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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!
Rock Mineral Element
Separate a rock into its component minerals, separate those minerals into elements, and you have the stuff of geology. Reorganize the elements into neat stacks to get the crystal structure of minerals. Sink these minerals into the fiery depths of Earth, spew them again to the surface, recombine them, erode, press, bury, melt, solidify, and thrust them upwards again by the slow and ponderous force of nature, and there you have rock. The road by my home is topped with bits of gravel blown from rock that was, not so long ago, a nearby mountain. A piece catches my eye… dark as coal, but when I wipe off the dirt it shines with the light of a million stars, from whence, no doubt, it came. ~K
Come out and run with the Rangers. This 5K is open to everyone, from beginner runners and joggers, experienced athletes to dog walkers - all are welcome. This race will be timed, so you can run as fast or as slow as you want.
This is a “balloon-on-a-string” type route. We’ll hike several trails that will take us to the Upper Whitewater Falls overlook, through a wooded area that ascends Grassy Knob and follows the Chattooga Ridge across the SC/NC line. There will be great views of Lake Jocassee and the SC mountains on the return.
Tours of MM include an introduction to fungal ecology and life cycles, laboratory tour and research overviews, and the fruiting room. Many aspects of mushrooms, including medicinal properties, cooking, and mycoremediation to soil creation will be discussed along the way!
Volunteers learn to identify local frog and toad species by their calls during the breeding season and how to report their findings accurately.
Pseudacris crucifer, Spring Peeper,
photo by onnaturemagazine.com
THIS WEEK ON LAKE JOCASSEE
February 17, 2020
It’s cold this Saturday morning, but not bitterly so. The lake effect is moderating the day. No wind to speak of, and plenty of sun, so all in all an entirely pleasant winter day. Loons are just off the dock and at the mouth of the Devils Fork basin, and gulls are aloft. We explored the upper reaches of the lake yesterday with a wonderfully inquisitive group from Clemson OLLI. The loons were scattered throughout the lake, some solidary and some in small groups of 3 or 4. No large groups nor cooperative feeding was observed. I wonder if all the copious rains of late scatter the bait fish too, on which the loons and gulls feed. During periods of less rain the loons seem to form groups and feed more cooperatively, suggesting the presence of schools of bait fish. Perhaps these few much needed days of sun and dryness will make the bait fish a bit easier to find. In any case, the loons look calm and heathy, displaying no great sense of urgency as they go about their day. ~B
Trout lilies, blooming now at a wild place near you!
Photo by Betsy George
JOCASSEE WILD OUTDOOR EDUCATION
Wednesday, February 12
FREE for anyone interested in becoming AAS certified. Call 864-280-5502 for details and time.
DID YOU KNOW?
A single grain of rock found in a South African diamond has been revealed as a new species of mineral which contains a couple of very rare elements. It is believed to have been formed around 105 miles below Earth's surface, and has been given the name goldschmidtite in honor of famous 19th century mineralogist Victor Moritz Goldschmidt.
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.