The Peaks of Otter on The Blue Ridge Parkway

Peaks of Otter History

My family has enjoyed this beautiful Bedford setting and it is one of many Blue Ridge Parkway sites my husband researches for birds and butterflies. I thought is would be interesting to include some historical facts about this beautiful place that has been an inspiration for a number of my paintings.

No one really knows how the Peaks got their name. There are no otters in the area. The most likely explanation is that two brothers, Charles and Robert Ewing named the peaks after otters from their native land.

There are many natural settings and rivers named for otters in Scotland and England. Charles Ewing and family members are buried at the foot of Sharp Top.

Europeans have known The Peaks for about two and a half centuries. Flat Top is the higher of the two and is 4,001 feed above sea level. Sharp Top is 3,875. Sharp Top appears higher but it is an optical illusion.

Sharp Top draws more visitors and Virginia’s contribution to The Washington Monument was taken from the top of Sharp Top.

I learned about The Peaks of Otter from a great essay called The Peak of Otter Story by Thomas A Markham. There is a lot more to read there if you are interested!


                                                                                                                                              Cloud Swirl over the Peaks of Otter by Kendall Kessler  Original 18″x24″ Oil painting $864.00

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at   KENDALL KESSLER ART

Life with Bird and Word Man

Since I am attempting to blog every week day I doubt that I will come up with an example of my husband’s crazy humor everyday but I do want to include something about him in my blog. He has devoted his life to the protection of his beautiful mountain home and has kept extensive wildlife records since his youth.

His discovery of the endangered Mitchel Satyr in 1998 is considered to be one of the most important wildlife finds in the second half of the twentieth century in Virginia.

My Art Work

Although the bulk of my artwork is about the Blue Ridge Mountains and the New River Valley, I am quite versatile and have been exploring my expressive side for some time now. I am having a great time working with my unique brand of Expressionism which I call Kendall Expressions. I am letting my colors and textures fly in these paintings and am excited about putting up my latest one of a domestic cat.


Cat Swirl by Kendall Kessler