Posted by romeethredge on December 6, 2013
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Posted by romeethredge on November 26, 2013
Blackbirds are causing problems again. Some growers have said that blackbirds are worse in certain areas. We have large roosting areas along the Chattahoochee river here and it may cause it to be a worse problem locally. Here’s a link back to another post I’ve done with some remedies.
Here are some photos I took last week of the problem in grain sorghum. The propane exploders help. I like these because they move around and so the main blast of noise goes into different directions.
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Posted by romeethredge on September 28, 2013
Daddy and I took a short fishing trip to the bottom of Spring creek on Lake Seminole last Saturday. We didn’t catch very many fish but there’s so much to see on the lake it didn’t matter.
One of the many birds we saw was a Tricolored heron. I took the photos of it below and I didn’t realize there was an alligator in the shots until just now. He was just swimming by as you can see in the second photo. It’s a medium-sized, slender heron of the southeastern United States, the Tricolored Heron was formerly known as the Louisiana Heron. Here’s a link to more info about the heron from Cornell University.
This Osprey, aka fishhawk, was watching us closely.
I’m always amazed at the size of the Kingfisher’s head.
Also the Moorhens were busy and the young one is showing how they can walk on lily pads.
The Water Hyacinth is pretty invasive but pretty up close. The Florida Center for Aquatic and Invasive plants says it came into that state in 1884. Here’s a link to more information.
“ This invasive nuisance is planta non grata in much of the world where it often jams rivers and lakes with uncounted thousands of tons of floating plant matter. A healthy acre of water hyacinths can weigh up to 200 tons! In the U.S., water hyacinth is present throughout the southeast, as well as in California and Washington state. In Florida, where for 100 years this weed had the upper-hand in water management, the water hyacinth in most places is under “maintenance control”: field crews constantly working to keep the plant numbers at their lowest possible levels, in exchange for the rivers and lakes remaining usable.”
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Posted by romeethredge on September 12, 2013
Yes, Deer like peanut leaves and will sometimes get a taste for the pods and will dig them. Here’s a shot of the hoof prints entering the field. One Florida study cites $3.5 million in annual peanut losses to deer problems in north Florida.
This week I want you to identify this big caterpillar that was brought in last week. What is it?
Posted in Entomology, Peanuts, Wildlife | 2 Comments »
Posted by romeethredge on August 16, 2013
Myles Gibson had the right answer to last week’s question, there was a Roseate Spoonbill and a Wood Stork. I have seen storks before here but not the spoonbills. They are both interesting birds. Here’s another photo of a stork I took.
Here’s some info from Cornell University about the Wood Stork, Mycteria Americana.
” A large, white, bald-headed wading bird of the southeastern swamps, the Wood Stork is the only stork breeding in the United States. Its late winter breeding season is timed to the Florida dry season when its fish prey become concentrated in shrinking pools.”
Here’s some Roseate Spoonbill,Platalea ajaja, info from Cornell. It looks like they aren’t supposed to be here by looking at the range map.
“A bizarre wading bird of the southern coasts, the Roseate Spoonbill uses its odd bill to strain small food items out of the water. Its bright pink coloring leads many Florida tourists to think they have seen a flamingo.”
This week I want you to identify the crop growing behind Eddie Cook here, up above Bainbridge. I’m covering Decatur County now until they get a new Ag agent.
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Posted by romeethredge on August 16, 2013
A grower called me, asking if geese will eat up his young southern pea plants. I didn’t know, so I went to observe them and there were about 50 in the pea field. There was no damage to the plants where they were, so I guess they were just hanging out there. We’ll keep an eye on them.
Maybe they will provide pigweed control.
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Posted by romeethredge on August 8, 2013
The answer to last week’s question is Magnesium deficiency. Muscadine grapes don’t need a tremendous amount of this nutrient but they do need some every year and so I recommend some Epsom salts, Magnesium sulfate, around every plant every year. Keeping your plants limed with dolomitic limestone helps as well.
Here’s the question of the week. What types of birds are these that I photographed here in Seminole County a couple of weeks ago at the edge of a pasture?
Posted in Fertilization, Wildlife | Tagged: Wildlife | 2 Comments »
Posted by romeethredge on July 24, 2013
Recently, Seminole County 4-H shooters were involved in a state shooting sports competition in Savannah, Georgia at the Forest City Gun Club. The Skeet and Trap team had practiced mostly on Tuesday evenings at their shooting range near FDR School in an area provided by Mr. Ellis Odum. This is near where our Modified Trap team practices. Certified Coaches were Tommy Hunter, Steve Whittaker, Janet Whittaker and Rome Ethredge. Sandy Hunter and Pops Trawick were very helpful volunteers as well.
