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Welcome to the Blue Wall Weekly, your source for what's going on outside along the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment. Feel free to share your own photos, videos, and adventures along the Blue Wall, and we'll do our best to make you (locally) famous!
Joe-pye may not scream “end of summer,” but it states it very firmly. Throughout the season this plants strong hollow stems lengthen between evenly spaced whorls of tough, lanceolate leaves. By the time it blooms, Joe-pye stands tall over roadside companions, commanding attention from all passers-by. Masses of tiny mauve florets form a large, loose panicle the size of a football, bigger, even, as hard to ignore as the bright August sun. Joe-pye is the quintessential August wildflower, a tough, stubborn beauty. The hero of my faux historical novel, should I ever write one, will be named Joe Pye. He’ll be tall, strong and lean, and handsome, of course, with symmetrical features and a head full of curly hair, and a well-kept beard and mustache. Probably not mauve hair, though.~K
Join us on a guided hike to one of the most popular waterfalls in NC, Rainbow Falls. Learn about the area’s history, its trees and plants, and waterfall safety all while enjoying the Horsepasture River, which is a nationally designated wild and scenic river shared with SC.
It's Friday night and time to dance! Grab your partner and two-step to Oconee State Park's barn for a night of fun, music and square dancing. Bluegrass music is performed by the Dixie Bluegrass Boys, led by Georgia Music Hall of Famer Curtis Blackwell.
Join us for a weekend backpack on the Foothills Trail. The Foothills Trail is an approximately 77-mile National Recreation Trail in South and North Carolina. It extends from Oconee State Park in the west to Table Rock State Park in the east.
This 5 year mushroom foraging permit meets the criteria required by the state health departments is and formally approved for the foraging and selling of wild mushrooms in the following states: Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.
Join naturalist James Wilkins each month on the full moon and experience the sights, sounds and sensations of nature at night.
THIS WEEK ON LAKE JOCASSEE
August 20, 2018
5 AM. We live at Jocassee, just behind Devils Fork State Park, in the midst of a thick stand of second growth forest, just like the rest of the Jocassee Gorges. As well, we live along the front face of the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment, called by the Cherokees the Blue Wall. This area of the Blue Wall has the darkest skies in the southeast. At 5am, my usual rising time, on mornings when the moon has already gone to rest, the darkness is a solid curtain, seemingly impenetrable. And silent. It is this near absolute silence and darkness that defines Jocassee at this hour, this time of night just before the birds but well after the katydids. It’s a holy time to me, my dog Mica’s head in my lap, this silent void that lasts so briefly each day.
Only one more week of Jocassee Adventure Camp, Summer Edition! Watch for more JAC! during the coming months.
The fungal equivalent of cauliflower.
Photo by Tricia Kyzer
Mmmm... a viscous violet mushroom.
Photo by Tricia Kyzer
DID YOU KNOW?
Joe-pye is a native plant with medicinal uses. The Iroquois and Cherokee are said to have used its roots and flowers as a diuretic to help with urinary and kidney ailments, while the roots and leaves could be steeped in hot water and the liquid taken for fever and inflammation. Joe-pye (which is said to be dangerous if used without caution) is a sweat inducer, which is probably the mechanism of cure.
ABOUT THE BLUE WALL
Spanning three states (North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia) and encompassing 859,000 acres, the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment, known as the 'Blue Wall' by Native Americans, contains some of the highest natural diversity of rare plants and animals found anywhere in the world.