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Saluda News & Notations: When webworms take over the trees


“Walk through life 
Beautiful more than anything 
Stand in the sunlight 
Walk through life 
Love all the things 
That make you strong, 
be lovers, be anything 
For all the people of 

~ Amiri Baraka, excerpt from “Answers in Progress”  

Here it is September again, and as usual I’m wondering where summer went, swooping by in a blur. Spider webs drape lace dream-catchers over branches — and of course every day I stumble face first into one, a bigger catch than the spider planned on! Not only are spider webs in record numbers, foretelling fall and school buses, webworms have infested every other tree it looks like. I remember my dad taking a propane torch carefully to webs in tree branches to get rid of the pests.  

Again, it’s been a record year for the kudzu monster—for a while I thought it had eaten Highway 176 from Saluda to Tryon — and from the morning walks with River, a good year for acorns. Old-timers like Hugh Morgan would have something to say about the large numbers of webworms, spiders, acorns, and such, predicting early or hard winters and adding in some homespun tales.  

Most of us now depend on the weatherman and cell phone to tell us what’s coming. Me, I just walk peaceably along with River, watching dream-catchers drift, acorns and squirrels, ground hogs plump and watchful in the summer grass, orange jewelweed, webworms stirring to life within cottony tents, plaintive jays calling overhead. Quietness brushes along ever-shortening evenings, another day in a small town named Saluda.  

~ ~ ~ 

Saluda Tailgate Market is open on Fridays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the city parking lot off Main Street. 

Saluda Welcome Table is every Tuesday. Dinner is served from 5:30-6:45 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Saluda United Methodist Church. All are welcome; donations accepted.  

Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) has “Walks in the Woods” on the first  and third Sundays each month. On Sept. 3, there’ll be an open swim day at Twin Lakes from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Bring a picnic and enjoy swimming and hiking, along with a guided walk on the trails at 2:15. Please leave Fido and Rover home. On Sept. 17, the hike is at Poinsett Passage; meet at Saluda Library parking lot at 2 p.m. For information on hikes, contact Chuck Hearon at 828-817-0364 or chearon@skyrunner.net. Contact SCLT at 828-749-1560 or visit www.saludasclt.org to learn more about our local land trust.  

Saluda Historic Depot is located at 32 West Main Street and is open Thursday-Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Saluda Train Tales are held on the third Friday each month at 7 p.m. through October. 

Saluda School’s back in session after summer vacation, so use caution on roads – those big yellow dragons are out — and stay off the cell phone and go easy on the gas pedal!  Welcome back to teachers and students. 

The grand finale Top of the Grade Concert at McCreery Park is September 1 with Super 60’s, a group that plays a musical retrospective of the 1960’s. Music is from 7-9 p.m.  

 The annual Charlie Ward Memorial Pig Out is September 9, from 5-7 p.m. at  McCreery Park. This event honors the memory of Saluda’s beloved Charlie Ward, who always had a kind word and a whistle as he swept the sidewalk in front of Thompson Store/Ward’s Grill down on Main Street.  

Art Notes: mark your calendars for the annual Art Trek open studio tour on September 30 – Oct. 1 with a gallery show of all participating artists. There will be a preview party/reception from 5-7 p.m. on September 29 at Upstairs Artspace, 49 S. Trade Street, Tryon. 

Garden Notes: Time to plan on dividing perennials, turn compost piles, and keep hummingbird feeders clean and full.  

Happy September Birthday to Wayne Thompson, Courtney Hoots, Merci Weitzen, Dale McEntire, Joni Rauschenbach, Sonya Monts, Linda Kaye Hayes, Carol Kenfield, Debbie Fisher, Leslie Jespersen, Linda Mintz, Sheila Billeter, Cary Pace, Ross Arrington, Hop Foster, Chuck Hearon, Alexia Timberlake, Jason Justus, Beth Carson, Clark Thompson, and Nicholas Edwards. (Nicholas is a Captain with Saluda Fire Department, and his grandmother is proud of him!) Please add your birthday to the list; it’s a promise that no ages will mentioned unless you’re under 2 or over 100! 

 Thank you, dear readers, for reading this column. You can contact me at bbardos@gmail.com, 828-749-1153, or bonniebardosart.com.