Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Busy Month of October

October is always a busy month both on and off the property.  Several days have been spent traveling to tours on friends property and also two annual events in Alabama and Georgia.  Here are some of the things that have been going on.

On a tour in Greenville of the property owned by John Boutwell, a friend and fellow Tree Farm board member, we saw several interesting demonstrations on his tree farm.  This is a picture of a group of aquatic scientist showing how they do a sampling of aquatic species in a stream.  This was very interesting because they had containers of some of the fish they captured in the stream.  They would shock the water and the fish would come to the top for easy collection. 

Another stop on this tour was a demonstration of a Native American hunting camp.  This demonstration was put on by Native Americans and it was very informative.  I would have enjoyed more time to listen to these people.  From this tour we continued to the Annual meeting of the Alabama Treasure Forest Association at Atmore.

Several awards were presented and many informative speakers spoke to the attendees.  It was a good conference and well attended.

Because it was held on the property of the Poarch Band of the Creek People they did a program on some of their dances.  Bill Smith, one of their tribal elders and fellow Treasure Forest board member, put this part of the program together. 
They were great host and did two different tours of their property that everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
They are very good stewards of their property and are certified as a Treasure Forest.
From here we returned home for a day and then traveled to Valdosta and Moultrie, Georgia for the Southeastern Ag Expo

This is always a great event where the Farmer of the Year is named.  To get to be a part of this each year is such a great honor for me and Felicia

The next day we attended the Expo show.  They always start the show off with the National Anthem with the flag being displayed from a hot air balloon.  This was beautiful with the clear blue sky being in the background with Old Glory on display.

At the Farmer of the Year Dinner we won a bouquet with a Massey Ferguson tractor as part of the arrangement.  You can see who ended up with the tractor, our youngest grandson.  
After all this traveling it was time to get ready for our annual event on our property, "Classroom in the Forest".
Our grandson and his mom helped me with clearing our walking trail of leaves.  This was three days before the event.

Also on Saturday, I worked on repairing some of our tree stands that we will be using soon for hunting.  I got six ready and I have many more to check.
On Monday I continued working to get ready for the Classroom in the Forest.

Today the first group came out for the big day, and tomorrow we will have the second group to visit our property.  There will be about 200 visitors these two days enjoying our Treasure Forest and Tree Farm.  The students and teachers were very appreciative and really enjoyed the day.  This all takes place with some great volunteers that make this day possible, Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Alabama Forestry Commission, and landowners from our local Forestry Planning Committee.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Wildlife Plots, Lots of Dry Weather

Abby, my farmer daughter, and I have worked hard this past week on game food plots.  We planted in the dust and hope for rain off of Hurricane Mathew.  Our summer food plots of sunnhep really did well even though we have been in a drought this summer.  This is our largest planting and it is about three acres.
This stuff is as tall as ten foot in some places and it has been eaten all over the field.
Many plants have been top three times but it puts back out and continues to grow.  Some of the tall plants have no leaves as high as the deer can reach.  I am posting an article to privateforestlandowner.com more in detail on why we plant sunnhemp.
One of our friendly snakes soaking up the sun on a road bank on a cool morning when we started working.  He was the largest black racer I have ever seen. It was six feet more or less in size.