Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Archive for the ‘Wildlife’ Category

Question of the Week – Honeybees and a YellowJacket

Posted by romeethredge on November 25, 2015

Last week I had a photo of some stinging insects or “bitey bugs” next to my hand. There were 2 Honeybees side by side and a Yellow Jacket behind one of them. This time of year we seem to see more of these insects partly due to the honeybees preparing for winter, and also because their normal nectar sources, flowers, are mostly gone for this period of time.


Generally bees are coming after sweet drinks that have been spilled and they are not much of a danger to people at this time especially due to their drive to get ready for winter. That is why I took the photo with my finger close to them, showing my bravery. What I didn’t know was that the yellow jacket had flown up and was very close as well. Yellow Jackets can be very aggressive and can sting repeatedly so we do need to beware of them at any time of year.

If you are having a problem with them, then frequently removing trash from the area will help or distance yourself from food and drink trash or spills. If a honeybee gets very close to you, then remain calm and they’ll almost always fly away. If I see yellow jackets or other wasps, I get away.




Honeybees live over the winter but insects in the wasp family mainly do not, most of them die off.

Yellow Jacket colonies start each spring when a single queen, who mated the previous fall and then overwintered in the soil or leaf litter or in an old log — starts a nest. The nest is made of horizontal combs completely surrounded by a paper envelope made of tiny bits of wood fiber that are chewed into a paper-like pulp. Wasps and hornets build new nests every year.

During the summer months, colonies rapidly increase in size and may reach several hundred workers by September. In late fall, new queens emerge from the colony, mate, and seek shelter for the winter. The old founder queen dies, and as winter arrives, the remaining colony also dies. Wasps and hornets don’t reuse the same nest the following year.


Here’s where a soft drink had spilled and the insects were abundant.



This week’s question is about this small tree growing here in Donalsonville.  I took this photo last week. It’s unusual to see anything blooming this time of year. What is this?



Posted in Agriculture, Wildlife | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Question of the Week – Pileated Woodpecker

Posted by romeethredge on November 13, 2015

The answer to last week’s question is the Pileated Woodpecker, a very impressive bird. That was a female. The male has an extra stripe of red.   The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a good article about these and good info about other birds. Pileated Woodpeckers rely on large, standing dead trees and fallen logs.

Woodpeckers are some of the most amazing of God’s creations, the way they are built to stay in trees their whole lives and the way their tongue is specialized in order to seek out insects. Also, the special way their brain is cushioned to take the jarring from the hard hammering pecking they do to trees.  A well thought-out design from the great Designer.



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This week I have a photo I took a couple of weeks ago down on the coast where there were a good many of these. What are they and why did we see lots of them?

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Posted in Agriculture, Wildlife | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Question of the Week – Where the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers come together

Posted by romeethredge on November 5, 2015

Last week I had several good folks that answered correctly. The photo was of where the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers come together to form the Apalachicola River at the bottom of Seminole County, and the bottom of Georgia. At one time this was the bottom of the United States and below it was Spanish territory.

The town of Chattahoochee Florida is visible at the bottom right of the 1937 photo.

Of course it looks differently now as the Woodruff Dam to form Lake Seminole went in about 1955. The bridge visible near the bottom is still there in pieces. There’s a new bridge of course.

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I have a photo here of the new and old bridges and the dam in the distance from a boat trip a few years ago. _DSC4555 _DSC4570


This week I have a bird question for you. What is this bird I took  photos of in my yard last week?

Bonus question: Is it a male or female?

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Posted in Water, Wildlife | 4 Comments »

Notchaway Dam

Posted by romeethredge on October 16, 2015

I have had several folks ask about the dam on Notchaway creek that I posted about earlier and so I’ve included more photos.

Someone said they don’t think it was used long for power generation, it cracked or something. Does anyone know when it was built or have other information?

I also was given an aerial photo taken by cropduster, Scott Tennant.


Here’s what must have been the power generating area.


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These photos below are from the north or upstream side of the dam.

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Power generating area. _DSC3126 _DSC3121 _DSC3120 _DSC3118


This was beside the dam. Maybe old bags of cement?



Here are some comments sent to me by Mr. Bob McLendon. “The Baker County Power Company was organized in 1920 to build a hydro-electric plant on Notchaway Creek at a cost of $500,000.00.  Many people in Baker County invested in this but I don’t know where all the money came from.  The plant became operational in 1923 and supplied electricity to Newton, Camilla, Moultrie, and Sale City.  They build power lines to supply these cities.  The dam collapsed or needed repair in 1927 and the Hartaway Company from Columbus did the repair work for $370,000.00 and new transportation lines were built to Leary, Morgan, Edison and maybe Colquitt while the dam was being repaired.  I am not sure but I think the dam collapsed again in 1930 and it was determined the foundation of soft limestone would not support a dam.  The company sold the transportation lines to Georgia Power Company.

I got this information from a book on the history of Baker County.  I moved to Leary in 1969 and someone carried me to the dam.  Have not seen it since then.”

