Saturday, December 28, 2013

Another Christmas Come and Gone

It has been a busy time trying to make all the Christmas family gatherings and a New Year is looked forward to.  Since last post we have been able to work some hunting in and arrangements are being made to reforest the area in 2014 where we completed the harvest cut.

This was one of the strangest things I have ever seen at sunrise over Dewberry Lands. It was cloudy except for the horizon on the eastern sky.  The sun came up shining under the clouds and at the same time there was light rain in the area.  The sun and the light rain made a rainbow that was vertical like none I had ever seen before and never a sunrise rainbow.

Just before dark my grandson and I came out of the woods from hunting on the property where we had timber cut, James found a stump cut off up high and he had to climb up on it.  He wanted his picture made.  He was a forest statue.
On another day we were hunting and he saw a spike coming out in the field where we were sitting in a stand. He pointed out the deer to me as came out in the field.  It kept coming until it was with in ten steps of us.  This was the closest a deer had been to him out in the wild.  I was able to get a picture of it as it came to us.
Nathan got his second buck Christmas Eve.  This was his second eight pointer, so for the remainder of the season he will have to be very selective of the last one he can harvest. There is a three buck limit in Alabama.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wood For Buildings

Below is a link to a video about wood.  It was sent to me from the American Forestry Foundation and I wanted to share it so others could see it.  This is a really good video about how wood makes a building more appealing.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas On Dewberry Lands

We went out on Saturday before the Auburn/Alabama game and looked for a Christmas Tree.  All four of the Grands (ages 7,5,3,and 2) were with us and they were so excited about finding a tree. 
You can see the excitement on their faces as I started cutting down the tree.  It was a cedar that I had been trimming on each year as I would walk past it while hunting or trimming limbs along the road. 
After cutting the tree James went over to the stump to count the growth rings to see how old the tree was.  He said it was eight years old. 
We loaded the tree up on the truck to leave the forest.  James said he was glad we had Dewberry Lands.  He is already developing an appreciation for the forest and you know that really pleases Granddaddy! 
This is what Christmas is all about!  These three little Dewberrys were so excited as they helped their dad decorate the tree that we had gone out and harvested off of our property.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Deer Season Is On

This morning my grandson was able to go hunting with his dad and I.  This is what it is all about!  He was so excited about getting up early and getting in the woods.  Can you tell?.  We sat in a tripod. (Try sharing a tripod with a seven year old.)  It was cold and frosty and you might think we would not see anything but it was just the opposite.  We first saw a doe and a yearling then we watched three coyotes just off our property and not able to shoot them.  We then watched ten turkeys fly down and feed in one of our green fields. Later James was with his dad watching for deer.  We then saw five deer as we rode back home.  We saw 14 deer 20 turkeys, and three coyotes.  James had a blast and is already asking when he can go again.

Two days earlier, Thanksgiving morning, it was cold. 16 degrees.  I wanted to back out but I knew it was a good morning but this cold this early, I am not use to it. 
There was still a good bit of snow on the ground from two days before.  It was like January but such a beautiful morning. 
Nathan got a nice eight pointer that morning that was in the longleaf pines.  The deer weighed 185 pounds. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

25 Years Ago

Twenty-five years ago on my first trip to Kansas City, Missouri and my first FFA Convention I was leading FFA members as their advisor.  It was all new to me.  We had won the State Forestry contest and one of the team members had won the state and regional FFA Forestry Proficiency Award.  He was one of the seniors on the team along with another senior and two freshmen and he had to decide whether to remain on the team or compete in his individual award area.  Only three could compete nationally at that time.  I encouraged him to try to win the Forestry Proficiency Award because of all the hard work he had completed on his property and that is what he did.  He won the National Award in Forest Management and was able to tour Europe as part of his award.
At the same time as he was going through interviews the team was competing against 42 other states.  These young men had worked hard preparing from June to November for the contest reading and studying everything they could about forestry.  Their work paid off for them!  They also won the National FFA Forestry Contest, a first for Alabama.  This was such an honor for me and a great learning experience!     

