INTERESTING DOINGS...

We used to have a lot of scarlet tanagers around here, but you don't see near as many as you used to.
 
Thread starter #323

oldguy

Senior Member
We used to have a lot of scarlet tanagers around here, but you don't see near as many as you used to.
My wife and I took a ride about Saturday over some country we used to frequent. Lots of places we didn't recognize. What had been woods was now cleared for a pivot. What had been a field was now in pecan trees. That's the stuff we see and know it has some impact on wildlife here in USA. My brother lives in Guatamala (big birder) and recently was bemoaning changes to habitat down there and the effect on local and migratory bird populations. Anti hunters "worry" about habitat management for game animals and its effect on non-game critters. Fact is something gains and something looses no matter what you do or don't do. Have seen those pictures of what the NC mountains looked like back in the day around the Biltmore House. Scary! I'll sure take what we got now!
 
My wife and I took a ride about Saturday over some country we used to frequent. Lots of places we didn't recognize. What had been woods was now cleared for a pivot. What had been a field was now in pecan trees. That's the stuff we see and know it has some impact on wildlife here in USA. My brother lives in Guatamala (big birder) and recently was bemoaning changes to habitat down there and the effect on local and migratory bird populations. Anti hunters "worry" about habitat management for game animals and its effect on non-game critters. Fact is something gains and something looses no matter what you do or don't do. Have seen those pictures of what the NC mountains looked like back in the day around the Biltmore House. Scary! I'll sure take what we got now!
Yeah, it's a wonder there's anything left here after the big corporate loggers came through in the early 1900s. They cleared half the mountains from top to bottom, burned hundreds of thousands of acres with uncontrolled fires, silted and poisoned the creeks, and left the bare ground there to erode.
 
Thread starter #325

oldguy

Senior Member
Yeah, it's a wonder there's anything left here after the big corporate loggers came through in the early 1900s. They cleared half the mountains from top to bottom, burned hundreds of thousands of acres with uncontrolled fires, silted and poisoned the creeks, and left the bare ground there to erode.
Were the chestnut trees already gone by then?
Have you ever seen any pictures of the original old growth lonleaf pine forest?
There's a plantation in Thomas County (GA) that has a remnant but managed old growth LL stand. Riding through there with the noted LL pine "ecological forester" Leon Neal (RIP) I asked how old are some of these trees? He replied 400! 400 year old trees!!
 
Were the chestnut trees already gone by then?
Have you ever seen any pictures of the original old growth lonleaf pine forest?
There's a plantation in Thomas County (GA) that has a remnant but managed old growth LL stand. Riding through there with the noted LL pine "ecological forester" Leon Neal (RIP) I asked how old are some of these trees? He replied 400! 400 year old trees!!
They cut a lot of the chestnuts, but the blight didn't hit hard here until the 20s and 30s. I have a wardrobe that my grandpa made from a dead chestnut he cut on the farm that I use as a pantry. The doors are single chestnut boards.

Yeah, I've seen a lot of pics of old-growth longleaf. I'd love to visit one of the remnants. One of the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth.

So much has been lost in the last couple centuries. The remaining pockets of old-growth hardwoods and pines here in the Smokies are amazing. And it's heartbreaking to see all the giant old hemlocks die from another introduced disease. Seems we never learn.
 

Nicodemus

FREELANCE ADMINISTRATOR
Staff member
In the last two or three days, I`ve noticed a pair of great crested flycatchers around one of my old bluebird boxes that has been used by the birds in the past. There`ll be a piece of shed snakeskin in it again probably. Chimney swifts are back too, along with the kingbirds. A pair of crows and red shouldered hawks both have nests within a couple hundred yards of my barn.

Fixing to go see if the creek has dropped out enough for me to get to a particular ridge where the turkeys like to roost.
 
