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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!
Please allow me to make one thing perfectly clear: there are no “bad” days on Lake Jocassee. There can be days when rain keeps every boat off the water, but that is a day of rest for Jocassee. There can be days when the cold bites, but then, so do the trout, so the fisherman comes in with bragging rights. There can be beautiful blue-sky days that turn dark in a matter of minutes, when the full thunderous power of the heavens humble us under a torrent of light and sound, but, as if the heavens ask forgiveness for our terror, a rainbow often follows. There are days when only a few feet separate lake surface from a ceiling so low you can almost touch it, can certainly feel its moisture, and the tops of mountains disappear into the gray blanket of cloud. And there, in the distance, we witness nature’s ballet, a water dance, performed by a troupe of diminutive waterbirds called horned grebes. These are days in which the heart swells with the wonder of good fortune, to be in this place, at this time. ~K
Walk or drive through a forest filled with dazzling trees and wonderful displays. Don't forget to peek into Santa's workshop on your way out to get some hot cocoa or coffee (Check with park office for workshop hours). Thursday thru Sunday each week.
Enjoy traditional Blue Grass music as local musicians gather at Table Rock to keep this inspirational talent alive. Visitors are invited to bring their acoustic instruments and join in a jam session or simply sit back to enjoy the music with the lake and mountains as a beautiful backdrop.
Learn about fungal ecology and life cycles, see our lab, and the fruiting room. Many aspects of mushrooms, including medicinal properties, cooking, and myco-remediation to soil creation will be discussed along the way!
“Is that a bear? It is! It’s a little bear!” I whispered in delight to the folks on my boat.
On this chilly 1st day of December, we were cruising along the shoreline admiring osprey, gulls, grebes, and loons. We stopped at waterfalls taking time to pause, breathe, and listen. My wonderful new Pennsylvania friends took videos so they could take home a part of the sounds of Jocassee: waterfalls, birds and leaves clapping in the breeze. And of course, the sight of the blue sky and bright sun to reflect on and warm their hearts as winter sets in! Before we headed back to the dock, I wanted to take my friends to one of my favorite places on the lake -- a place where I feel like I am getting a good long hug from the mountains -- a place where I feel like I am waltzing in my husband’s arms as the narrow section of Howard Creek winds to the left and right and left again. As I am falling in love again with Howard Creek, that’s where I saw the little bear standing on the shoreline. With confidence in her journey, she jumped in the cold water and crossed in front of us, looking back at us as if saying “are you coming? Jump in and join me!” There is so much to explore, see and feel in these mountains. I wanted to jump in with a resounding “YES!” Thanks, lil’ bear, for the inspiration! ~Kerry McKenzie, JLT guide
“Life is a journey to be experienced not a problem to be solved” ~ Winnie the Pooh
Horned grebes, like Common loons, are a species of bird which breed in the far northern reaches of North America, and, like loons, are better known for spending winters along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts than on inland reservoirs. Though they are reported to rarely fly in winter, they are often seen doing so on Lake Jocassee, where they run across the water (performing their “water dance”) before taking a short, low flight across the water.
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.