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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 by sending them to the email address at the bottom of the page, and we'll do our best to make you (locally) famous!
Hey, want a kid? Not to take home with you, sorry, but a kid to share an afternoon with on the shores of beautiful Lake Jocassee. Know a kid? Bring him or her for a day of outdoor adventure at Devils Fork State Park on October 15th. We’re using bait to attract children, because we know kids can’t resist stories of real live people in real live places, just like they can’t resist touching and holding the artifacts of humans and other animals who once freely roamed Jocassee Valley. In this case that’s ok! Our friend Manella Calhoun will be there with her traveling Critters and More on the Go display, and another friend, Chief Lamar Nelson, will be there to tell the stories of life before electronics. Or cars. Or even trains. Chief Nelson is an archaeologist who has worked dig sites in North and South Carolina since the 1990’s so you can bet he has some good stories to share about the lives of the first Americans! Sponsored by Jocassee Wild Outdoor Education, the day will end with an adventure, just for the kids, on a pontoon boat, on Lake Jocassee. This event is intended to raise awareness of the Jocassee Wild Child program, whose mission is to raise awareness in our young people of the especially unique and resilient nature of the Jocassee Gorges. This, these Gorges, is their place, as it has been ours. Join us for a day that will be free with park admission, and — if you’re feeling generous – pay the park admission for the carful of kids behind you. It’ll feel good. ~K
Kids at the 2020 event were held spellbound by Chief Lamar's stories.
Be an extra early riser and take a unique moonlit hike to Bald Knob overlook on Pinnacle Trail. After experiencing the nocturnal aspects of the forest we will enjoy the pre-dawn sky from the outcrop as we anticipate the beauty of a new sunrise.
Enjoy traditional Blue Grass music as local musicians gather at TR to keep this inspirational talent alive. Visitors are invited to bring their acoustic instruments and join in a jam session or simply sit back to enjoy the music with the lake and mountains as a beautiful backdrop.
Learn about fungal ecology and life cycles; see our lab, and the fruiting room. Many aspects of mushrooms, including medicinal properties, cooking, and myco-remediation to soil creation will be discussed along the way!
Welcome back! That's what Lake Jocassee said to me this fine October 1 morning. She welcomed me with one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen here. Kay and I attempted our yearly late September sojourn to the coast this week, only to be chased back by a very determined Hurricane Ian. This was not a week to be on the water, whether by the ocean or by this grand inland sea. As a native Floridian it is with great sadness that I see what has happened in that state, where the lessons of too many people living too close to the sea will never penetrate. Not on the South Carolina coast either. But oh, what a wonder it is to stand astonished at the ocean shore and soak in the power of coming tropical storms. The pounding, ferocious sea, the whipping wind, and the ease with which birds enjoy it all. I wonder if there is a lesson to be learned there.
LOONWATCH. I know, I know, it's early. But not impossible! My eyes will be up every morning early from here on, my ears open. The first loons will be floaters, mature loons who were unsuccessful breeders. Later come the breeding loons, and finally the youngsters, unescorted, unguided, as they make their first journey southward. So all you upstate lake residents, eyes up, ears open. And report in, please. Sightings on your lake would be most appreciated. And pictures. By all means! Email me at email@example.com. Eyes up, ears open.
SWIMMERS REPORT. Just kidding. Well, maybe on an 80 degree late afternoon, if that happens again this year. And that would be for a quick jump-in, not a respectable swim.
Birds have keen senses and are aware of the tiniest environmental changes that indicate a coming storm. Birds can sense shifts in temperature, wind speed, wind direction, humidity, and barometric pressure. When those shifts indicate a storm, the birds are able to take early action to stay safe by feeding heavily, finding shelter in tree cavities and under brush and branches, and even flying away from the storm’s extreme weather.
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.