Here we are starting toward the end of September, in a dry period that will finish off my garden. Usually I will have to pick tomatoes the day before frost is forecasted. Most of my plants have already dried up. I will miss my home grown vegetables, especially my mators. I would guess now is the time to sow turnip greens.
Anthony Gray came by to pick me up for our usual Saturday morning outing. We headed south on the Old Murfreesboro Road. Taking a left on Hobbs Lane, we surveyed the area where the small stream meanders under the road and down the ditch line. Usually, in the spring time, this area is full of birds. Today it is different, we hear the call of the American Crow off in the distance. There are several smaller birds off in the edge of the woods, but too far away to identify.
Crossing over highway 231, we come to Walnut Grove Road and then on to Rocky Valley Road. This is not the best time of the year to find birds in abundance. Even my feeder birds have thinned out a bit. Up ahead we see small sparrow type birds feeding on the side of the road, but the angle of the morning sun prevents me from getting a decent look at them. On down the road we spot smaller birds on the side of the road once again. This time the roas has turned in a westerly direction and the sun is behind us.
Chipping Sparrows are everywhere. These birds match the same size that we saw back down the road. They are not very vocal at this time of the year. Spring time, where breeding season is happening, you will hear birds singing their little hearts out.
Back on 231, we take a right onto Flat Woods Road, where Anthony hits the brakes. Just outside my window, is a "Box Turtle", trying to cross the road. We are always thinking about some of the careless "Idiots", that will go out of their way to run over one of these. Where possible, we will place them on the other side of the road, in the direction they are headed.
Box Turtles are of the Genus Terrapene and their lifespan can be as high as 50 years. Some other have been found to live to be 100 years old.
Headed out Flat Woods Road, I see that the Buzzard is back on the roost. Lots of Turkey Vultures are taking advantage of the many road kills on the side of the road, mostly possums.
On Vesta Road, we stop on a bridge that still has water flowing underneath it. The only bird that we hear is the little Carolina Wren, and he is singing his winter song. I usually have these at my home, but this year they have been mighty scarce. There is an idea in the back of my head to build a Carolina Wren nesting box, by using an old boot. Then this comes around, I will have to take a photo to show you what I am talking about.
Once again, we cross over 231 and head out Jennings Pond Road. Parts of this road is surrounded completely with trees, which makes you feel like you are traveling through a tunnel. I notice that it feels much cooler and find that the temperature has dropped ten degrees, according to the thermometer on the dashboard of our vehicle.
A couple more roads over we wind up on the Sue Warren Trail where it hits Cedar Forest Road. We get out of the car and I put on my listening ears. Off in the distance comes the call of the White-eyed Vireo. This bird has been in the area ever since spring. On over in the glade area, the song of the Prairie Warbler's buzzy trill, going up the scale, can be heard. This area is one of my favorite birding spots, year round.
Driving through the campground at the Cedars of Lebanon State Park, makes me wish that I was camping out again. Just the smell of a good campfire, can get my mouth to watering, for the taste of a hotdog cooking on a coat hanger. We looked aroung for Buddy Ingram, but didn't get to run into him. He sure was busy during the Labor Day weekend.
Coming out of the park, we are back on 231 once again, this time headed north. We head down Chicken Road, wonder how it got it's name, then over Cainesville Road to Trammel Lane. We are headed to Watertown and then out South Commerce Road. This time we turn on Bell Road, our first time to do so. This area would make a great Bluebird trail, as would most of Wilson County. Our stomach is growling and it is time for our Peking Chinese Restaurant fix, my time to pay. Half way through our meal, here comes Liz and Willis Franklin for lunch. It is also one of their favorite places to eat.
I got a phone call from A. B. Hedgepeth, asking about a large Hawk at his home. Listening to his description of the bird, pointed to it being a Red-tailed Hawk. He agreed, especially after noticing the red tail feathers.
Somehow, I missed sending a picture to go with last weeks article where I mentioned my Daughter-in Law, April Pope's ability to hold a large Grey Rat Snake. I am including it in this weeks article. I'll bet that Anthony Gray couldn't do that.
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, email@example.com