Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Glade Sun

January 2, 2014

Sights from a walk in the winter woods

CROSSVILLE — Some folks think of winter as dead, dull and dreary. But for me, this is the best time of the year to get out, because without the leaves and ticks, you can see so much more. Sure, some of the birds have gone south, but others, from up North, have come here.

Our beautiful Fairfield Glade trails are a great place to go. Last week, I saw a tiny golden-crowned kinglet flitting from branch to branch just off one of the trails. These little birds spend the summer in the northern borders of the United States, or in the higher mountains, but they visit us in the winter. I tried to get a photo, but kinglets seem to never stop for even half a second.

My game camera has captured photos of bobcats, gray and red fox, wild pigs, raccoons and mice in the woods. But the time stamp on the game cam photos shows that those animals are usually nocturnal. Unless you scare one out of a resting place, you probably won't see many mammals during a day hike, winter or summer.

I took the North trail to check out the bee hive recently. Some crazy wild honeybees built their nest of honeycomb on the outside of a tree. I passed this beehive many times last summer, but it was hidden by tree leaves. Once the leaves dropped, there it was, just 15 feet up, next to the trail. Usually wild bees build inside a hollow tree, but these bees hung everything on the outside. I called the beekeepers, who saved an earlier hive from a fallen tree, to see if they felt the bees could survive the winter, outside the tree. The beekeepers said that bees can easily survive the cold but the wind hitting an exposed nest could be too much to handle. Beekeepers Keith and Jeff felt that the exposed hive was so unique that they wanted to save it in place for all of us to see. So they spent several hours building an enclosure for the bees, around the honeycomb, on the side of the tree. The beekeepers also placed supplemental food in the enclosure, to help the bees survive. On one of those 60 degrees days last week, the bees were very active, eating good and living well, thanks to Keith and Jeff.

Not far from the bees I found a horned passalus beetle on an old rotted log. These large, 1.5 inch long black beetles eat decaying wood. They are one of an army of animals and plants that help the forest decompose so that we aren't up to our eyeballs in a thousand years of fallen trees. In other parts of the world, relatives of these large beetles are used for gambling. People collect the large males and then, by placing the scent of a female nearby, the males will fight each other for a date with the girl. The gamblers bet on which male will win. I guess they don't have horse racing or lottery in those countries.

When looking up information on these beetles, a scientist at one website said that the large white grubs, as big as your little finger, have twice as much protein, per ounce, as beef or chicken. Unless I am very, very hungry, I will take his word for it.

On some bushes, I found a praying mantis egg case. It looks like a small gray piece of foam about an inch in diameter. My wife found one last year and I left it in the garage where it hatched unexpectedly on the first of May. Gardeners like mantids, because they eat all kind of other insects. You can buy praying mantis egg cases on line for $3 to $5 each. Each egg case generally hatches 50 to 100 babies. Better yet, get out and find some egg cases yourself and place them in your yard, free of charge. This is the time year to look for them.

It may be winter, but if you are walking or hiking, it only takes a layer or two to keep warm. Besides, we live in Tennessee, not Alaska. Get outside and look for some of the natural sights that you won't see in the summer.

Comments, questions or suggestions for future nature articles are welcome at don.hazel@gmail.com

1
Text Only
Glade Sun
  • Pats big day - Jensen photo.jpg FFG Resident Services presents painting to the Pat Summitt Foundation

    A dramatic portrait of Pat Summitt, painted by Chuck Jensen, was presented to the Pat Summitt Foundation by Fairfield Glade Resident Services at its Community Information Event on memory care.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • FFG Rotary district gov1.jpg Rotary District Governor visits Glade Rotary Club

    The Fairfield Glade Rotary Club welcomed Rotary District Governor Jerry Wear from Pigeon Forge.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • 'Anything Goes' to benefit Resident Services

    In olden days, a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking, but now heaven knows, Anything Goes.

    July 23, 2014

  • Simms work on display beginning Aug. 3

    From Aug. 3 to Aug. 29, the Cumberland Art Society (CAS) will exhibit original creations by award-winning artist John Simms, who is internationally recognized as a Master Portrait Painter. The Creating Tomorrow’s Heirlooms exhibit will feature fine art in oil, acrylics, watercolors and charcoal. Please plan to meet Simms from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 3, at the CAS Backdoor Gallery, 186 S. Walnut St. in Cookeville.

    July 23, 2014

  • Read the latest edition of "The Bulletin"

    The Crossville Chronicle-Glade Sun also publishes a newsletter called "The Bulletin" in which you'll find a schedule of Glade activities and events, a restaurant and dining guide, golf information, and even tour schedules. Click here for the latest PDF edition of "The Bulletin."

    April 21, 2010 1 Link

  • Rafael 4.jpeg.jpg 'Wild Man' debuts at Palace Aug. 23

    "He's cool!" "He's famous!" "He's awesome!" "He's an icon!" "Ladies love him!" And, "He's Wild!"
    Crossville's own Wild Man Billy Ralph, Rafael R. Soriano, known for his signature song "The Dark Stranger," is making his debut appearance at the Palace Theatre Aug. 23.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • FFG Garden scholarships1.jpg FFG Garden Club presents five students with scholarships

    The Fairfield Glade Garden Club, in conjunction with members of the 1st National Bank of Tennessee, honored three returning students and two new students with scholarships as they continue their agricultural and horticultural education in their selected fields.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Normandie 2010 014.jpg Faith Bible Fellowship welcomes missionary musicians July 27

    Longtime French radio program producers and musicians, Daniel and Francoise Dossmann have lived through many transitions throughout their lives. Thirty years ago, they traveled from France to Ecuador to serve as missionaries with HCJB Global, (now Reach Beyond). After 17 years in Quito, Ecuador, they began a new phase of ministry in the West African country of Cote d’Ivoire. At the end of 2004, a civil war erupted and a mandatory evacuation ensued.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Abacus Column: Fairfield Glade golf courses — a product of talent, desire and commitment

    On a recent Friday morning, a friend and I were playing the back nine of Dorchester Golf course. At the tee box on the unique par three 13th Hole, we met a young gentleman named Rob Krumple. Rob is a course maintenance employee reporting to Dorchester Superintendent Mike Wilson. My friend and I often comment about the excellent condition of our courses and since we had opportunity to pass a compliment on to Rob, we did.

    July 23, 2014

  • rotary0039.jpg Rotary Club presents scholarships

     

    July 23, 2014 4 Photos

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014