Day 215, Year 6 Forest Walks
Date: Friday, May 27, 2011
Weather: Heavy Rain Overnight, Clearing During the Day
Location: “Down the Road” Cabin near Blue Ridge, Georgia

During the night we got another heavy down pour, but by morning the rain had ended. We spent a laid-back morning watching the hummingbirds land on the feeders hanging on the deck. The feeders were there when we arrived, but we didn’t add the food until after our trip to town yesterday. Now the hummingbirds are loving it! Mark, Lee, and Mary Ellen drove to the closest little country store to get some milk and salt that we forgot to buy on our town trip yesterday and I stayed home working on photos. When they returned, we had lunch and then headed out for an afternoon of hiking. We drove to Lake Blue Ridge. This is a very large lake formed by a dam and there are upscale homes surrounding it in a development called Necowa Cove. The lake had to be drained last year so the TWA could do work on the dam and it is only partially filled at this time. I’m sure the homeowners were not happy about that, but it is now on its way back to normal. We then walked took a trail for two miles on what is called the Long Branch Loop Trail. It is an old logging road and was an easy, but beautiful hike through the woods. We enjoyed trying to identify the different kinds of trees-poplar, oak, maple, elm, ash, pine, fir-and much more. The poplar has a really beautiful blossom which has almost run its course, but I found one on the ground to admire. Then we drove to another location where we walked to the Fall Branch Falls. The falls cascaded down one rock outcrop and then down to a second one where the water plunged about 30 feet into a pool. And when we got back to the parking area we saw the most interesting sight. There was a very large tiger swallowtail butterfly just sitting in the dirt with her wings spread out and surrounding her were many tiny blue butterflies with the wings in the upright position. At first I thought they were pointy stones, but then one flew away. So I think you can tell that we are really enjoying getting reacquainted with nature in the mountains. Years ago we lived in southern West Virginia and the trees and plants here are very similar. After admiring the flora and fauna from around the world it is really exciting to now try and do the same here at home.

All of our walks are in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Tomorrow we were going to the big craft fair in Blue Ridge, but we have changed out minds and are going to drive a little south to see the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi. On Sunday morning, we’ll head into Blue Ridge so Lee and Mary Ellen and can go to church. While they do that, Mark and I might check out the craft fair and then we might drive a bit to the east to Brasstown Bald to the highest spot in Georgia. But I know that whatever we do, we’ll enjoy it.

110527 Day 215 North Georgia–Forest Walks