Call it a harbinger of spring

Spring arrives officially March 20, but a few days before you can count on an appearance of the rare and beautiful flower Oconee Bell. Within the borders of the state’s Devil’s Fork State Park lives a large community of the lovely, reclusive flowering plants. Everyone has a special invitation to have a look at the Bells March 16 during the first Devil’s Fork State Park Bellfest. On that Saturday, from 10 to 4, there will be guided wildflower walk tours, music, guided boat tours of Lake Jocassee, songbird tours, book signings, and food. A silent auction is planned—all to help raise money for the park, which claims the title for the region’s most-visited state park and the host site for Lake Jocassee. The day is being planned by Friends of Jocassee, which raises money for materials and facilities that enhance recreation on and around the lake.  Admission to Bellfest is free of charge.  Admission to the park is $2, which is the regular daily rate.