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!
Fog gathers in the valleys at the base of the Blue Wall, ghosting trees and buildings and ships in the night. This is a warmer fog, waking up damp-loving mosses and salamanders. The fog settles in until early afternoon, finally clears, the sky lifts, the sun shines. Small clouds of nameless flying insects spin in circles, up and down between the sparkleberry bushes, celebrating their delicate new lives. The next day a blustery southerly wind sweeps in, twirling funnels of leaves in a dusty dervish across an empty parking lot, and the day after that, rain again, gentle and steady ground-soaking rain. ~K
The Blue Wall behind Lake Jocassee, shrouded in fog.
WITH JOCASSEE LAKE TOURS
CABIN FEVER TOUR! February 24: 12:00 - 4:00 PM Book Now! Out of the boat for a short walk on the Foothills Trail!
JOCASSEE WILD BIRD TOUR - LOONS AND WINTER BIRDLIFE!
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. It is all that remains of a military outpost that was built during a period of tension between the white settlers and the Indians. 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.
This counterclockwise loop starting on the Cold Spring Trail is not a beginner hike! A steep, rocky, uneven climb scrambling over exposed rocks and roots to a rocky dome on the back side of the loop. 5-6 stream crossings and multiple water views.
Marian St.Clair travels extensively as a freelance garden writer, photographer, and tour coordinator. In this talk she shares the innovative and interesting ideas for your garden she has gleaned from her travels around the world.
The Blue Orchard Mason Bee is a native bee to South Carolina and pollinates four times better than the honeybee. Join us as we take time to learn more about this busy bee and build a bee box to take home to invite mason bees to live in your backyard.
THE PERFECT WEEK. We just completed the first week of this year’s Earthwatch research project on Lake Jocassee, studying the winter behavior of the common loon in a freshwater habitat, the first ever study of it kind. We are honored and blessed to be the facilitators for the project, and I am particularly lucky to be their guide. Every day this past week, and some evenings as well, I spent all day on the lake studying loons, accompanied by some of America’s best loon researchers and assisted by eager volunteers. For week one of this year’s three week project, we isolated a loon on each end of the lake and studied them for the entire day! Imagine 6 or more hours watching just one loon, from dawn to dusk. Sound boring? Quite the opposite. In this second year of Earthwatch’s three year project, I learn more in one day assisted by these astute, trained observers than I have learned in years of observing loons on my own. If you’ve got loon envy now, you should! Two more weeks of study ahead. I’ll keep you posted.
LAKE LEVEL REPORT. Oh blessed rain, Lake Jocassee is at nearly full pool. Lake Keowee is full, and Lake Hartwell has gained nearly 4 feet in the last few weeks. With the entire month on March ahead, the rainiest month of the year, things are looking good for the spring.
EAGLE ON THE NEST REPORT. What a Valentine’s Day present. Weeks earlier than last year, an eagle has landed on ‘our’ nest, the only bald eagle nest ever found in the Jocassee Gorges. Let the thrill of eagle nest watching begin.
DID YOU KNOW?
In the amphibian world, wood frogs may be the species best able to recognize their family. When many tadpoles are in the same place, siblings seek each other out and group together.Wood frogs are the only frogs that live north of the Arctic Circle.
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.