Junior 4-H Skeet and Trap team that placed 8th in the state at the Savannah Competition. Front, Coach Tommy Hunter, Harrison Hall, Coach Steve Whittaker. Back row Carson O’Brian, Lane Williams, Ethan Scarborough ,Carter Ross.
This is a two part competition, with Skeet being shot from 8 stations. The shooter shoots from 7 positions around a semicircle with a radius of 21 yards and an eight position in the middle. There are 2 houses that hold the traps that launch the targets, one at each corner of the semicircle. The traps throw the clays to a point 15 feet above the ground, just away from the semicircle. The high house throws the clay from 10 feet above the ground and the low house throws the target from 3 feet above the ground.
From 5 of the stations, the shooters shoot at clays from each house individually and from the remaining 3 stations the shooter also shoots two shells at doubles launched simultaneously. It’s a challenge! Course of fire for Senior(9-12th grades) competition consists of 4-25 target rounds (100 targets) Course of fire for Junior(7-8th grades) competition will consist of 3-25 target rounds (75 targets)
Senior 4-H Skeet and trap team that competed at the state contest in Savannah. Coach Tommy Hunter, Sawyer Meadows, Alex Whitaker, Josh Croom, Logan Shattles, Jesse Ethredge.
Our 4-H’ers shot Trap at the competition as well.
The Trap Course of fire for Senior competition (9th through 12th graders) will consist of 4-25 sub-events for a total of 100 targets consisting of ten rounds from each of the five shooting stations at 16 yards.
The Trap Course of fire for Junior competition(7th and 8th graders) will consist of 3-25 target rounds of 25 targets for a total of (75 targets event) consisting of five rounds from each of the five shooting stations at 16 yards.
We had 5 seniors and 5 juniors that worked hard at this competition this year. Our Junior team placed 8th in the state competition. That was quite a feat. They were Lane Williams, Carson O’Brian , Carter Ross, Ethan Scarborough and Harrison Hall.
Our Senior team was Sawyer Meadows, Jesse Ethredge, Josh Croom, Logan Shattles and Alex Whitaker.
All these boys worked hard and represented Seminole County well at this state competition, and we had a good group of parents and supporters present.
So you can see that the competition is a full day since each senior will shoot a total of 200 shells, that’s 8 boxes of shells. The juniors shoot 150 shells or 6 boxes.
- Action shot of Senior Skeet and Trap team shooting skeet at station 4 with Logan Shattles shooting as the rest of the squad looks on.
4-H Project S.A.F.E. (Shooting Awareness, Fun and Education) has the following objectives.
- Enhance youth development of self-concept, character and personal growth through safe, educational and socially acceptable involvement in shooting activities.
- To involve youth in a life skills program that teaches safe and responsible use of firearms including sound decision-making, self-discipline and concentration.
- To promote the highest standards of safety, sportsmanship and ethical behavior.
- To expose participants to the broad array of vocational and life-long avocation activities related to shooting sports.
- To strengthen families through participation in life-long recreational activities.
- To complement and enhance the impact of existing safety, shooting and hunter education programs using experiential (hands on) educational methods and progressive development of skills and abilities.
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Posted by romeethredge on July 11, 2013
Last week I asked about a crab that was in a hole we found on Shell Island at Panama City Beach. It was a ghost crab. They are rare to see in the daytime. At 4-H camps on the coast we often take the kids out at night to see them.
Here’s some crab info from South Carolina DNR.
Ghost crabs are largely nocturnal in nature and it is rare to catch a glimpse of them during the day. Most feeding activity occurs at night, which reduces predation by visual predators like shore birds and gulls that might otherwise be capable of exerting considerable pressure on populations of this species. In the event that they do leave their burrow during daylight, their ability to change color to match the sand where they live lessens their chances of being seen on such a foray.
The burrows dug by ghost crabs may be up to 4 feet deep. Their habits of periodically closing the burrow opening with sand during the hottest part of the day and of remaining within the burrow through the colder months provide sufficient protection from the climatic extremes that fully aquatic species rarely encounter. These burrows, which take different shapes beneath the sand, are found from near the high tide line to a distance as great as a quarter mile from the ocean.
The range for the crab, Ocypode quadrata, extends from Block Island, Rhode Island to Santa Catarina, Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean.
This week’s question is about this seal. Does anyone know what this seal or crest represents?
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Posted by romeethredge on July 5, 2013
Yes, the problem on the corn ear was Corn Smut (Ustilago maydis). It’s a pathologenic fungus that gets into the kernels and fills them with a yummy substance to some folks. It’s known in Mexico as huitlacoche; it is eaten, usually as a filling, in quesadillas and other tortilla-based foods, and soups. I’ve heard that you can buy it in cans.
There is nothing to do if you see this in your field. There is some speculation that stink bugs can spread it and it does seem to be worse in the presence of the bugs and on the field edges.
This week a wildlife question for you. What is this creature we saw down in a burrow on Shell island a few weeks ago?
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