Today is Monday, August 21, 2017

My Dogs Are Still Barking

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Female Belted Kingfisher

Please say goodbye to the Wilson County Fair till next year. My poor old feet has taken a beating, almost to the point of tears. It all started last Tuesday night where I was singing in the Fiddlers Grove Melrose Church. After there we went to the Concert to watch Sawyer Brown, then a quick trip to try and win at the car give away. My puppies are still singing the blues. I had to go and sing again on Wednesday, but I had to catch a courtesy ride with my good friend Uncle Pete Norman. Thanks for the ride.

Anthony Gray called me Friday night asking if we could get an earlier start with our birding. I didn't mind it at all. First, we head out Highway 141 toward Hartsville. I don't know if the wild Turkey will be out in force after open season begins. There were at least two large flocks before we got to the Cumberland River bridge. Several Vultures circled on the new morning updrafts.

From Hartsville, we head right onto highway 25 out past the old nuclear plant where the new state prison is getting very close to being finished. Several names went through my mind as to who might just be calling the place home. It sometimes seems that incarcerated people have more rights than normal people do.

Taking a left on Highway 10, we head towards the big city of Lafayette, up the large hill. Much work is being performed on the rocky strata there. The biggest reason that we went that direction was to watch Anthony's Granddaughter, Ali Hoffman run in the crosscountry track meet. Ali was part of the Tuckers Cross Road varsity runners in the track meet. I got winded just watching her run.

Old hawkeye, I mean Anthony sometimes has the sharpest eyes when we are out birding. A small pond just off of the road was being shared by a Great Blue Heron. I don't see how he can drive and watch birds at the same time.

We went through so many small hills and valleys out in the boondocks that we finally figured that they pick up Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, three days later.

While we were that close, we thought we would drive on over to Red Boiling Springs, just to see what was going on. Does anyone know what it was named for? I am not aware of any thermal pools out this way. As we leave the Red Boiling Springs area, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo flew over top of us. This was the first one that we have seen all year long.

Coming back, we take Highway 80, towards Carthage, then on to Highway 85, then into the Defeated Creek Campgroung. I thought my good friends, Willis and Liz Franklin were camping there. No such luck. Headed east we travel through Kempville and find ourselves on the Bank of the Cumberland River once again.

Sitting on an overhead power line, we found a Belted Kingfisher looking for lunch. These birds have a massive head that helps lessen the impact from the water while fishing. Next stop, Gainsboro. It has been several years since I have been through there. We pull off into the Roaring River boat ramp. This was one of my old favorite fishing spots. I knew where every stump and snag was located. In the spring time, especially when the Dogwood trees were in full bloom, we caught copious amounts of White Bass, (Stripe) where the banks of the river shortened. Maybe next year, I can resume fishing, something I really miss. Headed for home, we spot more Wild Turkeys sitting by the road side, and a Red-headed Woodpecker flying from right to left, over the road.

This coming Labor Day weekend, we will be camping once again in campground # 3 on site # 89, at the Cedars of Lebanon State Park. Come out that weekend and maybe we can stir up a family of Screech Owls. Also in the campground, we should be able to find a few Woodpecker species, with the help of my jar of peanut butter, by spreading it on the tree trunk. My bird CD also helps with that. Birding should start to improve over the next two months as northern visitors should start their migration back to their winter home.

Hummers should start to be getting in higher numbers around your feeders. I will place out about ten more feeders during peak Hummer migration.

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 you can e-mail me at, rpope15@bellsouth.net

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Our Feathered Friends
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Anthony Gray, Liz Franklin, Ray Pope
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