Today is Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Long And Winding Road

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Female Hummer Guarding the Feeder



It looks like we are fixing to get another dose of cooler weather. I remind myself of the period of time back in 2011 when I came down sick and was in a coma for 14 days. It was still short sleeve weather when I went in the hospital at U.M.C., on the 11th day of October. I made my escape, well they released me on the 31st, and it was so cold. I felt like Rip Van Winkle, sleeping part of my life away. If it hadn't been for the Grace of God, and the many prayers from my many friends, I don't believe I would have made it.

Our usual Saturday morning pilgrimage out into the county went well, but someone must have tipped the birds off that we were headed their way, and that put them in hiding. Out toward the Cedars of Lebanon State Park, instead of turning left into the park, we made a right turn down the Cedar Forest road, the only gravel road left in this county, I believe, but could be wrong. Maybe it is on the State Forestry list of roads not to be paved. You might even think of it as pothole heaven. I am thankful that Anthony Gray took the van instead of his Ford Focus. We might have gotten stuck down in one of the deeper ones. The only birds that could be heard was a couple of Crows and several Bluejays.

Crossing over West Richmond Shop Road, we continued west and the road was in even more need of being repaired. I figured that the only people who used this road, must have been hunters, We saw several of them coming out of the woods with rifles in hand. Thank goodness we were not on some creek where someone might be playing banjo music. The farther we traveled, the worse the road got. Almost at the end and there would be Moccasin Road, but wait, someone had placed huge rocks there to impede our progress. Just another 15 feet, but NO, it required a U turn and then back out till we hit West Richmond Shop Road again.

We did manage to locate one of our favorite caves, the Cedar Forest Cave, which Anthony and myself had explored some thirty years before. The cave had ample walking passages and then a crawl-way of about 150 feet before opening back up to more walking passages. With me in the lead, we crawled military style, using our elbows to inch ourselves forward, hoping to explore the whole cave. With only about five feet to go, my backbone and stomach were stuck. I told Anthony that I was stuck, by which he replied, "don't tell me that". He finally got me free by jerking on my feet and then, we had to back out 145 feet, with our shirts rolling up and just about every hair on our chest contained a mud ball that took several fillings of the bathtub before I was rid of them.

Turning onto Flatwood road we headed to Vesta Road and then on across 840 till we arrived at Bryant Grove, a part of Longhunter State Park. One lone Canada Goose was honking from out in the lake, and another family of Bluejays were probably tormenting a family that was setting up a pavilion for a birthday party. As we exited the car, we could hear the drumming, off in the distance from one of our Woodpeckers. Reaching our final destination for our trip, Peking Chinese Restaurant was waiting for us. After we Placed our order, someone was sneaking up behind me, a couple of my birding friends, Willis and Liz Franklin. Liz knew that we would wind up here for our dinner.

Coming up this Friday, September the 26th, I will be doing a program on what to expect in the way of winter visitors and what you can place out to attract them. It will start at 1:00pm at the Lebanon Senior Citizens Center and you don't have to be a member to attend.

Hello to David Hemontolor, who is an old friend that wanted me to mention his name in one of my articles. He does place out food for our feathered friends, so there you are David. Also, I still have a plethora of Hummers at my feeders. Anthony helped me place out one that is attached to the railing on my Purple Martin house that stands over fifteen feet off the ground. We timed it to see how much time would pass before one of the Hummers discovered it. Just under five minutes was all it took. The photo with this article is a female Hummer guarding the feeder. She is sitting on a suet feeder, while the feeder she is guarding sits about three feet from where she is perched.

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, rpope15@bellsouth.net

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