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Smokey the Bear

Last week I worked with our Clay County Forestry Planning Committee at Heritage Day.  We had a special guest that was a big hit with the children, it was Smokey the Bear. Smokey you did a great job!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Leaves are Changing on Dewberry Lands

The leaves have really changed this week, it seems like over night.  They are beautiful!
I think the big frost we had Saturday morning contributed to this.  the picture below is of that frost. 

Fawns Losing Their Spots
We had twins out behind the house Monday morning.  Their mom is the doe with the white spot on its back.  This was the first time they had been out with her.  One of the twins allowed me to take its picture.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Touch of a Pieball

This deer appeared about two weeks ago in our back yard.  We had never seen her before, being able to identify her by the white spot on her back and a smaller spot about the size of a silver dollar on the top of her tail.  This weekend we got a picture of her across the road at our lake on the game camera but she had twins with her.  This morning they were with her in the back yard.  Another doe at the same spot of the game camera had one fawn with her.  It was good to see these fawns because we have a large coyote population that is nearly impossible to control because of all the woods and only small openings.

Good News

This was great news from the American Forest Foundation in the form of an Email I received this weekend.

Dear Lamar,

There’s nothing better than starting the weekend off with good news, especially when it’s good news about an issue that we’ve all been working on for years.

Today, we received the news that wood products, including products from American Tree Farm System certified lands, will be given a fair shot by one of the largest builders in the federal government—the General Services Administration. After much education and outreach from the AFF network, our industry partners, governors, Members of Congress, and others, the GSA has decided to recognize both the Green Globes rating system and the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system (LEED) as viable green building rating systems for the federal government.

GSA has for a number of years recognized only LEED, which historically discourages the use of wood, especially wood from ATFS certified forests.  While this decision does not change our concerns with LEED, it means that GSA, and potentially other federal agencies who follow GSA’s lead, can now choose not to use LEED.

With this change, we now have an opportunity to get the federal government to use more wood in their buildings, and to use wood from ATFS certified forests.

Thank you for all your support over the years on this issue—it truly demonstrates what can happen when we all engage on critical issues.

Tom Martin
President and CEO
American Forest Foundation

Monday, October 21, 2013


My last post started with a picture of the area we were about to harvest.  It is now in progress.  Below is some of the pictures from the harvest.

We have produced some fine wood since our thinning of this tract.  This is to become GP plywood.

One day last week we attended the North Alabama Forestry Field Day in Cleburne County.  It was a wet day but we needed it for fall plantings if food plots. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

"A Walk in the Forest", Two Meanings

A tract of timber at McCollum ready to be harvested.  Next week the cutting is to start. 
I remarked the SMZ'z (streamside management zones) on the tract.  I don't allow any cutting in these areas for the protection of the water and wildlife corridors.  The harvest is better when no trees are harvested from these sites. 
This was a wonderful walk on the property all by myself.  It was cool and I made some pictures of interesting places on the property before the harvest.  There are probably 30 to 50 of these rock piles on the hillside.  These rock were not stacked from clearing a field, but I have no clue of their purpose?

Another Walk That Week
A doe and her fawn early Wednesday morning after we had stayed at the lodge was watching Felicia and I as we got everything ready for the Women's "Walk in The Forest". 
It was a most beautiful day for the women to have their walk.  The walk was on the railroad track bed which was built over 100 years ago. 
This was a project of Felicia's.  She knows the blessings we have and wants to share with others.  She wrote and was awarded a grant from Alabama Forest Forever Foundation to have this "Walk in The Forest" promoted by the American Forestry Foundation and Society of American Foresters".  A van was rented and the transportation was easy for the tour to the site.  Felicia gave a short talk before the walk which included a section on tree identification.
Nick Jordan with the Alabama Forestry Commission spoke briefly on what the commission does.  The Clay County Forestry Planning Committee also helped with the event.
There were 22 at the meeting with Mattie, our granddaughter, being the youngest. She had a great time as always when she is outside and offered thanks at the luncheon in the lodge. 
Sherri Rollins, District Director with Congressman Rogers office, spoke during lunch after the walk about her work in the Congressman's office.  Everyone seemed to have a great day.  We are still having wonderful comments  from participants about the day.  It was well worth the time and effort in putting on the event.
Oh! Mrs. Wilma Miller won the Tree ID contest.  She was my fifth grade teacher.  She had a great influence on me and that is one of the reasons I am who I am today.

