Don't forget Saturday's Cranberry Festival and BBC Quarry Bog Bird Watch Birders from throughout the region will gather Saturday (Oct 9) starting at 8:30 a.m. to survey the birds and keep a birding vigil for both rare birds and everyday birders as part of the 19th Annual Shady Valley Cranberry Festival. Come loaf and bird with us in one of Tennessee's most 15 important biological areas, This event has been very popular with birders for many years. The BBC Quarry Bog Watch was held annually through October 2005. But this year the event returns with great expectations for birding and fellowship. The crossroads silo in Shady Valley, TN was given a fresh coat of paint and the festival's new logo was painted this week by a crew of inmates from the Northeast Correctional Complex's community service program of the Tennessee Department of Corrections. The people of Shady Valley are working hard since the festival actually began tonight. The Shady Valley Cranberry Festival has been termed "The Best Little Festival in Tennessee." Rick Knight, Jacki Hinshaw, Carolyn Coffey and Wallace Coffey will lead birding walks and host birders for other outing activities. It was tremendous fun in previous years. The birding has been good and the fellowship fabulous. In October the bog produces Le Conte's Sparrow, Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, and Swamp Sparrow. You can also search for the Virginia Rail which breeds there. Quarry Bog offers a chance to see a flock of Bobolinks, American Bittern, Sora, Sedge Wren, Marsh Wren, Savannah Sparrow and Henslow's Sparrow. All have been found in Quarry Bog. Meanwhile, old apple trees planted in 1917 in the Logan Woods orchard at 3200ft. elevation on Buck Ridge Branch, high on the mountain, have a number of trees bearing gorgeous red fruit. A few remaining golden delicious varieties are dangling like yellow jewels since they have peaked about three weeks ago and are mostly gone. This is one of the sites from which the commercial products of Bonson brand apple juices, Bonson apple ciders and such were harvest by H. L. Bonham, by his Bonham Bros. Orchards and Farms, headquartered at Chilhowie, VA. At left is an old orchard, packinghouse and cannery from about 1950. The Shady orchards ceased to operate about 1960. Bring your folding chairs, sun screens, waterproof boots, sandwiches or cookies or cake, cold drinks, hot coffee or whatever you need to fully enjoy the bog watch with birders. The reason we loaf and sit in folding chairs is to enjoy the dramatic mountain scenery as well as the wonderful birders who visit together. And don't forget the charming, tiny, rural parade which has been ushered through the valley along the main highways by the Johnson County High School Marching Band. Bluegrass music, good foods and such will be available all on the Shady Valley Elementary School grounds. Inside, there has long been walls of hallways and such which were built in the 1930's from wormy chestnut. The American Chestnut tree is virtually gone from the forests. Remember, the parade starts at 10 a.m. so plan your route. Come early from Tennessee and come thru Damascus from Virginia. See ya there.