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Welcome to the Blue Wall Weekly, your source for what's going on outside along the Southern BlueRidge 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!
First, please allow me to thank you (quite belatedly) for all the nice gifts you brought when I was a child. They were (almost) always appreciated. My older sister did make me a slave to the rickshaw, but I’m sure you didn’t intend for that to happen. Oh, and fyi, I did finally get that pony I asked for every single year of my young life. My sister gave it to me, probably to make up for the rickshaw abuse. Now, these many years later, I have a new request. Can you please bring me a person? Not just any person… specifically, I need a person familiar with non-profits and mega grants. Not for me, Santa, but for the many Wild children who want to experience the wonders of Jocassee through Jocassee Wild Outdoor Education. Our community is giving us wonderful support, but I don’t always remember to fill out the paperwork on time to get their contributions. I could use some help with that! Santa, if you can find the perfect person who also knows how to tap into funds big enough to keep our wonderful Jocassee Wild Child director above the poverty line, that would make my life complete. Oh. And an illustrator. And both these people just love Jocassee and want to help with the effort for little or no money. Of course. Is this too much to ask? I hope not! I’m counting on you, Santa! Merry Christmas, and please give my best to Mrs. Claus and all the elves. Love, Kay
This, Santa, is from our next generation of Jocassee keepers!
Originally a military compound and later a trading post, this Historic Site offers both, recreational opportunities and a unique look at 18th and 19th century South Carolina. A self-interpretation station is available at the park office.
Tours include an introduction to fungal ecology and life cycles, laboratory tour and research overviews, tour of the fruiting room, and if there is anything fruiting on the trail, you will get to experience it. Many aspects of mushrooms, including medicinal properties, cooking, and mycoremediation to soil creation will be discussed along the way!
Shorter walk-Meet at the Spanco Drive parking area next to the old Conestee Mill and Dam to bird a section of the paved trail. Longer walk-Meet behind the baseball stadium to bird a variety of paved and natural surface trails.
Sphyrapicus varius Yellowed-bellied sapsucker, Photo by Anthony Q Martin
Lake Jocassee is low, down over 10 feet and falling, but it’s nothing new to us. The lake was 25’ down when we started JLT. It’s raining this Saturday, with much rain predicted for tomorrow,, so perhaps the drought will subside. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy the ‘different’ lake we have for a while. Despite the prop eating nature of a low lake, there are some really spectacular advantages. For one thing, geology classes rock! (excuse the pun). The Jocassee Wild Naturalist geology class was held this past week, and all involved had a great time. We are blessed to have Dr. Bill Ranson, geology professor emeritus from Furman University, teach this class, and what a day was had. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen two boat loads of people so happy on a cold lake day! Rocks in hand and stories were being told at the dock as we secured the boats. In 2017 the lake was down 17’ during our first year of loon research, and the count of loons, at 155, was the highest number we’ve ever had. I have suspected all along that a low lake forces the bait fish upon which the loons feed to concentrate in the river channels, making the finding of food a much easier task for the loons. If the bait is easy to locate, why migrate on? If the drought persists, we’ll test my theory in January when we do a full lake loon census. The lake is a silent joy to behold this time of year. Full of birds, not boats, the shoreline a geologic marvel. ~B
Lake Jocassee’s full pond elevation is 1,100 feet above mean sea level (MSL) with a maximum licensed drawdown of 30 feet. At full pond, the surface area is approximately 7,980 acres with approximately 92 miles of shoreline. The Jocassee Dam is a zoned earth and rockfill structure approximately 385 feet high and 1,800 feet in length. ~Duke Energy
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.