Archive for the ‘Wildlife’ Category
Posted by romeethredge on November 21, 2014
Posted by romeethredge on November 14, 2014
Last week I had a photo of something we found in Spring Creek on a log. It was the claw of a crayfish. I suppose an otter ate most of it and left this on the log.
Dr. Chris Skelton of Georgia College in Millegeville, identified it as the “White Tubercled Crayfish (Procambarus spiculifer). It is one of our most common stream dwellers. Named for the white bumps on the claws.”
Dr. Skelton has a good website concerning Crayfish of Georgia.
This week’s question involves birds. What are these large birds that flew over us on Lake George near Fort Gaines last week?
Posted by romeethredge on November 7, 2014
Loquats (aka Japanese plum) start blooming this time of year and that’s why we don’t get to eat very many of the delicious fruit in some years due to freezes causing a crop loss. They are very good to eat when they make. They have large seeds so be careful when biting into them.
Native to China, the loquat tree is an evergreen with large, stiff leaves. The tree can attain a height of 25 feet and a spread of 15 to 20 feet. It’s an excellent specimen or accent in the home landscape.
The mature loquat tree can withstand temperatures of 10 degrees without serious injury, but both flowers and fruit are killed at temperatures below about 27. Unfortunately, loquat blooms in late fall to early winter and must mature its fruit during the winter months. Thus, fruiting rarely occurs except in the deep south or following mild winters in middle Georgia.
If fruit production is a consideration, loquats could be planted on the south or southeast side of a building.
Loquats should begin to bear in 2 to 3 years, with a well-developed older tree easily producing 100 pounds of fruit. A particularly heavy crop will usually be of smaller fruit size.
It is firm and juicy, and contains two or three large, smooth, dark brown seeds. The flavor varies from sweet to tangy, depending upon the variety.
The fruit can be eaten fresh from the tree or frozen intact for later use. It also can be made into excellent jelly, jam, preserves, cobbler or pies.
UGA’s Minor Fruits in Georgia publication has some info on the loquat.
Here’s this week’s question. While fishing on Spring creek recently, we found this on a log. What is it?
Posted by romeethredge on August 8, 2014
Last week I asked about a forage where they were cutting some for hay. It was Perennial Peanut. It makes an excellent, high quality hay for horses and all kinds of livestock.
Here’s some info from the UGA Forages web site.
Perennial peanut is a rhizomatous peanut species that produces high-quality forage and persists well in the area in which it is adapted. This tropical legume is native to South America in a region that mostly lies north of the 30°S latitude. As a result, perennial peanut generally does not survive well north of the 31.5°N latitude (roughly a line from Albany to Jesup). Within these locations, it is best suited to well-drained sandy or sandy loam soils. Varieties that are currently available do not have good cold tolerance and may winter-kill during severe winters.
Perennial peanuts are established by planting rhizomes during December – early March at 80 bushels per acre (up to 120 bushels per acre, if sprigs are inexpensive or freely available.). Perennial peanut may require two years or more to develop a solid stand after sprigging. The establishment phase will be minimized under irrigation. Once established, the stands do not generally tolerate close or continuous grazing. As a result, perennial peanut is primarily recommended for hay production. As a high-quality legume, perennial peanut is an excellent hay and baled silage crop.
This week I have this photo of a problem. I was asked this week what to do about this situation, where they were trying to catch and get rid of armadillos digging in the yard.
What is it and what do we do now?
Posted by romeethredge on July 24, 2014
Last week’s snake was a newly hatched Black Racer.
Here’s what the adult looks like.
Here’s some info from the Savannah River Ecology Lab. http://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/colcon.htm
“Black racers are only active during the daytime and are most active in warm weather. At night and during cool weather they take refuge in burrows or under cover such as boards or tin. Racers hunt by sight and are often observed actively foraging during the day. They are not active at night. They eat a wide variety of prey including insects, lizards, snakes, birds, rodents, and amphibians.
Racers are faster than most other snakes, very agile, and generally flee when approached, often climbing into small trees or shrubs. If cornered, however, they do not hesitate to bite. Although primarily terrestrial, they climb well and are occasionally observed sleeping in vegetation at night. Racers mate in the spring, and females lay up to 36 eggs in early summer.”
Decatur county agent, Justin Ballew, showed me this butterfly this week. What is it?
Posted by romeethredge on July 23, 2014
We had a good week at 4-H Camp a couple of weeks back and we learned a lot. We were at Camp Fortson, just south of Atlanta. Georgia has 5 camps across the state that stay busy with all kinds of good programs.
The week at Summer camp is educational and fun. We had several classes concerning the natural world around us. Here below we were in a great Herpetology class to learn and touch lots of reptiles and amphibians.
Did you know that there are 85 reptiles and 87 amphibians in Georgia?
Here’s a friendly corn snake.
And a Gopher Tortoise, as all turtles has 13 scutes on his back? You can see 9 of them here, with the other 4 on the other side.
How about some fun with Wet games? The giant slip and slide is always a hit.
Posted by romeethredge on July 18, 2014
There are 205 different trees in Georgia. We learned a lot in the forestry class at 4-H camp.
This week I was given a snake to identify. A gentleman found several near his home and wanted to make sure they aren’t venomous and he wanted to know what it was, it was dead when I got it.
What snake is this and is it venomous?
Posted by romeethredge on July 3, 2014
The snake I was sent a photo of to identify was a Scarlet Kingsnake, a good guy, not a coral snake which is poisonous. I had many correct responses, here are a few.
“That is a scarlet King Snake not a coral snake. Red and Yellow kill a fellow red and black friendly Jack” Jimmy Clements
“King snake… red on yellow, kills a fellow.” Josh Thompson
“It is a king snake.” Calvin Atkinson
“Yellow on black, friend of Jack. Yellow on Red, Rome is dead.” Stephen Houston
They are very secretive and so they are rarely seen, and usually are 2 feet long or less. Here’s a link to a fact sheet.
This week’s question is about this pigweed that was growing in a strange fashion in a cotton field. What happened here?
Posted by romeethredge on June 27, 2014
Last week I had a photo of terrible pigweed and other weeds at the edge of a peanut field. And it was in an unusual pattern – for 6 rows control extended past the planted peanuts and the next 6 rows were weedy even where there were peanuts. Well, I had many correct answers.
The preemergence weed sprayer was mounted on the planters and when the tractor was headed in one direction the planter stopped and the sprayer cut off before the end of the field, when the tractor turned around to go the other way the spray was cut on and extended further from the field’s edge.
It’s makes you feel good about the control the grower is getting from the herbicides. (In this case it was Valor and Sonolan.)
This week I have a snake ID question for you. I got a photo of a snake sent to me yesterday for identification and here’s the photo. What is it and is it dangerous to people? Bonus points if you quote the poem about it.
Posted by romeethredge on June 13, 2014
Last week I had a photo of the tracks or trail of wildlife coming out of a pond and Boone Utley of Tifton had the correct answer. I think the marking made by the big tail was a good clue.
The grower and I spotted the 5 to 6 foot gator in the pond while looking at some corn next to it that had some southern rust . Here’s the actual gator that made the tracks.
This week I have a weed ID question. What is this weed in my fingers?
Bonus question: What are the other seedling weeds beside my hand? Why is it important to know the difference in the two types?