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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!
Lost and Found
The good news is… our stolen car has been found. The bad news is… it was found upside down on the bottom of Lake Jocassee. Oh, and what a spectacle for a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Firetrucks. Ambulances. Highway patrol cars, sheriff cars, and plenty of emergency medical personnel. Police boats, barges… they all came. (And thanks to you all.) Thankfully, the gas and oil we so dreaded spilling into this beautiful lake did not happen. Ironically, the car lay so close to the dock we have boated right over it for the past two months. It emerged slimed with algae, stinking, bream flopping in the floorboard. (We caught and released the fish back to the lake.) Well played, car thief.~K
Sad, but true. Hello and bye bye, little Subaru
WITH JOCASSEE LAKE TOURS
JOCASSEE VALLEY HISTORY TOUR ~ Life Before the Lake w/ Claudia Hembree
Be an extra early riser and take a unique moonlit hike to Bald Knob overlook on Pinnacle Trail. After experiencing the nocturnal aspects of the forest we will enjoy the pre-dawn sky from the outcrop as we anticipate the beauty of a new sunrise.
Grab a drink and let’s wine about history! Jennifer Moss, Assistant Curator at OHM, will showcase the history of Oktoberfest from its beginnings in Germany to how we celebrate it right here in Walhalla, including the town's history and its German founders.
Join FOJ and guest speaker Patrick McMillan for our annual meeting at the World of Energy. Patrick will speak on the Biodiversity of Jocassee. There will be a covered dish potluck picnic at the shelter following the program & business meeting.
The Oconee County Workshop topic will be Make the Connection: Oconee County Trails and Greenways. Speakers will be Ty Houck, Director of Greenways, Natural and Historic Resources for the Greenville County Recreation District, and Brandy Amidon, Mayor of Travelers Rest, and both will talk about the impact of the Swamp Rabbit Trail.
Each October, the hills and hollers around the HMHS&FC in Pickens, South Carolina, come alive with storytellers sharing the weird and wonderful, mountain funnies, memories of yesteryear, and tales of mystical places in Appalachia.
Have you ever wished to go further and deeper into the study of the Jocassee Gorges? This program allows you to do just that. Eight core courses and four elective recreational requirements are available, so study what interests you most, or take all eight core classes and one elective to become a certified Jocassee Naturalist. THE JOCASSEE GORGES INTRODUCTION CLASS IS A REQUIRED PREREQUISITE TO THE PROGRAM.
THIS WEEK ON LAKE JOCASSEE
OCTOBER 14, 2019
WONDER COMING. There are periods of pure wonder on Lake Jocassee, amidst the most wonder-filled place I have ever lived. The next few weeks is such a period. By mid-August, the forest is a solid, ubiquitous dark green, the color of nature at the deepest part of summer, then the slow progression to fall begins. At this point, mid-October, this diversified forest in which we live and work is getting ready to take one’s breath away. You can sense it coming around the bend on the Thompson River. You know the one, the one that make you feel like you’re entering Jurassic Park. At that bend, if the light is just right, every tree is just a little different in color than the one next to it. To the attentive eye, to the subtle observer, it is a palate of soft colors, not brilliant just yet, but oh so lovely and delicate. The explosion of fall is upon us, and yet it begins so quietly.
COLOR REPORT. Well, it’s everywhere, but look specifically at the sourwood trees, the yellow and green dotted poplars, and the red dappled black gums. The maples are started to turn, and the sweet gums too, and the sumac. I could go on and on.
LOON REPORT. Waiting, anxiously.
EAGLE REPORT. We’ve been spotting them every day this week, and it’s not even time for the fall migration of eagles to our shore yet! It should be a good eagle winter.
SWIMMER’S REPORT. Oh yeah, it’s still just right. Our days are numbered, though, for you die hard swimmers out there.~B
Give JLT guides half a chance, and they will have some excellent adventures! Here goes Tricia and Zach...
It didn't take them long to find salamanders...
And bear tracks! Fresh ones, at that...
Zach tries a bear den on for size, and 'bearly' fits.
And then there was a bobcat! Oh my!
Here's another look at that bobcat.
And more salamanders!
DID YOU KNOW?
JLT guides and guests have been counting monarch butterflies during their migration to Michoacan, Mexico this week. We're counting an average of over 50 butterflies per hour!
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.