Today is Monday, August 21, 2017

More Than a Mouthfull

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Ruddy Turnstone Photo by Kelly Townes Hall

It's here again. I do mean the Wilson County Fair. It doesn't seem like a full year has come and gone again. I just heard that we do have a booth at the fair, but I will be out and about with my camera at the ready. If you see me , stop me and get your picture taken for my, seen at the fair page.

I have been talking about my vegetable garden this year and I have entered several of them in competition at the Wilson County Fair. It is official, my thumb must have a touch of green to it. Of all the vegetable entries, I wound up with five blue ribbons, one second place red ribbon and a fith place ribbon for a vegetable display. In the photography department, I did get one second place finish on one photo that I thought had no chance. My good friend, Liz Franklin won a blue ribbon for growing the best looking sunflower head, it was huge.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds seem to have taken over my yard, both front and back. I just heard my little neighborhood girl screaming as she ran away from the mailbox. I was afraid that she had gotton stung with another wasp. There just happened to be a pair of Mourning Doves straight above her head on the overhead power lines. You guessed it, one of the birds messed on her.

Anthony Gray picked me up this Saturday Morning and we headed out west toward the Shutes Branch Recreation Area on Old Hickory Lake. My good friend Kelly Towns Hall sent me a picture of a Ruddy Turnstone that she had found in the area. This is a rare bird for here and I looked all over, hoping to catch a glimpz of it, where I might get a chance to take a picture of it. Kelly is a great photographer and she just happened to get a great photo, which she said I could use. The Ruddy Turnstone is now classified in the Sandpiper family.

Several people braved the rain to toss out corn for the ducks that lived there. Several female Mallards, "Susies", had a bunch of this years brood with them. I didn't notice very many males in the crowd. One little boy was doing the feeding, while completely surrounded by the large flock. It's a wonder that the ducks didn't mistake his toes for something to eat

On our way toward Mt. Juliet, the skies darkened and we ran into a rain shower headed down Highway 70. It rained the whole time we were at the Shutes Branch area. Also when we were there, we found a Great Blue Heron strutting along the shoreline looking for his dinner. He suddenly stabbed at something in the water, and came up with a medium sized catfish. He tried several times to get the fish down his gullet, but it must have been very slippery, and he kept losing his grip on the fish. A catfish has spines on top and both sides, so the fish would get stuck in the birds throat, if he swallowed it the wrong way. After several minutes of juggling with it, he finally got the fish in the right position and down it finally went. It was bigger than it's head.

Returning back to Lebanon, we always keep a look for our Red-tailed Hawk, that we helped to rehabilitate. I believe she was cirling over Winwood Drive when I went there to have blood drawn. I wish we could have had her banded before we turned her loose. That would have made it a bit easier to identify her.

Out in my backyard, a family of Bluejays took off with the raw peanuts that I has tossed out earlier. It seems that a family of House Sparrows have made a claim to my feeders. This is one bird that I do not care to have around. They can be very aggressive toward my Eastern Bluebirds and other smaller birds.

With the Wilson County Fair going, I remember talking to Hale Moss a few years ago about setting up several bird feeding stations throughout the Fiddlers Grove area. I tried to get this out to some of our Boy Scout Troops. This would make a wonderful "Eagle" project for some of the boys. Birds are a little scarce during the fair, but if they were set up there all year long, the birds would ignore the crowds. If anyone knows some of the scoutmasters, please place a bug in their ear about the bird feeder project.

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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Our Feathered Friends
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Anthony Gray, Hale Moss, Kelly Townes Hall, Liz Franklin, Ray Pope
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