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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!
A thread of silk catches breeze and sunlight as a shimmering strand of momentary light, arcing across open air like the very slender sail it is. A tiny spider rides the rudderless thread, a sailor floating away to an unknown destination. The silk disappears as breeze stiffens to gusty wind, and clouds rise over mountains to cover the sun. Treetops sway, leaves flip backwards. A monochromatic gray covers the far mountains, moves to mid-range, and sweeps across open air with waves of rain. Did the tiny spider make it to distant shore? No one knows except the spider. Rain passes, leaving blue sky and ragged wisps of cloud hanging in the mountaintops, and leaving a perfect, very bright rainbow hanging like a beacon for sailing spiders.~K
Originally a military compound and later a trading post, Oconee Station State Historic Site offers both recreational opportunities and a unique look at 18th and 19th century South Carolina. Oconee Station, a stone blockhouse used as an outpost by the S.C. State Militia from about 1792 to 1799, and the William Richards House, are the only two structures that remain today.
Yellowbranch Falls, Issaqueena Falls, and Stumphouse Tunnel... there's a lot to see and much history to take in. The last stop will be a few miles north at Silver Run Falls. The 5 minute walk down to this pretty falls brings you to a favorite swimming hole.
Save Georgia’s Hemlocks (SGH) is a rapidly growing grassroots organization of energetic volunteers, united by a common purpose: To save the hemlocks! SGH has helped thousands of property owners and managers save tens of thousands of hemlocks. Come and learn how you can help save this beautiful and valuable natural resource!
A day-long cultivation event with home cooked breakfast and lunch. Includes instruction, oyster fruiting kit and shiitake log to take home. Taught personally by Tradd Cotter on-site at the Mushroom Mountain Farm in Easley, SC. Participants will learn fungal ecology and life cycles, while immersed in hands-on methods to cultivate mushrooms on logs, stumps, wood chips, and straw, designing mushroom gardens, and composting or recycling with fungi.
This unique experience offers the chanceto experience nature fully and deeply, in a meditative format. By choosing to explore what it’s like to walk in the woods without speaking, we have a chance to engage our senses more fully – to truly connect with the environment around us.
Children will explore the various ecosystems of South Carolina using the Natural Heritage Garden as our guide. We’ll take a journey from the mountains to the sea to discover the interesting plants, animals and people who have called these spaces home throughout our state’s history.
THIS WEEK ON LAKE JOCASSEE
June 18, 2018
RAINY EVENINGS-RAINBOW SKIES. People often ask me what is the best time to come to Jocassee. My answer is unexpected. It’s not when fall colors are at their most radiant, nor when loons are in the midst of their pre-nuptial molt, nor even in summer when it’s swimming in waterfalls time. The most spectacular time to be on Jocassee is at the edge of changing, even inclement weather. When winter and spring storms blow through, though most certainly not when it is blowing hard, when tropical storms come bursting through our mountains, reminding us that we are all one, and now that it’s summer, around afternoon and early evening showers and thunderstorms. Not in the middle of a thunderstorm, mind you. We are experts at avoiding that. But, wandering around the edges, watching the rain travel across the gorges, turning the skies charcoal black. For those who don’t make the mad rush to the dock, the reward is the most beautiful skies of the day, the most refreshingly cool air, and rainbows galore! Over the last few weeks I have seen the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen, following early evening rainstorms, of course. Our sunset tour guests have been getting a bit wet, off and on, thank goodness for a boat full of ponchos, but mercy what a show.~B
BLOOM REPORT: A great year for the large white-to-pink flowers of rosebay rhododendron, with purple small-leaf rhododendron still blooming right along the water's edge. Climbing and silver-leaf hydrangeas are also blooming profusely, and the 'eyelash' blooms of sourwood are more beautiful every day. And if you're adventuresome enough to explore the Whitewater River, you'll be treated to a very special, very fragrant, white azalea!
The other end of the rainbow! Photo by James Richards
Funky fungus fingers on the forest floor.
Photo by Olga Cotter
DID YOU KNOW?
Rainbows can be full circles. However, the observer normally sees only an arc formed by illuminated droplets above the ground, and centered on a line from the sun to the observer's eye. In a double rainbow, a second arc is seen outside the primary arc, and has the order of its colors reversed, with red on the inner side of the arc. This is caused by the light being reflected twice on the inside of the droplet before leaving it.
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.