Tuesday, December 23, 2014
GOD is so good! He literally showers us with blessings. These trees were planted last Friday and the sun has not been on them but it has been cloudy, rained some about every day and now they are predicting 3-5 inches tonight. That will pack the soil around the roots and they will be better able to take the dry weather when it comes.
This green looks great in the ashes of the prescribed burn. My oldest grandson who is eight, had fun running around on this property and seeing where the trees had been planted. We looked at where the longleaf were planted and also checked on the loblolly planting. I don't know why it surprised me but he knew the names and identified both the longleaf and loblolly seedlings. We talked about how fast trees grow and how one day he would walk through a beautiful, mature longleaf pine forest. We talked about the stand of longleaf pines across the road from these that are eight years old like him and how tall they are already. He learns so fast. He now says he wants to be a wildlife biologist and study wolves.
These are the hardest working people I know! The best I have ever been able to plant in a day was 1000 seedlings and these guys plant around 3000 seedlings per day. This is the closest thing you can get to an "instant forest".
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Monday, November 10, 2014
Back in February of this year I added a post called "Multiple Use Forest". You can look back and see that post here on this site. The results are in from cutting these Sweetgum trees out of the loblolly pines. Fresh, vitamin rich, Shiitake mushrooms.
We inoculated these sticks with the mushroom spores after harvesting them and now we are harvesting Shiitake mushrooms. These will produce for about three to five years.
This is what "Multiple Use" means!
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Yesterday was a busy work day. Abby and Eli(eleven months old) helped me with tree-stands. We moved some and worked to repair others to make them safer. It takes so much time to check 38 stands and get them ready before hunting season. Of the 38 stands, we worked on 6 yesterday and have worked on others earlier and have about 10 more to check and repair.
We did take a walk into the new property we last purchased and looked for a place to put a stand on this 15 acres. The ground was covered in acorns here so we knew a stand must be put up here.
On that walk Eli got to play in the leaves and with sticks as we sat in the woods for a short break. He is so fascinated by this new world he is discovering.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Yesterday, We did a site prep burn to get ready for tree planting this winter. This can be on of the most difficult burns to complete and get good results.
Here you can see the results we got. This is what you try to accomplish, moonscape. This makes planting so much easier.
Go to the link at the bottom of this page (private forest landowner) for information.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
The past few days have been really busy. We were are the Alabama Treasure Forest Association annual meeting at the end of last week and then on Monday we traveled to Moultrie, Georgia, for the Ag Expo and Southeastern Farmer of the Year 25th anniversary. On Thursday night, a board meeting. Friday, we had educational seminars an one of the most interesting was about eagles. Auburn University had the football game eagles for us to see and they shared information with us about eagles.
This foot with its talons were impressive!
This eagle was Nova. I know you have seen him on TV before, flying over the football field or at the Olympics. The eagle care giver told about at the LSU game this year where the eagle was
about to fly, the eagle was looking skyward. The handlers looked up and they saw a Bald Eagle fly over the stadium. They waited for it to leave then released Nova down to the field.
On Saturday, we had an outside tour of part of Auburn University's forest research property. The tour was about forest management.
On Monday we drove to Valdosta, Georgia, to the Southeastern Farmer of the Year 25th Anniversary gathering. We stayed there over night and then the next day drove to Moultrie, for the Ag Expo. That was a mess. It rained bucket fulls so we left early to get back home.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Our outdoor neighbor brought her twins out for the first time this morning. She has been staying close around our house every day for the past month. One day she was about three feet from our garage doors on the concrete drive. She has twins just like she did last year. Last year one was a buck and one was a doe. The buck was hit by a car a few months ago near our front yard. The young doe is staying as close as possible to the older doe and the fawns.
You might ask, how do you know this is the same doe you saw last year? Well it is easy, the doe has about a four inch spot on top of her loin.
As they left they followed the older doe, crossing the road and then the field headed to the pond.
Friday, October 3, 2014
EKUN DUTS KE
I set out to prove the location of the Native American village of Ekundutske. This is how I proved the location of the village.
