The native azalea (flame azalea) is in bloom, and we’re seeing lots of wildflowers. The fire pink just appeared on the south face of the mountain, and we’ve seen lots of trillium, sweet betsy, lady slippers, dwarf iris, and showy orchis. (Photos are of trillium, jack-in-the-pulpit, sweet betsy, and dwarf iris.) The warblers continue to come through, including one I can identify without a struggle, the black and white warbler. Our mating pair of peregrines seems to be having a big time, and our indigo bunting appeared for the first time yesterday evening. The dogwoods are still in bloom, although they don’t seem to be having as big a year as they sometimes do. Early indications are that we are going to have another wet summer, which will be the third in a row if it comes to pass.
The Blue Ridge Business Association is having a volunteer cleanup and block party in downtown Blue Ridge on Saturday afternoon, April 25th. The Natti Love Joys, our internationally recognized local reggae band, will perform. The block party is on East Main from 4:00 – 8:00 PM. The volunteer cleanup is from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
The forest service is asking for public comment on their Travel Analysis Process. As quoted in the March 25th Polk County News, JaSal Morris, Cherokee National Forest Supervisor, said: “It is a study of roads that are likely needed and likely not needed based on existing use and characteristics, need for management activities and public access, benefits, environmental risks and resource management decision making. The TAP will identify roads needed for safe and efficient travel and for the protection, management, and use of the national forest. At the same time, the study is an opportunity to identify roads that are likely no longer needed.” This is almost certainly “forest service speak” for “We’re going to close some roads.” Information is available at forest service offices or online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/cherokee, where you can also comment.
I”m told that the play that’s currently at the Blue Ridge Community Theater is especially good. This is the last weekend. It plays today (Thursday) through Saturday at 7:30 PM and Sunday at 2:00 PM. The theater is on the old highway, close to the high school and the Swan Drive-In Theatre. I’ve pasted their write up below.