Thursday, December 21, 2017

Snow Beautiful, but Snow Damage

Below are some of the pictures made during the snow of 2017.  Some places had 10 inches while others had up to 15 inches.  Snow can be so beautiful but it can be so aggravating once it is gone.

Tree Farm and Treasure Forest signs in the snow.

Panoramic view from Ekun Duts Ke Lodge

Snow in the mature oaks

12- 15 inches of snow at one of the game food plots 

The "Abominable Snowman" loblolly pine

Snow cover at Ekun Duts Ke Lodge

Snow in the six year old longleaf pines😏

Snow in a newly thinned loblolly stand😒

Roads covered with downed trees after the snow

The results of snow in the loblolly stand that had just been thinned.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Peregrine Falcon Visits Lodge

The other day we had a young peregrine falcon visit us at Ekun Duts Ke Lodge.
It came down the chimney into the wood heater.  The grandchildren heard a commotion in the heater and went over to check it out. At first they though it was an owl but when we opened the door of the wood heater we saw it was a falcon.  
Next we had to figure out how to get it out and set it free.  I put on gloves and opened the door to reach for the falcon and it quickly flew past me and out into the lodge it went. The granddaughters screamed as it flew by.  It flew upstairs to a window where it stayed until I could go up and there it allowed me to catch it.  All the grandchildren had to pet it before we then took the falcon out to be set free.  
The video below was made by my grandson as we set the falcon free.  It flew off into the big sky, happy to be back in his world.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Busy Time

With all the holidays and meetings that take place in October it makes it hard sometimes to get time to make post on what is going on with Dewberry Lands.  Clay County Forestry Planning Committee recently assisted and provided guidance to Randolph County for a tour on the property of their Helene Mosley Award Winner.  My wife and I traveled to Florence, Alabama to the Treasure Forest Annual meeting which was a great success.  We attended the Farmer of the Year Dinner in Valdosta, Georgia and Ag Expo. We then hosted at Ekun Duts Ke Lodge our fourth quarter State Tree Farm committee meeting.  We had a visitor from the Longleaf Alliance, Mr Ad Platt, come and tour part of our property as he works on a brochure for publication on promoting planting longleaf pines. Today we will be attending the Clay County Farmers Federation Farm City Luncheon here in the county.
Somewhere in there I have done road work as we have completed a first thinning of loblolly pines, and started a harvest cut of hardwood to convert to longleaf pines, not to mention all the things that have gone on with family.... Whew!

Below are a few pictures of some of these activities.
Governor Kaye Ivy, was the keynote speaker at the Treasure Forest Annual meeting.

I was selected as the next President of the Alabama Treasure Forest Association.

My wife and I enjoyed the Southeastern Farmer of the Year Dinner inValdosta, Georgia.

State Tree Farm Committee meeting.

After the Tree Farm meeting we gave our guest a tour of our property to see how we are managing our forest. 

The beauty of a young longleaf forest.

Thinning operation on our property.

Road being put in for a harvest cut.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Protecting The Water

When we are having a timber harvested on our property we do everything possible to control erosion. The limbs and straw removed from the trees as the logs are prepared for loading onto the trucks are scattered on the logging trails.  This mulch here is about eight inches thick.  It will act as a sponge to release the water back into the soil.

Friday, September 22, 2017


The butterflies are loving our flowers.  They are working diligently to get everything completed before the cold weather gets here. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Busy Time of the Year

It is a busy time of the year with all the road maintenance, food plot preparation, and on top of all the normal work for this time of the year, we are having some pines thinned.  (I will be adding information on thinning later.)  
This summer with all the rain it has made it especially tougher on bush-hogging roads and wildlife openings.  I have seen several deer, fawns and small bucks, slipping around me working.
I am doing something different this year with our cool season wildlife openings because of the rainy pattern we have been in and where forecast say we will continue.  I have planted our seed about a month early but if the rain continues I think they will be OK.
The seed mixture is wheat, clover, peas, and turnips. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Future Forest Producer

Eli, ready to go to work protecting our forest.  He was with us at the Alabama Farmers Federation Commodity Conference this past weekend.  He always says "His Bowden Grove" where our forestland is located.  He already clams it!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Happenings Around on Dewberry Lands

Mattie playing with a lizard.  The lizard knows it is safe in these hands.

