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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!
Here’s a properly toxic plant. But during all my years as a gardener, I never learned that touching pokeweed with bare hands was hazardous. Ignorance is bliss, unless that ignorance leads one to eat a toxic plant… raw, because someone calls it 'salad'. Any who have lived through ingestion of poke without severe abdominal distress know this is a green you cook, change waters, and cook again. Call it poke salad, and someone in a crowd will always correct this to poke sallet. (Actually a sallet is the helmet of medieval armour.) The beautiful color of the stem extends all the way down the stalk of this herbaceous plant as summer rolls towards autumn. Birds love the dark berries. In this era of “I-didn’t-plant-this-here-so-it-doesn’t-belong” landscaping, people tend to eradicate pokeweed, but if you can find a place to let one grow it will reward you. Just don’t eat it unless you know what you’re doing.~K
We will start out hiking an unmarked back-trail into Oconee State Park to find Hidden Falls – about four miles. Then we will drive a short distance and hike the 1.5-mile trail into Lee Falls to complete our adventure.
Join us this summer as we create our own pollinator plot. We’ll do some plantings at the beginning of summer and will use those plants to learn about biodiversity, soil, plant competition, water, and food production.
Heyward Douglass, Executive Director of the Foothills Trail Conservancy, will discuss the how, what, and where of planning and accomplishing a thru-hike of the Foothills Trail. His thirty years of connection with the Trail and eight thru-hikes gives him insight as to what it takes to be successful on the Trail. Located in Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina, the trail is 77 miles long.
We are seeking people who love interacting with children and educating them about the natural world. In this training, we provide you with the tools you need to educate, inspire, and engage with students visiting the Garden. Our goal is to enrich science and social studies curricula with a hands-on, inquiry-based educational visit to the SCBG.
THIS WEEK ON LAKE JOCASSEE
AUGUST 19, 2019
It’s the calm before the storm on Lake Jocassee this week. The local kids are heading back to school Monday, most of the out-of-town vacationers have headed home, and so it’s mostly down to us local folks now. We’ve lived here ten years, so I guess we can call ourselves local. The park is busy on this cloudless Saturday morning, but not frantic. I had one wake boat try to sink me on my way back from an early morning kayak shuttle, but it didn’t quite succeed. I gave the guy my most intimidating glare, but it didn’t slow him down a bit. No surprises there. One more week of late August calm, then one more crazed summer holiday, then it’s blessed September, the month of hidden summer! Oh, how I love September here. ~B
Poke salad was eaten widely in the South and Southern Appalachians during and after the Civil War and during the Great Depression, when many people had no food on their tables. When cooked, it is similar to spinach in consistency.
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.