Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Glade Sun

October 31, 2013

ENJOYING NATURE: Fall nature notes

CROSSVILLE — It is already the end of another October, and nature is getting ready for winter. It is a beautiful time to get out and see what is happening. Here are some of my recent observations – they might give you some ideas of what to watch for when you get outside.

There are still a lot of green leaves, but the trees are turning fast. Weeks ago, the first color showed up as dark red leaves on the dogwoods, blackgums (Tupelos), and sourwood trees. In most cases, the yellow trees that you see are hickories. The oaks are usually red, rarely orange or yellow, but many often go straight from green to brown. Maples vary. On a single red maple tree I have seen bright orange, red, bright yellow and green leaves, all at the same time.

I am always interested in how prolific the nut crop, called hard mast, is each year.The health and survival of many animals depends on a good hard mast crop. If female bears don't get enough fall food to store up lots of fat, they may not bear cubs over the winter. Lots of winter fat usually equates to twins or even triplets for the bear mothers. Locally, I have seen lots of hickory nuts, and a pretty good acorn crop. Hopefully, that will mean a good winter for the deer, bear and turkey.

When you find hickory nuts opened by squirrels, you can usually tell which species ate the nuts. Gray squirrels usually crack the nut in half, while flying squirrels only make a hole, like the top of a jack-o-lantern. You would be surprised at how many flying squirrels are around our area. They only come out at night so you rarely see them, but open hickory nuts will give them away. Check under a hickory tree near your yard for evidence of flying squirrels living nearby.

I have seen a regular occurrence of small shallow holes in my yard lately, just an inch or two deep and smaller around than a golf ball. This is the tell tale sign that a skunk was eating grubs in my lawn. I rarely see the skunks because they come out after dark, but I appreciate the organic insect control. About the only time you will smell a skunk is if one had an encounter with a dog or a great horned owl. I have walked within 10 feet of a skunk at least four times (only once on purpose) without any chemical mishaps.

The bucks seem to have broken away from their summer bachelor groups and I only see them by themselves lately. They are busy chasing girlfriends and don't want any help. Drive carefully because they are on the move and not thinking too clearly this time of year.

Which brings me to my annual warning. Every year, knuckleheads attempt to shoot tame deer from their vehicle on some of our roads around Fairfield Glade. Last year someone shot a deer right in front of the Good Samaritan Campus where a miss could have hit a building ... or a person. These people aren't hunters, they are lawbreaking criminals. They shoot from their vehicles, and if the deer doesn't drop right over, they drive away, because they can't risk getting caught while they follow the deer. I saw remains of at least four dead deer in Fairfield Glade last winter that were shot and left. Keep your eyes open for vehicles driving slowly and looking into the woods, or vehicles on unused grassy roads, especially late in the day. Get a license plate number if you can and then call Public Safety at 484-3785, or Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) at 800-241-0767 ... TWRA answers 7 a.m. until midnight. You could save a dangerous situation and possibly get a $1,000 reward from TWRA.

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

1
Text Only
Glade Sun
  • County residents urged to vote

    Cumberland County has around 39,000 registered voters, as well as a strong reputation for voter participation.  However, as of press time on Tuesday, only 4,300 residents had taken advantage of early voting for the Aug. 7 primary and general elections. Local officials are predicting less than 50 percent of registered voters will cast their vote in the 14 days of early voting, plus election day. Only 23 percent of registered county voters participated in the May elections.

    July 30, 2014

  • Board amends by-laws

    At the July meeting of the Fairfield Glade Community Club, the board of directors approved a vote to amend the club's bylaws regarding uncontested elections of board members, effectively declaring Bob Diller and Steven Smith new board members.

    July 30, 2014

  • Naiad Kuhlman.jpg Senior olympian on the run for good health

    No one can get away with telling Naiad Kuhlman of Crossville that age is a barrier to exercise. The avid runner, personal trainer and instructor at Cumberland Medical Center’s Wellness Complex at Fairfield Glade won’t buy the excuse.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Enjoying nature.jpg Get your mink coat on the road

    It is interesting what animals you see crossing the roads sometimes. When animals cross roads, you can get a look at them, that wouldn't be possible if they stayed inside the cover of trees or grass. Sometimes, it is just a fleeting glance and you aren't sure what you saw. When you go into the woods looking for animals, they usually hide or leave the area before you even know they are around. But, roads are wide open with no cover. Also, most mammals are nocturnal, so they are out when we aren't. Anytime that I am on a two-lane road at night, I am always watching intently for wildlife in the headlights.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • Patches of Life: The replacement years

    I need a new refrigerator. There are some other things on order too as we seem to be in the replacement year of our life. Everything from the light bulbs to the computer seemed to agree that this is the year of replacement.

    July 30, 2014

  • Abacus Column: Tennessee the third most corrupt state in the U.S.?

    According to a recent article in Time magazine, Tennessee is ranked third among U.S. States in political corruption. I am not sure how they measure such crime in order to make such a charge. Does some purveyor of statistics identify the number of elected officials proved guilty in a court of law; or merely charged with corruption?

    July 30, 2014

  • A Time 4 Paws celebrates pet adoption after 3 1/2 years

    Three and a half years ago, a local no-kill animal welfare organization known as A Time 4 Paws (AT4P) received an important email. A Nashville animal shelter volunteer asked if AT4P could take two severely abused English Pointer mixes. The email said they didn't want to take back two dogs they had placed in foster care for fear they would have to kill them.

    July 30, 2014

  • A Time 4 Paws collecting shoes to help Soles4Souls in fight against global poverty

    Attention anyone with a closet! Those shoes no longer wanted are desperately needed to fight the human tragedy of global poverty.
    That’s the message being delivered by A Time 4 Paws, which has launched an ongoing drive to collect shoes to help the poor. Used and new shoes can be dropped off at A Time 4 Paws in Crossville and can be left in the blue recycling bin outside labeled Soles4Souls.

    July 30, 2014

  • FFG Treasure Hunt set for Sept. 5

    The 2014 Fairfield Glade Treasure Hunt is set for Friday, Sept. 5. This has always been a fun evening for those who enjoy puzzle solving, figuring out clues or just having a good time.

    July 30, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
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