Roebie Burris also sent me a link to a great blog by Jessica McDaniel that has more photos and information. Here’s a link.:

Posted in Water, Wildlife | 4 Comments »

Question of the Week – Notchaway Dam

Posted by romeethredge on October 9, 2015

Last week I had a photo of a dam and It’s Notchaway dam on the Ichawaynochaway creek in Baker county. Daddy got permission for us to put in  a boat north of the dam and we enjoyed walking around it. It was apparently a hydroelectric dam but hasn’t been used for that purpose for a long time. If anyone has additional information on it I would like to know more about it.

 Ichawaynochaway Creek  rises near Weston in two forks and flows south-southeasterly for 83.8 miles , joining the Flint River 13 miles southwest of Newton.

Ichawaynochaway was a Muskogee word that may have referred to either beavers or deer. Some authorities believe it means “the place where deer sleep.”

The creek rises in Webster County. The west fork of the creek enters Stewart County briefly; the forks combine in Randolph County and the creek flows through Randolph and Terrell counties, forming the southern part of their boundary. It flows through Calhoun County and  Baker County where it flows into the Flint.

It flows through Milford and we have some friends there who let us fish on it, beautiful creek with many rocks however.  There’s some neat rapids just below the Milford bridge.


While we were in the creek Daddy said , “we used to turn over rocks to get fish bait” and the first rock he overturned had this under it and he said, “there it is”. The question of the week is , what is it?


Posted in Agriculture, Water, Wildlife | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Question of the Week – Potamogeton

Posted by romeethredge on September 4, 2015

Last week I had a photo of a weed in a pond that some folks describe to me as oak leaves lying on the pond. This is Potamogeton or Pondweed. It has several different varieties including a very slender kind.

If you need control information on a weed in a pond, call your Extension agent or put some in a bucket and take it by the Extension office for identification. I’ve had folks want control information over the phone without me knowing which weed we are talking about. There are a lot of different ones out there and we can reccomend control measures a lot better if we have a proper  identification.

According to UGA Aquaculture Scientist, Gary Burtle, this is American pond weed, Potamogeton nodosus.  It is also called Illinois pondweed, Potamogeton illinoiensis.

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This week I have an insect that was brought in to me for identification and I want you to identify it. They are tiny so I have magnified photos, below.

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Posted in Agriculture, Entomology, Water, Wildlife | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Question of the Week – Pokeweed

Posted by romeethredge on August 28, 2015

Last week I had a photo of Pokeweed aka pokeberry, poke salad. It has some poisonous properties , oxalic acid and phytolaccotoxin , the root being the most toxic. It can cause gastro problems in cattle.Fullscreen capture 8282015 72836 AM

The song is Poke Salad Annie, sung by Tony Joe White,”Poke salad Annie, Gator got your Grannie…. ” Apparently Annie had to eat a lot of Poke salad she was so poor.

If cooked it’s important to pour off the water the leaves are cooked in. I talked to a farmer who had eaten some and he said you must eat only the very young leaves or it will be very bitter and contain poisonous properties.


Here’s a video by UGA Scientist Dennis Hancock, concerning thias and other plants poisonous to livestock.

The fruit is actually an important wildlife food., consumed by many birds, deer, foxes. Doves like the seeds in winter.

This week’s question is about this pond weed that I was recently asked about, and I took this photo at the pond. What is it?IMG_8184

Posted in Weeds, Wildlife | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Question of the Week – Golden Silk Spider aka Banana Spider

Posted by romeethredge on August 13, 2015

Last week I had a photo of an almost hand sized spider I almost walked into. It’s the Golden Silk Spider aka Banana spider aka golden Orb Weaver, it has several names.  One type of these in Australia feeds on small birds.  The small spider near her is the male of her species.

A University of Florida site, Panhandle Outdoors recently had an interesting article on them.

The elongated body of the Golden Orb Weaver.  Photo: Molly O'Connor


This week I have a muscadine grape with a problem. What caused this?


Posted in Agriculture, Fruits, Wildlife | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Question of the Week – Red Breast Sunfish

Posted by romeethredge on July 10, 2015

Last week I had a photo of a Red Breast Sunfish that we often call Red Belly bream, they are fun to catch and good to eat.

Here’s are comments from Dr. Gary Burtle UGA Scientist,”This is a red breast sunfish.  Note the long black opercular flap.  Some confuse with the long ear sunfish, but that one is not as likely to be red bellied.”


This week I have a photo of a yard ornamental tree and I want you to identify it and tell me what are the problems that folks have with them?




Posted in Horticulture, Wildlife | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Question of the Week – Stumpknocker

Posted by romeethredge on July 2, 2015

Last week I had a photo of a fish and it was a Stumpknocker aka Green Sunfish. I had several correct answers from folks who know their way around our creeks and rivers.  They pull real well and are good to eat. Here’s another one I caught that day.




Another fish question today. What is this nice catch Daddy made on Spring Creek?





Posted in Wildlife | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

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