There are records that claim Ekundutske was a village in what is now Montgomery County located in Alabama. It was said that this was a theory and the exact location of the village was unknown. This publication was in 1920.
How did I get started with this task of locating the village here it being 2014 nearly 100 years after the last known claim to where the village was located? I was looking at an old Alabama Geological map of Clay County in 1926 and saw that a ridge ran through our property that I had never seen named before called Sandutskee Ridge. To me this sounded like a Native American name. I asked a man that I knew who claimed to know the Creek Indian language about this word and he responded that it meant “boundary line” or “dividing line”. He said it should be spelled differently. Immediately, I knew why it was called Ekundutske because I had recently mapped out the watershed on our property dividing the Coosa River and the Tallapoosa River. This was the dividing line the Native Americans had referred to. They used the waterways for travel and this line was important to them. I then started doing research on this village. This is how I found the article about the thought that the village was in Montgomery County.
Ekun was the native language and to the Europeans it sounded in their language like San. That is how it ended up Sandutskee Ridge.
I was visiting with a friend and told him about my findings and he owned property near the railroad track and at this point on the railroad it was called Dutskee. This point is at the highest elevation on the track between Birmingham, Alabama and Manchester, Georgia. My friend responded that he had always wondered why this place was called Dutske.
In 1831, the removal of the Native Americans was taking place ”The Trail of Tears”. There were Congressional Records being recorded about this removal. They listed all the villages with the Heads of Households and how many was in each family as they were rounded up to make this horrible journey to Oklahoma. These records showed that after the village of Ekundutske was recorded that the next village recorded was Hillabee. These people at Ekundutske were probably part of the Hillabee Clan. Many of the recorded names are similar. Because these two villages were recorded back to back made me know the village was here and that a village in Montgomery County would not just get inserted at this point because other villages recorded were also in this area.
I knew where the village of Ekundutske was and now I had to try to prove it. I used the internet that was not available in 1920 but was now at my fingertips. My proof came in the way of a newspaper printed in 1839 and 1840 in Washington D.C. The newspaper was the Washington Globe. The paper had listed the property being given to the people to make this a part of the new America as the Old World was passing away. The paper listed the village name and it gave the section, township and range of this property. And now you guessed it, it was all in Clay County Alabama on the dividing line of the Coosa River and the Tallapoosa River Watershed. The Native American Village of Ekun duts ke has been found!
These people probably fought in Talladega against Andrew Jackson alongside the other Hillabees in 1813 as General Jackson headed to Horseshoe Bend. They were trying to make peace with General Jackson after the Battle of Talladega but General White coming down from Tennessee to meet General Jackson did not get the communication and this village was probably part of the Hillabee Massacre that General White was responsible for. This was a sad day because the Native Americans came out in peace and the soldiers started shooting them down.
Old-timers here in Clay County tell of a place that they used to find cannon balls and this place is located on the dividing line.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
We recently purchased a new vehicle and were even more excited about that purchase when we received a survey about our buying experience. This symbol was on the envelope showing the paper came from SFI certified wood. Wood from certified Tree Farms is designated SFI. It was good to see the company we just purchased the truck from was using this certification because this is the certification of the wood we sell. There are other certifications but most of the certified wood sold in Alabama is SFI. We may have produced the wood for that paper.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
This hornet nest is about 8 feet off the ground. There is an old saying that if the hornets build close to the ground it is going to be a cold winter and vice versa. I have heard of two others at about this height also. Many times I have seen the nest in the tops of tall poplar trees, but not this year.
We shall soon see it this old wives tale is true.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Last week I was continuing my research to prove the location of the Native American Village of
"Ekun Duts Ke" and I found my proof in the Washington Globe newspaper in 1839. Here was what I had been looking for, proof of the true location of the village. Some had said they thought it was in Montgomery County in Alabama but I always thought it was here in Clay County.
The newspaper published the Section, Township and Range of the property as it was deeded to the Europeans that had settled in America. James and Selah are standing right in the middle of Ekun Duts Ke.
