Archive for the ‘Wildlife’ Category
Posted by romeethredge on January 2, 2015
Last week I had a photo of some aphids we saw on some oats being grown for forage. They appeared to be Bird cherry-oat aphids which do transmit Barley Yellow dwarf disease. Fortunately they were not in the field in large numbers.
Now’s the time to be checking wheat and other small grain fields for aphids. (If you find 6 aphids per row foot this time of year that would be the threshold for direct damage and disease transmission. )
This week I have a photo of something that sometimes appears in yards. What is it and how does it spread?
Thanks to Todd Ray of Triangle Chemical company who took this photo.
Posted in Entomology, Forages, Wildlife | Tagged: entomology | 1 Comment »
Posted by romeethredge on December 23, 2014
I have a love – hate relationship with Mistletoe. I love it when my wife kisses me under it, but I hate to see it growing in trees because it can hurt them.
“Mistletoe is an evergreen parasitic plant found on a wide plant host range. Mistletoe obtains water and minerals from the host tree, but it is not totally dependent.
Leaves of the mistletoe contain chlorophyll and are capable of making their own food from carbon dioxide and water like other plants. Birds feed on the berries produced and excrete them to new hosts. When the seeds germinate, it grows through the bark and into the vascular system of the host where it obtains water and minerals .
The mistletoe grows slowly at first and it may be years before seeds are produced. Healthy trees are able to tolerate small mistletoe infestations, but individual branches may be compromised and susceptible to wind or cold injuries. Heavy infestations may reduce the overall plant health or kill a tree especially if the tree is already stressed from environmental factors.
Since mistletoe takes several years to produce seed simply removing it will provide some protection. Mistletoe may also be pruned out one foot below the point of attachment. If the mistletoe is located on a main limb or trunk, removing the top of the mistletoe and wrapping the cut with an opaque plastic to prevent sunlight may be beneficial. In addition to these mechanical controls, the growth regulator ethephon may be used when the host is dormant.”
Posted in Horticulture, Wildlife | Leave a Comment »
Posted by romeethredge on November 25, 2014
Last week’s question was about identifying seeds left by the hundreds around grain bins by birds. We were trying to identify them. They are Black Tupelo aka Black gum (Nyssa sylvatica) pits or seeds.
Good honey is made from the blooms, as well as the birds feed on the fruit and carry it and spread the pits everywhere.
This week’s question is about this nut.
What is it from?
Posted in Agriculture, Horticulture, Wildlife | Tagged: trees | 1 Comment »
Posted by romeethredge on November 21, 2014
Last week I had a photo of some birds flying overhead and they were White Pelicans. They are very large birds that we see along the Chattahoochee River and I’ve seen them on the lower part of Spring creek. I’ve usually seen them in late December and January. This was the earliest I’ve ever seen them and the most at one time, probably over a hundred in a few groups. They were flying south for the winter, from Canada. They are often seen on fresh water.
I had a post concerning these birds just after Christmas you can link to here.
This week’s question is: What are these seeds that we found abundantly around grain bins and on the grain elevator platforms?
Posted in Wildlife | Tagged: birds, Wildlife | Leave a Comment »
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 in Agriculture, Wildlife | Tagged: birds, Wildlife | 1 Comment »
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 in Agriculture, Fruits, Horticulture, Wildlife | Tagged: fruits | 1 Comment »
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 in Forages, Wildlife | 3 Comments »
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 in Agriculture, Entomology, Wildlife | Tagged: entomology, Wildlife | 1 Comment »
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 in 4H, Agriculture, Wildlife | 1 Comment »
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 in Wildlife | Tagged: snakes, Wildlife | 2 Comments »