[Gmail messages are clipped. Click link on bottom left corner to view entire newsletter.]
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 by sending them to the email address at the bottom of the page, and we'll do our best to make you (locally) famous!
The sun is down, and last light fades away into gentle evening clouds. The cricket symphony is tuning up. For a few minutes the crickets have the stage to themselves, then the golden-throated wood thrush sings out, its beautiful melody echoing across rolling hills. It’s a blissful evening concert… for a minute. A yellow-billed cuckoo is nearby, its call a croaking, discordant song, and the wood thrush goes silent, respectfully giving the stage to its neighbor. And now, at the edge of dark, a Chuck-will’s-widow joins in, hidden somewhere close by, loud and persistent, drowning out even the crickets. ~K
This Historic Site offers both recreational opportunities and a unique look at 18th and 19th century South Carolina. Oconee Station - a stone blockhouse used as an outpost by the S.C. State Militia from about 1792 to 1799 - and the William Richards House, are the only two structures that remain today.
Join Ranger Coburn, to learn about how we got mountains, and why they are still here. We’ll also talk about how geology plays a role in other features like ecology and of course why this area has so many waterfalls.
ACA certified instructor Janie Butcher will help you develop that forward stroke to paddle faster and farther with less effort. We'll also work on the draw strokes to move sideways, and the turning strokes that are the basis for maneuvers. If you are thinking of buying a kayak, take this class first! We will cover equipment fit, kayak recommendations, and safety gear.
From the Walhalla Fish Hatchery (Hwy. 107), we will hike down East Fork Trail to the Chattooga River. We will then follow the river up to Ellicott Rock, where GA, SC, and NC meet. We will eat lunch by the river, and swim if you like! This is an out and back hike.
Dr. L.L. “Chick” Gaddy will talk about the various Shortia around the globe, including a species (Shortia rotata), newly discovered by Gaddy and collaborator Maaxim S. Nuraliev. All Shortia species are considered to be rare, so come out for this rare opportunity to hear about them.
Shortia rotata, Photos by A.J. Floden, B. Wynn-Jones, M.S. Nuraliev
We’ll learn fun facts about birds and beginner birding skills for locating and identifying common birds of South Carolina. We’ll hear and see birds on a garden walk, and we’ll finish by creating nature journals and recording the days feathered friend findings!
Now things are really beginning to hop in the Garden! Discover more about the life cycles and habits of bees, butterflies, beetles and more! Hands-on activities will introduce young and old alike to the fabulous worlds of insects and the Clemson Entomology Club, Master Naturalists and the Butterfly Garden Volunteers will be on hand to help.
Kit Parks of Active Travel Adventures chats with the guides of Jocassee Lake Tours. Brooks Wade, Dan Whitten, Sheryl White & Zach Maddox talk about Boat Tours, Kayaking, Hiking, Waterfalls, Loons, Wild Flowers, Fishing, Secret Places, Sunsets and more.
Do you remember the freedom of childhood? The lightness of bare feet? The fearlessness to enter into new places? The excitement of making your own discoveries? This is what it looks like to be a wild child. What a beautiful sight!
The ladys are blooming! Yellow ladyslipper, photo by Betsy George
DID YOU KNOW?
Chuck-will's-widow numbers declined by about 2.3% per year between 1966 and 2015, resulting in a cumulative decline of 69%, according tot he North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 6 million with 100% spending some part of the year in the U.S., and 13% in Mexico. The species rates a 12 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score.
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.