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!
LAYERS OF TIME
Mudstone, laid bare by the restless water of the lake that covers Jocassee Valley. The earth is reshaping here, right in front of my wondering eyes. Sediment from eroding mudstone once again obeys the Law of Original Horizontality, patiently laying a wide shelf just below the highwater line. Bulldozers have not sullied these layers. This is just as the earth is, here. There’s a story in
this colorful book, but I don’t know how to properly read the chapters. Across the lake, which means across two rivers, wind and rain have whipped bare a face of rock that today is unfazed by the erosive waves and wakes of Lake Jocassee. Was this rock bare when ferns were morphing into trees? Was this mudstone ridge once a swamp? Usually Earth’s mysteries are hidden under asphalt and top soil and foliage. This one is right in front of us.~K
Two historic buildings are located on the grounds of Oconee Station State Historic Site. The oldest is a stone blockhouse that was built in 1792. The brick house at Oconee Station was built in 1805 and served as the residence of a merchant who ran a trading post on the site.
It's Friday night and it's time to dance! Grab your partner and two-step to Oconee State Park's barn for a night of fun, music and square dancing. No experience necessary to have a grand ole time. Bluegrass music is performed by the Dixie Bluegrass Boys, led by Georgia Music Hall of Famer Curtis Blackwell.
This will be a five day event with base camp close enough to the trailhead for you to come and go as you please. We'll do a series of exploration day hikes with numerous waterfalls, swimming holes and plenty of trails to explore.
In this camp, children will explore the various ecosystems of South Carolina. Using the Natural Heritage Garden as our guide, we’ll take a journey from the mountains to the sea, and we’ll discover the interesting plants, animals and people who have called these spaces home throughout our state’s history.
In this open house, we’ll take a deeper look at the duck pond and its inhabitants. We’ll meet the many frogs, fish, birds and insects that rely on the pond and discover how important the pond is to them.
We’ll visit some waterfalls, drift up some wild rivers, and then settle in to watch the sun set. The speed range for this event: dawdle to pokey. Ever watch the sunset while floating in a calm, cool mountain lake? Perhaps with your favorite end-of-day beverage in hand? Join us!
RAIN AND ROOSTS. It has rained most every day this week, but not for long. Long enough, though, to keep the lake quiet and the temperatures mild. The skies have been gorgeous, the lake at its most mystically beautiful. It is days like this that mesmerized me on our first visit to Lake Jocassee, and quickly had us move our entire lives to its shore. One of my favorite things to do after a hard rain is to look for vulture roosts, where dozens of vultures can be found spreading their wings to dry. One common roost that is easily found and observed is along the shore and in the trees between the main dock at Devils Fork State Park and the Villas, the lovely cabins rented by the park. Wander quietly over there sometime, just after a bounding summer rain. It’s an eerie and beautiful sight.
EAGLE REPORT. The young’uns are up, they’re out, but they’re not gone. Both mature and immature eagles can be predictably seen on the upper reaches of the Toxaway River. It is clear that the resident population of our ‘mountain eagles’ is increasing!~B
DID YOU KNOW?
Mudstones are made up of fine grains of silt or clay which settle in low energy areas such as swamps or lakes. Because of Steno’s Law of Original Horizontality, we know that sedimentary rocks such as mudstone that are not horizontal either were formed in special ways or, more often, were moved from their horizontal position by later events, such as tilting during episodes of mountain building.
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.