Other Happenings 
The saw-toothed acorns are dropping and the wildlife are enjoying them.
Deer tracks and acorn hulls, that is all that is left on the ground under these trees.  They love these acorns and so do the turkeys.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Family and Friends

First, I have added six new wildflower pictures.....

It has been nice having my son back home.  He has been so much help: bush hogging, plowing, planting fall food plots, filling feeders, tearing out beaver dams that are backing up water on roads (see picture below). We are always looking for different types of wildflowers to document  on our property and Nathan knows the names of most. 
He waded through the snakes and who knows what else in that swamp to break the dam.  The beavers will build it back faster than we break it.  We are going to have to declare war on them before they get much worse. 
Nathan's son, my grandson is really growing up fast.  The other day when we were bush hogging and clearing roads James did a great job driving the gator.  Here he is moving the vehicle to the next stop.  He is beginning to be big enough  to help.

Alabama Treasure Forest 
This past weekend we attended the annual meeting in Ozark, Alabama.  I was elected Sec/Tres. of the association which I hope will be a good thing.  We got to see many good friends and people that have a love of the land as we do.  Mr. Bill Moody received special recognition at the meeting where Treasure Forest was forty years old.  Mr. Moody started the program.
We got to see some nice property: Billy Blackwell's, past president and person responsible for this good conference, and the tour on Saturday was on the Strickland's property. Felicia and I always enjoy seeing how others have been blessed.
We saw a demonstration about controlling wild hogs and a demonstration on baling pine straw.  The person in the green shirt helped out in tying the bale is Wayne Ford, a Clay County boy that I grew up spending a lot of time with.  We see each other quite often at these types of meetings.  I always tell people that know both of us that we grew up in the woods and this is all we know.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Summer Ends, Fall Is Here

It is time to get green fields planted and the remainder of the bush hogging completed.  Fall is such a busy time. 
All four of the grand children getting a lesson in rattle snake anatomy.  They were very observant to me pointing out the fangs.  We skinned the snake out and are going to use the hide in the exhibits at the lodge.
Congressman Rogers,  his Agriculture person from Washington DC, and Sherri Rollins his District Director were all at the lodge for a meeting with his local Agricultural Advisory Committee from East Alabama,  The main discussion was the new Farm Bill and hopes of getting it passed.
This picture, made in our backyard last fall, has been named the runner-up in The American Tree Farm Photography Contest 2013.  The winner was from Michigan, it was a great picture.  Go to the American Tree Farm Facebook page to see the winners.  This was the email wordage.


Congratulations!!!  Your photo, Steam in Forest, was selected as the Category 1 runner-up of the 2013 Tree Farm Photo Contest, Sponsored by STIHL, Inc.

Be on the look-out for your photo on our website, our Facebook page, and in future ATFS publications.  Also, keep your eyes on your mailbox for a $250 STIHL product certificate, which should arrive in the next 4-6 weeks.

Thank you again for participating in this year’s photo contest, and congratulations!


Sara E. Anrrich
Operations Manager, American Tree Farm System
1111 Nineteenth Street NW, Suite 780
Washington, DC 20036 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Road Kill:(

We lost one of our young bucks last night to Highway 48.  He was in good shape but he was wasted to some vehicle.  I always hate to see this.  His rack was still in full velvet and he was going to be a 6 pointer.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Heritage of the Land

Last week my grandson James helped me place grave markers on James Dewberry and Jane Graben Dewberry's graves.  They are my grandsons' great, great, great, great grandfather and grandmothers. James is a family name that goes way back.  They worked and took care of the land and now we get our turn in this  thing called time. 
James and his little sister Eden had a fun time learning about where they came from.  It was a rainy day but we got it done and had fun doing it. They have many other ancestors in this resting place. 

Nathan helped me with bush hogging roads and firelanes.  It takes several days to complete but it was good to have him helping me.  He is young and can do much more than I.

Taking care of the land.  Here engineers are laying out a stream crossing in our forest to help keep the water clean for the drinking water.  We hope to complete this project in the near future. I warned the workers to watch for our many rattlers on the property. 
This one got in the way while we were bush hogging.  We skinned it out and plan on adding its skin to our exhibits in the lodge.