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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!
It’s weirdly warm in the first half of the first month of the new decade. A maple sported red blooms this week at the mouth of the Whitewater River, and yard azaleas at the base of the Blue Wall are beginning to pop random flowers. Thick fog forms over cool lake water. And, wait… was that a mosquito? No fair! Something’s going on, even if it is socially unacceptable or politically irresponsible to use “that” phrase. (Shh! Global warming, okay?) The birds know it. The bees know it. Even the leaves on the trees know it, but we humans stick our fingers in our ears, shut our eyes tight, and pretend not to notice a race between rising water and raging wildfire. A pileated woodpecker calls out “It’s okay! It’s okay!” I’m not sure whether to believe her.~K
Warm air over Jocassee
WITH JOCASSEE LAKE TOURS
More scheduled Special Events will be coming soon, but in the meantime, watch for our Pop-up Tours! A Pop-up Tour might mean something extra special is happpening on Lake Jocassee, or it might just be an excuse to get out of the house. Either way, it is a lot of fun! Join us!
Starting at Raven Cliff Falls parking lot; we take a series of trails to the suspension bridge area above the Falls, where we split into two groups for our return trip to the parking lot. Allowing you the choice of a strenuous or very, very strenuous route!
We will hike approximately 1.7 miles to a large group campsite on the river. There will be plenty of space for tents and hammocks. Get out and hike after holidays or come out and learn about backpacking.
This trail was built by the Nature Conservancy and is well maintained. The 560-acre nature preserve is one of the most biologically significant properties in the Southeast. Located where the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains meet the Piedmont.
Waiting for the sun. That’s what I’m doing on this rainy Saturday, but first there will be wind. 40 mph wind gusts are predicted for this afternoon, so I suppose it’s a good day to wait for the sun, well sheltered in our teeny-tiny home by the lake. The sun is scheduled to reappear tomorrow, accompanied by light breezes. It should be a fine day for counting eagles, along with every other bird we see, which we are privileged to do every January with Tim Lee, park naturalist for the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area. It’s a slow and cold crawl along all 90 miles of lakeshore, but oh so worth it. I look forward to it every year. I’ll report in next week with this year’s numbers, and I expect them to be robust! We’ve been seeing lots of eagles for the last month or so. Six hours or so on a perfect winter’s day, waterfalls booming, rivers running wildly, Jocassee winterbirds most everywhere. I’m expecting a pretty dreamy day on the lake. ~B
According to NOAA.gov, the January globally averaged land surface temperature was 2.72°F above the 20th century average of 37.0°F. This was the fourth highest January land global temperature in the 1880–2019 record, trailing behind 2007 (warmest), 2016 (tied second warmest), and 2017 (tied second warmest).
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.