Fall bush-hogging.  The wildlife trees planted a few years ago are looking good in the row across the field.

Sun-hemp as a cover crop, it's the best!

James making a picture from Dewberry Lands of the road leading to the sunset.

Eli eating a fish watermelon that we harvested off of Dewberry Lands.

Selah helping taker cuttings of some plants for propagation.

These three helping pot up some wildlife trees to be planted this winter; chestnut, crab apple, and pear.

Saturday, June 3, 2017


Mushrooms sprouting in the pine straw.  This looks great after the fall drought that stressed the trees and caused so many to die.  On Dewberry Lands we fared fairly well, just loosing a few in the fall and these late spring rains are great before summer.  We hope it continues to rain through summer and fall.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Women's Walk in the Forest 2017

 Yesterday, Dewberry Lands welcomed women of all ages to the property for a fun and educational day.  It started with a welcome to the ladies followed by a trip to the "Woods" for a short walk.  Some of the history of the property was shared by Lamar and Felicia.
Ekan Duts Ke, what does it mean? 

This was followed by a short talk by Leigh Peters, a forester and director of the Alabama Tree Farm Program. 

Memorie  English a representative with the American Forest Foundation was in attendance for the walk. 

New friends interested in forestry were made.

After the walk Gloria Neilsen with the U.S. Forest Service over the Talladega National Forest in our area and also a forester spoke about the National Forest and her roll as the ladies looked over the view of the forest from Dewberry Lands.

After returning to the lodge a nice meal was shared by all the participants.  
This event was made possible by a grant from the Alabama Forest Forever Foundation, help from the Alabama (Clay County) Forestry Commission and the Clay County Forestry Planning Committee.  

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Camping 2017

We arrived at our campsite and the youngest grandchild is checking out the area.

 Food is just better when you are  camping.

These girls are enjoying the outdoors.

The two tents are near the stream for natural music and a great place to play,
The boys like roughing it in the outdoors,

And when night comes it is so peaceful listening to all the night sounds as the fire flickers.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

North Entrance

We are in the process of landscaping the north-side entrance to our property.  Nathan, our son who is a landscape designer for R & R Landscape, chose the plants for planting.  Our daughter Abby, also a horticulture graduate, helped with the plantings.  We used rock from the property, split cedar for the rail, and of course pine straw for mulch.  

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Spring Work

It is Eastern Blue Bird nesting time!  My grandson and I worked last weekend installing eight bluebird houses on our property.  I am thankful for this little man who's out helping me with the improvement of non-game animals habitat.  

And then there is  other work:
Last week I started painting and repainting boundary lines on our property.  That day I walked 12 miles but it was not all painting but most of it was.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Road Work For Thinning

We are getting started on road work for the thinning of sixteen year old loblolly pines.

Fun in the Forest

We had a great time in the forest this weekend exploring a new parcel of property
we have been blessed to purchase.  The Grandchildren had fun hiking, climbing trees, catching salamanders and frogs. 

Our youngest granddaughter is a daredevil.  "Who needs an amusement park when you have a forest?"

No better way to spend an early spring day than hiking in the woods!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tree Planting for the Future

Today we finished planting our newest parcel in Mountain Longleaf Pines.  I may not see these trees to poles but someone one day will enjoy walking through this forest and hear the breeze blowing through the needles.  In longleaf pines you can hear a special noise that comes from the breeze in a mature stand of mountain longleaf pines.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Split Fence From Trees on Property

Landscaping entrance to our property

Lots more work to do but this past Saturday my wife and I worked on our fence.  We had an old dead red cedar on this place that came down when we did a prescribed burn here preparing for longleaf pines to be planted.  The tree was almost all heart and it was a good size.  I cut the pieces about 10 to 11 feet long then used two wedges and a maul to split the logs.  It took lots of work but it was refreshing to get out on a warm February day and work hard.