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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!
In deep deciduous woods at the base of the Blue Wall, chlorophyll is working overtime, capturing sunlight streaming to Earth as Earth increasingly tilts towards winter. Little light reaches the ground in these deep shady woods, but chlorophyll, molecule by molecule, is beginning to fade away. Molecule by molecule, carotenoids begin to show, painting interior leaves in shades of apricot, salmon, and rusty pink. Leaf by leaf, they’ll soon drift down, and light, finally, will reach forest floor.~K
Two historic buildings are located on the grounds of Oconee Station State Historic Site, a stone blockhouse that was built in 1792, and a brick house built in 1805. Come discover their place in Oconee County history
Hike will follow a section of the Mountain Bridge Trail, then continue on Persimmon Ridge Road for a short distance into the Chandler Heritage Preserve. We will break for lunch and be returning by the same route.
Join fellow FOJ members to learn about the history of Duke Energy’s Keowee-Toxaway Project, which includes an inside look at one of the most massive engineering projects in the Upstate - a project heralded by the American Society of Civil Engineers as its 1974 project of the year.
National Geographic, The National Audubon Society, and over 150 other organizations have declared 2018 the Year of the Bird. This is to commemorate the Migratory Bird Treaty Act’s 100th year!Lake Conestee Nature Park is well known in the birding community for its diverse array of bird species.
Our most popular day-long cultivation event with home-cooked breakfast and lunch. Also includes, instruction, oyster fruiting kit and shiitake log to take home from hands-on activities (a $50 value). Workshop taught personally by Tradd Cotter
Enter the forest to explore the giants of the plant world with Dan Whitten, President of the Upstate Chapter of the SCNPS. Become familiar with our native trees, shrubs and woody vines by learning to recognize their bark, leaves, twigs, fruit, and form.
THIS WEEK ON LAKE JOCASSEE
October 22, 2018
A LOON CALLED ME TODAY. Our wonderful guide Kenny Brower saw the first loons of the season yesterday, Friday the 19th. He counted 11 in the big water of the lower basin. It wasn’t entirely fair that he saw the first loons, as I’m the loon-crazed one in this outfit, but nevertheless, we’re excited to see them arrive. Today, on the way uplake for an early morning hiker shuttle, I saw my first loon. We stopped to observe, and he spoke right up to me. Not the "where are you, there you are, where have you been" melody of the lovely wail call, but rather the "I just got here, I’m tired, I’m hungry, I’m irritable, just leave me alone" call, known as the tremolo. I didn’t take offense, as he could have flown over a thousand miles to get here. These first loons may not be ‘our’ loons, as they may well be headed further south, but they do announce that the season of the loon is upon us. I’m thrilled.
FALL REPORT. It’s here, finally. After an unusually warm early fall, the last two nights have been right nippy, just what the hardwood trees need to shut down their chlorophyll factory and let their glorious, hidden fall colors shine through. From now until at least mid-November the color show only to be found in the southern Appalachian mountains should be in high performance mode. It gets no better at Jocassee than over the next 30 days or so. ~B
The chlorophyll molecule is the active part of a leaf that absorbs sunlight, but just as with blood's hemoglobin, in order to do its job (synthesising carbohydrates) it needs to be attached to the backbone of a very complicated protein. This protein has exactly the correct structure to orient the chlorophyll molecules in the optimal position to enable them to react with nearby CO2 and H2O molecules in a very efficient manner. ~ Paul May, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol
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.