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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!
The back side of Lake Jocasse's Family Rock is packed and bare from so many bare feet climbing around scrappy pine trees. From a boat on the water, it doesn’t look like much of a jump. The edge of a rock uplifted by deep force millions of years ago angles over deep water. From the top, it can look like too much of a jump. This week I watched a 3-year-old climb to the edge of the rock and look up at her daddy with big eyes to say, “I’m scared, Daddy.” “I’m scared too,” he answered. “Are you sure you want to do this?” and after a deep, certain nod, the two of them leaped into the air together, and came up beaming. Does anyone notice the sensitive vine that grows wild on the bank, with balls of bright pink flowers and leaves that fold tight at the slightest touch? Or notice the congregation of male swallowtails slurping minerals from the bare soil? Not likely… Family Rock is all about fun!~K
Join us on a guided hike to one of the most popular waterfalls in the state. Learn about the area’s history, its trees and plants, and waterfall safety all while enjoying the Horsepasture River, a nationally designated Wild and Scenic River.
Start your weekend by trying out a kayak or stand-up paddleboard on peaceful Lake Oolenoy at Table Rock State Park. Learn basic paddling techniques, improve your balance, and try out a variety of boats during this program offered every third Friday of the month from May through October.
Join Andrew Gleason, FTC Board member and Trail Captain, on a 4.3-mile+ hike from Cherry Hill campground to the Chattooga River. After reaching the river, the hike will proceed to a couple of viewpoints along the Chattooga River, then return to Cherry Hill.
For 200 years, Appalachian gospel music has been a staple throughout the Upcountry of South Carolina. The mighty mill wheel will be turning and the hills resounding in songs of praise as we host our annual old-time gospel sing-along.
In this program for children, we’ll dig deep to uncover the interesting lives of worms! After a fun story, we’ll enjoy taking an up-close look at real worms and will learn to appreciate all that these wiggly little guys do for us.
THIS WEEK ON LAKE JOCASSEE
August 13, 2018
SUN, RAIN, QUIET. It’s been a rather typical August week on Lake Jocassee, that is, plenty of sunshine joined by very predictable afternoon rains, followed by glorious evening skies. What is new is the pace of life, which is starting to slow down from the fevered vacation pitch of July. It’s still plenty busy on Saturdays, but not quite as much. Sundays are divinely quiet til about mid-day, and the weekdays are blessedly calm. The footballs are not quite in the air yet, public schools haven’t commenced, but tax free weekend was last week, the local call to Fall in these parts. The lake is up, way up, and the waterfalls are still booming, but not as wild and intimidating as they have been of late. All in all, it’s just about a perfect time to spend a day on Lake Jocassee. Of course, I’m likely to say that most every week.
WHAT’S FRUITING REPORT. Fraser magnolias (Magnolia fraseri), that’s what. Deep red fruits, mostly thought of as cones, stand as glorious decorations in late summer on Jocassee’s deciduous mountain magnolia. They’re scattered all around the lake, but you’ll have to look carefully for them in all the dense August vegetation of this very rainy summer.
This sweetgum tree will show off on its own schedule, thank you very much.
Why wait for Autumn?
Crane-fly orchid. Photo by Jeff Jackson
Oh my! A gargoyle left its shoes behind in the Oconee Bells...
DID YOU KNOW?
Magnolia flowers are protogynous, which means that the flowers first open with the female parts of the flower receptive, then close, and reopen with the male parts (stamens) ready to shed pollen. This evolutionary adaptation increases the likelihood of cross-pollination rather than self-pollination, thus widening the gene pool.
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.