Today is Tuesday, September 19, 2017

How High's the Water Mama?

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American Golden Eagle

I was kind of hoping that we would have had a round of frost here to turn off the lawn mowing app in this area of Lebanon. We are planning to decorate the yard for Halloween, with a few tombstones and other haunted houses thingys, but to get all of the stuff out will require mowing around them. Later today, I did mow the front yard and have up a total of 17 tombstones. With four fog machines going, it should be spooky enough for all of the trick or treaters that should come by.

It seems that all of the Hummingbirds have already gone south for their winter stay. I saw my last one back on Thursday, the 9th of October. Back in September, as we had dinner in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, one of the members of the Lebanon Senior Citizens Center mentioned that Hummers hitch rides on migrating geese coming from the northern states. I laughed so hard, I almost blew iced tea out my nose. This person believed this so much, he wanted to argue about it. Our Hummers have already left up north, but the geese are still there. Hummers fly, during migration about 200 miles, then stop to refuel. Geese do not migrate over the Gulf of Mexico to South America, but our Hummers do. Do pigs fly? Yes, but only in a tornado!

Anthony Gray decided to change tactics this past Saturday. Instead of our usual morning strategy, we made plans to go eat first and then do our bird watching for later in the day. Our place of choice was to run out to the Longhunter State Park, off Hobson Pike. Little did we know, that they were having the NAIA Pow Wow there for the weekend. Too crowded and noisy for birds, we soon discovered.

We drove on around the crowd and turned off in the first access road that leads down to the shoreline of Percy Priest Lake. Water levels were quite high there, because of the recent heavy rains, especially over in Rutherford County, that had flash flood warnings, just this past week. Anthony and I walked the trail back up to the next access parking lot. Even on the trail, we could still hear the drumming and singing, carried on the wind back to our north. I really enjoy the sounds of our Native Americans, as they share their heritage with us, but today I was looking for our feathered friends.

A lone little Tufted Titmouse was calling and flitting about from limb to limb, while the Red-bellied Woodpecker was making his call, but keeping just out of sight. There was not a whole lot down on the trail, or for that matter, inside the whole park.

Driving on toward the Couchville Lake part of the park, we found that it was also inundated from the flooded lake. There is no connection with the main part of the lake visible overland, but under the surface, water does manage to find it's way there through fissures in the bedrock. I was hoping to maybe walk the trail there, but there was a sign that said, "Trail Flooded". I'll bet that doesn't happen much at the Cedars of Lebanon State Park.

Later when the leaves have fallen, Anthony and myself have planned to investigate a huge nest that I saw a couple of years ago over in the newly acquired property at Cedar Forest. I call this new, but it was purchased several years ago. It could be the nest of an American Golden Eagle. They usually build their nest on high rock ledges, but where this is not possible, they can use a tree. Time will tell.

I would love to hear from you as to what's lurking about in your neighborhood and at your feeders. You can write me at, 606 Fairview Ave., Lebanon, Tn, 37087, or e-mail me at,

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Our Feathered Friends
Anthony Gray, Ray Pope
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