This property was part of that description that was in the paper and the Native American description of where they are standing is also true.
The word ekun duts ke means dividing line or border. Where they are standing is the division of the watershed for the Tallapoosa River and the Coosa River which was so important to the first inhabitants of this land.
Get out in the woods! No electronics needed! We had fun out on the property Labor Day putting up our signs. There was plenty of help and excitement with this project.
Eli was proud of his sign but Granddaddy had to hold him up to reach the sign "ELI MOUNTAIN ROAD".
Eden was proud of her sign naming the Railroad Trail after her.
EDEN RAILROAD TRAIL
Mattie's sign is where we cross the stream to get to our property on the east 40.
MATTIE STREAM CROSSING
Selah was all posed with her sign naming a road after her, "SELAH ROAD".
James calls this spot his favorite place on the property. He loved this crossing being named after him.
JAMES BRANCH CROSSING
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Tuesday, we hosted an educational seminar and tour on our property for agency people such as NRCS, Soil and Water District, Alabama Forestry Commission. This was a project about "Forest Roads" and protecting the water shed.
Many groups had a hand in making this happening possible, many individuals work hard to make this day a success. It started at our lodge with the indoor sessions and then when Congressman Mike Rogers came by we actually went to the site where the road work was carried out. Our goal was to give the Congressman a first hand view of forest roads and how forest landowners are working to keep the water shed clear of erosion which has been a hot topic on the national level the past few years. We had 34 to attend the seminar.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
James is holding a heavy rock he got out of the branch that had Spring Lizard eggs under it. We placed it back like it was so the eggs could hatch. We have found lots of eggs in the branch and it is full of Spring Lizards. They say this is a sign of clean water. The majority of the people in Clay County get their water from this stream. On to another story....
Coyote scat. We are having a problem with coyotes on our property. We try to remove all we can but just last week we looked at pictures on our game cameras and one camera had the pictures of three different coyotes. What is the significance of the above picture? The scat has deer fawn hair all in it. They are the number one predator for whitetail deer fawns. We are going to have to up our pressure on these destructive coyotes.
Friday, August 15, 2014
We have plenty for the deer and turkey to eat. The grain sorghum has just started to head out and the sunflowers are all bloomed out.
We have several pictures of fawns and small bucks. We also have pictures of coyotes and a bobcat looking for food too.
Last Friday we were in Huntsville at the Alabama Farmers Federation Commodity Conference. At this conference we were on the forestry tour which covered a wide range of topics and extended into Tennessee. We visited a hardwood sawmill in Skyline, Alabama.
The wood from this mill is used for flooring, pallets, and railroad cross ties. We then traveled to the
University of the South, here only 1500 students attend.
University of the South, here only 1500 students attend.
It is an Episcopalian sponsored college having lots of history. We were able to go into the chapel, here were many historical artifacts. You might ask, what does this have to do with forestry?
This is a picture in the chapel of Gifford Pinchot, he is known as the "Father of Modern Forest Management". He was instrumental in helping establish the forest and forestry program at this school.
We did hear about some of the management they are doing there today but got run to the bus by lightning.
When we left here we returned to Alabama to visit a Treasure Forest. After exiting the bus and getting on the far backside of the property it started to come a downpour. When we got back to the bus there was no need to be in a hurry because we could not get any wetter than we were.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
The brown-top millet is coming along. Nathan and I just added the nitrogen so we are hoping for rain. Thankfully it is in the forecast for this week. The education seminar is scheduled for August 27th so it should look good by then.
The largest of our summer food plots is looking great. In one month they have really produced thanks to all of the rain. The deer are working these and they are getting about 17 to 21% protein. Will this have an effect on the rack sizes next year? Only time will tell.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
We have always wanted the bottoms planted in summer crops and this year we have been able to accomplish that with help from Nathan (son), Jay and Abby (daughter and son-in-law). This is the field I want to hunt this fall and winter.
