Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Posts Tagged ‘Wildlife’

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.

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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.

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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?

 

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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 – 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.

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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?

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Posted in Agriculture, Water, Wildlife | Tagged: , | 7 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?

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

Pigweed now a Nursery?

Posted by romeethredge on June 19, 2015

No extra charge for this blog post concerning racoons in a pigweed plant.

I guess pigweed is good for something, a racoon nursery. Farmer Micheal Thompson was out pulling pigweed in peanuts and come upon this sight, two baby racoons hanging on.

If we could just train them to pull up pigweed……

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Question of the Week – Turtle Tracks

Posted by romeethredge on June 9, 2015

Last week’s photo was of turtle tracks through a field. It looks like she was dragging her belly pretty good. She was likely looking for a place to lay her eggs, according to Bobby Bass of the Jones Center. Someone else said maybe looking for water or a pond. There is a small 1/4 acre pond near there that a lady called me to look at one time and I remember there was a 4 foot long grass carp in there that looked kind of  like the Loch Ness monster .

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This week’s question is about plant identification. What is this the seed of?

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

Question of the Week – White Pelicans

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.

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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?

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

Question of the Week – Crayfish

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.”

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Dr. Skelton has a good website concerning Crayfish of Georgia.

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This week’s question involves birds. What are these large birds that flew over us on Lake George near Fort Gaines last week?

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

Question of the Week – Black Racer

Posted by romeethredge on July 24, 2014

Last week’s snake was a newly hatched Black Racer.

Here’s what the adult looks like.

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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?

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

 
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