Change of the Season!

Last weekend, we went to the Indian Summer Festival in Suches to help out at the Save Georgia’s Hemlocks booth. Far from being Indian Summer, it was bone-rattling cold. We had 42 on the porch, but it was around 34 in Suches, and there was a killer wind. Sunday was even colder, but the wind had mostly subsided, so it felt warmer.

Even before this brief cold snap, there was a feeling that the year had turned and we were definitely headed into fall. For the past few days, the tree frogs have been outsinging the katydids, and we’ve heard many more females signaling that they are ready to mate than earlier in the summer. At this point, we’re beginning to see expired katydids fetch up on the walkways and open areas around the cabin. It’s always a bit sad for me, because I love those little fellows, and when their season winds down, it always brings home to me that winter is coming.

I’m still not seeing a great deal of color in the woods, but I imagine that this past weekend gave the leaf color a nice start.

By the way, Save Georgia’s Hemlocks is doing a great job of helping the public deal with the wooly adelgid epidemic that is threatening to kill every hemlock in the southeast. (In the beginning, it manifests itself as a white substance that appears on the branches, almost like you’ve sprayed some artificial snow on your Christmas tree.) It’s the only organization of its kind nationally that is dedicated to hemlock preservation. In addition to directly treating stands of hemlocks, they provide individualized advice to homeowners on treatment options, and their advice is authoritative. All I can say is that it’s a lot cheaper to treat them than to cut them down, and it helps preserve the value of your property. I have only one hemlock on my property, and it’s been treated and is doing fine after a rather bad infestation. If you have hemlocks or want to educate yourself on this threat to our mountains and streams, visit their website:

This was my first visit to the Indian Summer Festival. It’s held at the Woody Gap School, which was built by the community and opened in 1940. The entire festival is a benefit for the school, which is the smallest school in Georgia. (Adult admission was $4.) The old part of the school is a beautiful structure of local stone, but the festival is held in the new cafeteria (the pie sale and silent quilt auction) and on the field along the creek that sits behind the school. The biggest selling menu item was the barbecue plate, and there were quite a number of crafts booths and people selling mountain furnishings. There was also an auction and a number of musical events on the stage. The fire department was selling $1 chances on a Ruger 10/22 across the street. I think it would have been more fun if it hadn’t have been so cold, but it was very well attended despite the cold. (The Save Georgia’s Hemlock booth attracted about ninety visitors.) At this time of year, there’s almost too much to choose from, but I’m glad I finally made it to this event.

I imagine there was a run on the wood yards with that cold snap, so it’s time to check to woodpile. It’s best if it seasons as long as possible before going into the fireplace, so it’s high time to get some in if you need it.

Next weekend is Fall Arts in the Park, formerly the Wildlife Arts Festival. See my previous post for a full fall festival rundown.

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