The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the preliminary unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia area declined to 9.4 percent in August, down three-tenths of a percentage point from 9.7 percent in July. The rate was 10.4 percent in August 2011.
The rate decreased because there were 2,974 fewer layoffs in manufacturing, construction, trade, transportation and warehousing, professional and technical services, administrative and support services, educational services, and accommodations and food services. Also, the area’s labor force declined by 2,740, partially because some students left summer jobs to return to school.
Plants of the Southeast
By John Nelson, curator of the A. C. Moore University of South Carolina
“[Annie]'d go out in the evening and pick a mess of it...
Carry it home and cook it for supper,
'Cause that's about all they had to eat.”
---lyrics by Tony Joe White
Of course, Annie would only collect : “Pokeweed,” (Phytolacca americana) in the spring, as the plants were just coming up. The young, tender leaves, boiled, have been used for a long time as a pot-herb (love that term!!), which means that cooking is involved--in this case, a lot of cooking, as they must NEVER be eaten raw. Pokeweed parts tend to be poisonous, especially late in the growing season, as in now.
What an odd native American it is! Nearly all of its relatives are tropical, in both South America and in Africa. Some even attain “big tree” size. Our plant, though, is definitely an herb, a perennial, coming back year after year (if given the opportunity) from massive root-crowns. Pokeweed grows up quickly, making smooth stems and leaves. The stems are rather fragile, hollow and pithy, and easily broken or knocked down. In the summer, flowers are produced on racemes, which appear one at a time opposite a stem leaf. Twenty or thirty flowers will be produced on the raceme.
Fort Mountain State Park, Chatsworth at left. Nearby Amicalola Falls is also considered a top leaf-looking destination.
Every October, Georgia’s forests become a brilliant blanket of red, orange and gold, inspiring leaf peepers to pull out their cameras and lace up their hiking boots. To help track the changing leaves and plan autumn getaways, Georgia’s State Parks will launch Leaf Watch 2012 beginning October 1 at www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/LeafWatch.
Whether hiking, biking or simply driving country roads, travelers can check Leaf Watch 2012 for advice on where and when to find the best color in Georgia’s state parks. They can read updates from park rangers, get safety tips for hiking, and browse event calendars. Last-minute availability for cabins, yurts, campsites and lodge rooms in the state parks will also be posted.