Thread starter #329

oldguy

Senior Member
In the last two or three days, I`ve noticed a pair of great crested flycatchers around one of my old bluebird boxes that has been used by the birds in the past. There`ll be a piece of shed snakeskin in it again probably. Chimney swifts are back too, along with the kingbirds. A pair of crows and red shouldered hawks both have nests within a couple hundred yards of my barn.

Fixing to go see if the creek has dropped out enough for me to get to a particular ridge where the turkeys like to roost.
Crested flycatchers are funny in the confines of a bb box and they like that snake skin in their nests don't they?
What did you find at the creek?
 
Creek should be on the rise again after last night a little over 6 inches in the last week 5 last week and 1.5 last night. Turned out to be a pretty spring so far I think them 90's are right around the corner.
 
Thread starter #331

oldguy

Senior Member
Interesting last couple of days. Yesterday was snake day. Started off removing another copperhead from the vicinity of the yard. Later in the morning rescued a solid black hog nose out of the road. He showed his appreciation by covering my hand with musk. That used to smell like money huh Nick? Later on saw a black racer that I was too late to save - still writhing after an encounter with a tire.
This morning had a flock of bob-o-links fly across the road. Only second time in my life I've seen 'em. Got out of the truck to set some beaver traps for a farmer and was greeted by by a hearty "BOB - WHITE!". Then saw him fly. There were at least three calling. Place is managed for quail.
Borrowed a hog trap and set it. Let the killing begin! Might be some BBQ in the future...
 

trents99

Senior Member
Copperheads seem to be in the move. Working on the fence yesterday and nearly stepped on a 2 footer that was flattened out with its head in the air.

Shook me pretty good because it was sitting right next to the pile of pickets I had been working from for an hour and if I hadn't looked down my next step was its back.
 
Thread starter #333

oldguy

Senior Member
BIG female beaver in one Conibear yesterday. Down payment on a trip to the landowner's pond! No pigs in the trap. No pigs are good pigs. Got a bunch of bucks with knobs on their heads but there's one guy with beams long as his ears and starting to branch!
 
Hummingbirds showed up here yesterday morning. It was 35* when I got up, but it warmed up quick. My red buckeyes are blooming, and a pair of hummers were wearing them out.
 
Thread starter #335

oldguy

Senior Member
35! Yikes! 60 here. Our red buckeyes bloom way too early for the hummingbirds to enjoy. They got here in time to enjoy the coral honeysuckle. Now it's red salvia, society garlic, and sugar water time!
 
35! Yikes! 60 here. Our red buckeyes bloom way too early for the hummingbirds to enjoy. They got here in time to enjoy the coral honeysuckle. Now it's red salvia, society garlic, and sugar water time!
Most of our trees aren't leaved out completely yet. Just starting to turn green.
 

fishfryer

still frying fish driveler
Here's the setup. Tailgate on truck down for working surface,flat of vegetable plants on it, in sun. There's a milk jug half full of water and a recycled French's mustard squeeze bottle for watering plants. As I am pouring water from milk jug into mustard bottle,I notice a spider about as big as a tomato seed has overnight built a few strands of web in mouth of milk jug. I continue to pour water in French's watering bottle as spider is completely under water,I fill squeeze bottle and look at spider,he's just fine. He made motions like he was looking for a towel,and starting inspecting his web. Spider now clean and plants watered.
 
Thread starter #340

oldguy

Senior Member
Turning into a snakey Spring. Rescued a big, close to 4 feet, gray rat snake out of a road yesterday. Today while wandering around at our place in Terrell County looked down just in time to avoid as pretty a canebreak as you'll ever see! Freshly shed and purt near 4 feet herself. Tail end near me head pointing away. 9 rattles and a button. She went her way and I went mine. When I returned to the truck I found a very strange "gift". Laying stone cold dead on the tool box was male indigo bunting! I guess he was flying along and collied with the rear window. Don't know if you've ever held one in your hand but man that's one pretty little jewel! When you see 'em fly up by the road you see that familiar flash of blue but what you don't see is iradescent green on their back. And tiny! I had no idea they were so small.
 
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