the Estate.  But they didn't happen by accident; it's totally a created landscape, envisioned originally by Frederick Law Olmstead, then carefully managed over the years, preserving as much of the views of distant mountains as possible, without development in the view.

The landscape with its open fields, meadows, and "field" grown trees (that have open wide canopies) are similar to the soft pastoral landscapes of rural Europe - the feel that Vanderbilt wanted, similar to large estates that he'd visited.  We've seen these preserved and created landscapes in Europe, too. 

They're beautiful, if not "natural" -- but human-influenced landscapes are most of our planet now,

Creating this from hardscrabble, overworked farms, and totally logged forests in the late19th century was not an inconsequential undertaking. 

He was fortunate to have German forestry experts as well as Olmstead (and deep pockets, if at least for a while.)

I wrote a reflection on Traveling as Exploration early in September, when we were still in Germany,  remembering the connections of the Schwarzwald and managed forestry to the Biltmore Estate, too.