Buckner Brothers, 4th of July, Aska Rocks, Kestrels

We’re back to more seasonal temperatures, which is a relief.

The Buckner Brothers, my favorite local band, is playing in the Downtown Blue Ridge park from noon until 2:00 pm on the Fourth. They’re blues, soul, and some classic rock covers. They do Van Morrison particularly well, and if Carle Vickers, their reed player, is along, I’ll be in “hear every note” mode.

The fireworks in downtown McCaysville/Copperhill are scheduled for July 3.

The traditional celebration in Epworth starts with a Pancake Breakfast from 8:00-10:30 am at the Old Epworth Elementary School, with activities continuing until 2:00 pm.

The parade in downtown Blue Ridge begins at 10:00 am, as does barbecue at the marina. Music starts at 4:00 pm at the marina, and fireworks are at dusk. In my opinion, the best place to watch is Morganton Point, but you need to be there early. Bring lawn chairs and snacks.

The “Lady on the Rocks,” as she styled herself, has lost the court case over possession of the Aska Rocks, also known as the Aska Rapids. This is out Aska Road, shortly after the road comes down to the river. When the river takes a sharp bend, that’s the spot. This is good news for swimmers, canoe people, and kayakers, as this is a favorite take out point. I suppose you could also access the lake from there, as long as you knew where you were going to take out. It may be unfair to the lady, but it’s a fact that Fannin County needs more public access to the river. By the way, there’s a pretty serious drop in the river channel there, depending on the strength of the stream flow. It isn’t all that high, but I wouldn’t want to go over it without a helmet and a life jacket, as the current has a tendency to take you toward the rock wall, fast. I’ve seen canoes caught in the suck below the drop.

There’s an interesting article on Kestrels, which were once called “sparrow hawks” because their markings resemble a sparrow’s. It is estimated that they have declined 80% in the past fifty years, due primarily to the loss of nesting cavities. The largest breeding population is along some power lines owned by Georgia Power between Tifton and Albany, where they favored the hollow cross arms installed some time ago. These are being replaced, but Georgia Power has been setting nest boxes to compensate, with the result that the breeding population has increased along this line some 17% annually, to 302 nesting pairs.


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