There’s nothing quite like a nice shady walk through the trees on a warm summer day! Leafy tree canopies conserve moisture, slow the wind, keep the air clean, provide shade from the summer sun and serve as welcoming homes for birds and wildlife. We often take for granted these gentle giants, but trees are amazing! These wonderful natural resources are used to provide a lot more creature comforts than you may realize: trees are used to produce furniture, building materials, paper, medicines, and even chewing gum!
Take a look at our latest Trail Journal entry to learn more about some trees commonly found in the Lake Keowee area, and learn to identify them by their leaves and bark.
» Take a hike along one of The Reserve’s trails marked on our Community Map
Although most of the fall color is gone from the trees, there is still a lot to discover out on the nature trails this time of year. In fact, this time of year is great for bird watching! Since most of the leaves are gone, you will be able to spot our feathered friends much more easily. Don’t know what to look for? Read the latest Trail Journal for photos and information about birds like the Northern Cardinal, Red-bellied Woodpecker, and others you will likely see in the Lake Keowee and Upstate, South Carolina areas.
This year, The Reserve’s Community Foundation is making its bird sightings count by participating in “The Great Backyard Bird Count,” led by the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society.
The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event, February 17-20, which encourages bird watchers of all ages to help survey the birds in their area by identifying and counting them. Bird enthusiasts all across North America will submit their sightings to help create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds!
» Learn more about The Great Backyard Bird Count.
» Post photos of your bird sightings on our Facebook page.
Once every thirteen years…
An unusually noisy little visitor emerges all around Upstate, South Carolina. This spring – sometime in late April/early May – we will witness the emergence of the 13 year Cicadas!
Cicadas in our area can be divided into two groups according to when they occur; those that appear annually ( from the end of June to the middle of October) and those that appear periodically (every 13 or 17 years), from the middle of April to the middle of May. There is also a difference in their appearance. Annual cicadas vary in size from a ¼ of an inch to almost three inches in size. They tend to be black, brown, and green and have a green coloration along their wing margins. The periodical cicadas are generally all black with red eyes and orange wing margins and are generally an inch in length. Periodical and annual cicadas would rarely occur at the same time. Some annual species can begin “calling” or “singing” as early as mid-June here in the Mid-Atlantic, however most species tend to call as individuals and not the famous huge chorus that the periodicals are known for.
We are due for a major emergence this April, with as many as 40,000 Cicadas on a single tree! However, entomologists at Clemson University say that there is no way to accurately predict if a large population will surface; we can only “wait and see.”
» Read my latest Trail Journal entry
» Learn more about the 13 Year Cicadas
Construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway began in 1935. Fifty-two years later in 1987, the Linn Cove Viaduct was completed, opening the entire route—all 469 miles connecting the Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visit the official 75th Anniversary website to plan your next trip along America’s favorite drive!