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!
There are some people – and other species too, I imagine – who can tilt their ears towards a bird singing in the woods, and tell you what bird it is. They can tell you not only genus and species, but whether we’re hearing a mating call, distress, or chit-chat. Hats off to these people. I love to hang out with them. I do well to distinguish between bird and squirrel and insect. When I hang out with these people they are so patient, repeating for me the same, simple pattern the birds sing until the proverbial light bulb goes on and I can finally relate a bird to at least one of its songs. Trust me, I’m not good at this. But early in May I’ll show up for a talk on Spring Songbird Migration in the Jocassee Gorges, and with any luck I’ll spend a couple of days with the Blue Wall Birding Festival the following week, and maybe I can learn a little more about these winged creatures that share my world from these patient humans who get to know them.~K
Over there! It's the zee zee zee zu zee bird!
WITH JOCASSEE LAKE TOURS
FULL MOON RISING TOUR
May 10: 6:00 - 8:30 PM
BROOKS' ADVENTURE SUNDAYS!
KAYAK TOUR, LOWER LAKE
May 21: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
PLEASE CALL 864-280-5501 AT LEAST 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE TO RESERVE YOUR SEATS!
WITH JOCASSEE LAKE TOURS
EVERY WEDNESDAY TOUR - Guide's Choice!
April 26: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
EVERY SATURDAY TOUR - Upper Lake
April 29: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Table Rock is a designated Important Bird Area in South Carolina, and the peak of spring migration is here. That means a lot of birds, both common and uncommon species, will be traveling through the park. During this casual morning walk, we will identify them by means of prominent field marks, vocalizations, and other behaviors.
33.3 mile hike from Foothills Trail (FHT) Laurel Valley parking area to Upper Whitewater Falls FHT parking area. The overall elevation gain is 7,800+ ft. The hike covers Laurel Valley over to Toxaway River, then climbs to Horsepasture and Thompson Rivers.
The first day we will backpack 12 1/2 miles from Russell Bridge to just past Sandy Ford. Several campsites are right on the river. The second day is 7 1/2 miles to Hwy 76. Beautiful area on one of the few Wild & Scenic Rivers in the south.
Trailhead is at Burrells Ford Campground, Mountain Rest, SC. From Burrells Ford access, we will follow the Foothills Trail to Sims Field, an old homesite. After lunch by the shoals, we will return the same way.
Falls Creek Falls is a rather common sounding name for an incredible waterfall in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness in northern Greenville County. The 100+ foot falls are east of Jones Gap State Park on land protected by the Nature Conservancy.
Join Friends of Jocassee for this volunteer day project/work day at Keowee-Toxaway State Park. We’ll be working towards enhancing wildlife habitat, mitigating storm water runoff, improving trails, and more. There will be kids activities as well!
A sustainable landscape is in balance with the local climate, soil and plants and wildlife. In this class, we put it all together: planning and design, site and plant selection, soil conditions, irrigation and water efficiency, and maintenance.
Drop-in to the Hunt Cabin and experience some of the rites of spring with local storyteller and musician H. Dean Watson. Take a walk down the Natural Heritage Trail to learn about spring tonics and other medicinal plants. Enjoy some sassafras tea.Come when you like, and stay as long as you want!
EARTH DAY NOTES. Spring came early this year, then it left. The flowers on the puncatum rhododendrons were starting to bloom weeks ago, just to be knocked back by a hard frost. But spring is back now, on this 47 th celebration of Home. The rhododendron minus is exploding, filled with flowers and swollen buds. Mountain laurel is blooming all along the roadside and on the lake shore. Yellow buckeye is flowering in the forest understory, with black locust flowering overhead. And the rains! Oh, the wonderful rains of spring. The waterfalls are engorged, and everywhere along the shore water is flushing into the lake. The problem with spring is it is hard to get anywhere. Every cove along the lake shore is filled with flowering plants, every backwater filled with the sounds of migratory songbirds. Eagles overhead, loons still most everywhere, new flowering plants to watch for most every time we go onto the lake. There is nothing quite like spring on Lake Jocassee.
BLOOM REPORT. Blooming now: short-leaf rhododendrons, mountain laurel, black locust, sassafras, tulip poplar, dog hobble, faded trillium, violets, doll's eye, Jack-in-the-pulpit, foam flower, branch lettuce, and crossvine.
EAGLE REPORT. No chick in sight yet, but surely it must be time!
LOON REPORT. Just as I think the spring migration is done, a new batch of loons arrive. This week’s daily afternoon thunderstorms seem to be bringing them down early in the day.
SWIMMER’S REPORT. It’s Earth Day today, with the prediction of temperatures in the mid-80’s. Need I say more.~B
DID YOU KNOW?
If at all possible, you should keep a few dead trees around your property. They provide cavity-dwelling places for birds to raise their young and collect insects for food. Many species will also seek shelter from bad weather inside these hollowed out trees.
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.