This field, well fertilized, is planted in soybeans, grain sorghum, and sunflowers. The deer are starting to use it and the bucks are getting protein like they have never before. It is going to be an interesting year seeing if this higher nutritional level will have and effect on the deer herd.
This field at the kudzu patch is about an acre and a half and it is planted in chufa, brown-top millet, sunflowers and some soybeans but the deer have eaten most of the soybeans and sunflowers already. In the background the corn is looking good with all this rain we are having.
Last year was the worst food plots for wildlife we had ever had, this year we are going to have the best!
This has not just happened, it has taken a lot of money, time and good rain fall.
Friday, June 20, 2014
We have the forest roads project underway. Thanks to the U.S. Forestry Service for their expertise in putting this practice in for the demonstration to be held this fall.
Now the task of planting summer grass where all the sol has been disturbed is next on he agenda.
This is a join project between the US Forest Service, NRCS, Alabama Farmers Federation, Clay County Forestry Planning Committee, Alabama Tree Farm Committee and the Alabama Treasure Forest Association.
There will be more post on this project coming.
Monday, June 2, 2014
Look at these two pictures.
Both were made on the same day. Which stand is seven years older than the other one? The older one has never been thinned or had a fire run through it. The younger stand is fourteen years old and has had wood sold off as chips at ten and now at fifteen they are thinned again with some chip-n-saw but mostly pulpwood.
The bigger the tree the more valuable and the more management the better aesthetics.
By now you can guess which is older, the small trees that have not been managed, seen in the top picture.
Friday, May 9, 2014
This year we, along with our forest planning committee, decided to have all fifth graders from our county attend our "Classroom in the Forest". This was a two day event where we had about two hundred students from Lineville Elementary, Ashland Elementary, Clay County Christian School, and First Assembly Christian School along with their teachers and a few parents. The two days were great! It is always a pleasure to share our forest with others that might not have the opportunity to GET OUT IN THE WOODS.
Feeding the catfish and watching the dragonflies catch other insects is always fun.
The hike through the forest is always fun. This year one group saw three deer watching us as we moved alone the trail.
The last thing we do is have lunch on the ground. Nothing like a picnic!
This event would not be possible if it were not for the many great volunteers we have on or local Forestry Planning/Treasure Forest Committee.
This is the best part of the day, when we see the last bus departs and we thank GOD for giving safety to all and knowing that maybe we have helped make a difference in the lives of these young people.
Monday, May 5, 2014
Last Friday we had visitors to our property: Karen Boyd, a forester and the State Tree Farm Director, Tim Browning, a forester with the Alabama Forestry Commission and a State Tree Farm Committee member, Joann Cox, contract auditor with Price Waterhouse and Coopers and a forester, Nic Jordan, behind the camera and Clay County Forestry Commission ranger. Joann was here to look at our forest management plan and review our property to see if we were following the standards for Tree Farm Certification. This assessment allows us to sell certified wood from our property that is sustainable.
Our assessment turned out well. The assessor was very pleased with what we are doing on our property. She gave us some of the best complements a Tree Farm owner could wish for. She was very impressed with our outreach efforts to educate others about sustainable forest management.
They liked our signs and wanted a picture in front of them.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Dad helped last week as we continue to try to get our summer plantings in. We still have lots to plant but we are getting there. This field will be for chufa plantings. There might even be a money tree come up in that field. Dad lost his billfold and he believes it fell out of his pocket here while he was plowing. We are hoping to see a money tree come up somewhere here in the chufa. We are going to try to keep the crows from pulling it up:)
Monday, April 28, 2014
This is the picture I posted on 2/17/2014 of a doe that lives on our property. She had been hurt by something and I got a picture of her. I posted the story under the "Miscellaneous Tab". We were not sure if she would survive or not. SHE DID!
Below are two pictures I made of her this past week. It is amazing to see what she looks like now. No, she was not sutured back together. Mother Nature just took care of her. If I had not watched her and seen it for myself I would not believe these pictures. I wonder if she will have fawns this fall?