Monday, December 23, 2019

Monday, December 2, 2019

Family Time

Thanksgiving is about family.  This weekend my youngest granddaughter wanted to go deer hunting with granddaddy.  Well, when they want to go outdoors for what ever reason, you go. The night before we had to find her camo and an orange hat to wear for the next day We got up early and left with her older brother going also.
This was her first hunt and she was so excited to be going with me.  We went to a shooting house because we knew we would not be still for very long.  We did lots of whispering about how beautiful the sun was coming up over the hill to the east and about what kind of birds we were watching. 
After about an hour she laid over on me and went to sleep. She slept for about 30 minutes and then was ready to walk, and we did.
Her older brother went to a stand by himself for the first time.  I was so proud of him walking in, in the dark and most of all watching a small buck for about 30 minutes hoping a larger one would come out.  He had take a spike two years ago and is now looking to take mature deer. He is well ahead of his years in maturity.
We are so blessed and this Thanksgiving Season was a testament to this while being out in God's great creation.
Oh and by the way, she did get to see a doe!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Dry Fall and Meetings

We have just gotten out from under drought conditions in our part of the state.  Wildlife food plots have not been planted and bush hogging has to be completed.  It has been too dry for seed to germinate and the threat of wildfire from bush hogging was too great to chance it.  Now the rain is coming and there is much to do.
We have had several meetings but now that is behind us we hope to get some late seed in the ground and start bush hogging the roads and fire breaks.  We were not able to get our summer burn in because it was too dry.
The middle of October we were able to attend the 30th anniversary of the Southeastern Farmer Of The Year in Valdosta, GA then the next day attend the Ag EXPO in Moultrie, GA.  It was good to see old friends there.
We attended the Alabama Landowner Conference in Prattville, where we had meetings with the Alabama Treasure Forest Association Board and the Alabama State Tree Farm Committee.  We went on a tour of two forest operations highlighting their use of pine straw and wildlife resources.
My grandchildren, wife, and I were featured on the new State Tree Farm banner which was an honor for us.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Felicia Speaking at Workshop

Felicia recently spoke to a group of teachers at Auburn University.  She spoke about private forestland owners and how their forest management benefits all of us.  This was the Teachers Conservation Workshop sponsored by Alabama Forestry Association.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Hot Summer In Alabama

Some of the native wildflowers that are loving this hot, humid Alabama summer weather.

Chufa field being planted for the wild turkeys

It is nice having help from you daughter and two of your grandchildren but they got hot so they had to make a quick trip to the stream to cool off.
Very refreshing!

This is one of our larger fields where we planted sunn hemp for the deer.  In less than a month fawns will start to drop and this high protein plant will be a welcomed food to the diet of the lactating does.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Busy Spring

May was a busy month dealing with things required of me by organizations I belong to.  One week in May, Alabama had auditors for the Tree Farm audit which required visiting 49 Tree Farms in the state that were randomly chosen for visits to make sure Tree Farm was in compliance with the third part audit.  Felicia and I started in Huntsville and helped with the North Alabama visits.

Since I am the Chairperson for the Alabama Tree Farm Committee I helped transport auditors to various properties and have since had conference calls with the national Tree Farm office about this audit.  Alabama had no BMP (Best Management Practices) problems.  This spoke well of our state.  It was good to see other Tree Farms and how they were being managed.  

My grandson learned how  to plow as some of our summer food plots are planted with more to go.

I took one day off with my grandchildren to visit Cheaha where we enjoyed a cool June day.  My grandson had worked hard that week and that day was his reward.

We have had vandals on our property setting fires.  This has happened twice and the Clay County Sheriff is looking into this problem.  This was not planned for.

In the last issue of Forest Magazine I wrote an article and one of my granddaughter had said she wanted to be in a magazine so I was able to meet her wish in talking about getting children outdoors.

She was so happy to be in the article.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Work Day

Yesterday was a very busy work day.  At one time two bulldozers were working at one time on our property: one was clearing two wildlife openings and building a road while the other was pushing firebreaks for a prescribed burn.

 We burned fifteen acres of two year old longleaf seedlings after the firebreaks were installed.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Next Generation Forest

 Today we planted 20,050 more longleaf seedlings.  These seedlings were planted on a tract of land we harvested in the winter of 2018.  It was a mature stand of hardwood that had started to die and there were some pines mixed in the tract. We had one native longleaf pine growing on the property that we left.  It was a 12" diameter tree.

These guys that plant the trees are the hardest working people I have ever been around.  I enjoy trying to communicate with them.  Two in the crew planted longleaf for me two years ago and they were glad to see the results of their labor as they came into our property.  Most of the time they don't get to see where they had planted trees in previous years and it gave them motivation to do a good job seeing the results of their previous labor.

This tree is off to a good start with all of this wet weather we are having.  30 years from now this seedling will be a part of beautiful longleaf pine forest.  My family will be able to walk through it and hear the special music the needles make when the breeze blows through them.