Today is Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Too Cold For The Birds

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Carolina Wren



It's here! Cold weather has finally arrived with a capitol, BURRRR. Halloween night was cold enough for me. You will hear from people telling you that you need cold weather to kill off the insects in the ground. I do know that some plant seeds will not germinate until there has been a freeze. I also know that turnip greens taste much better after they have been exposed to a nice frost. Persimmons taste a whole lot sweeter after a frost. Do not eat one of them early, unless you are planning to do a lot of kissing because of their "pucker power". On the bug thing, they just tunnel a little deeper in the soil to protect themselves from the aforementioned freeze.

Saturday morning had a little extra attraction to it as two of Anthony Gray's Granddaughters had a hankering to go with us and enjoy a plate of Chinese food at Pekings. Madi and Ali Hoffman sure knew how to dispatch a plate of lo mein. Anthony's son Eric Gray also was on hand to do damage control. After dropping the girls off, we would prod the old van toward the Cedars of Lebanon State Park, hoping to see a few of our avian friends.

Driving through the campground area, all was quiet, except fot the crackling of the campfires that most everyone was backed up to. When the wind puts a chill down your spine, the only way to get true relief, is to rotisserize yourself by a warm fire. I'm not sure if that is a word, but you keep turning around to keep your front side warm, then your back side. Repeat this over and over. It works for me. The only thing singing was a Carolina Wren.

We headed on out toward Norene, then took a left on Cainsville Road headed back toward Lebanon. With this awkward weather situation we saw nothing. Maybe the birds had left this cold front for warmer climes. Turning right at the crossroads at Chicken Road, we made our way out to Watertown. When I was much younger, I thought that it was so named because of the nasty tasting water that was there. But later in life, I discovered that the founding family there was named Waters.

Circling around the south end of the town, we headed out Commerce Road hoping to find some of our feathered friends. There wasn't much stirring until we crossed the small creek flowing under the bridge on North Commerce Road, just north of interstate forty. There are seven mini waterfalls in the creek at this point, not very high, but it does make a beautiful setting for a picture. As soon as we went over the bridge, an Eastern Phoebe, ( Sayornis phoebe ), flew out and landed on an overhanging branch. Phoebes are easy to identify because their tails are always pumping up and down when sitting. At different times of the year, you can always count on a local watering hole to sustain all forms of life.

Another bird species seen or heard all day was the Carolina Wren, ( Thryothorus ludovicianus ). Mostly during the early part of spring and through breeding season you will hear their repeated call, "Teakettle, teakettle, teakettle". During the winter months, their call sounds like raking your thumb across an old pocket comb. Even after returning home, there was a pair of them scratching around my feeders. They will remain here during the winter and hopefully they will choose a nesting site close to my home.

I would love to hear from you as to what's lurking about in your neighborhood or 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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Ali Hoffman, Anthony Gray, Carolina Wren, Eric Gray, Madi Hoffman, Ray Pope
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