Sunday, June 23, 2013


"Go faster dad, faster!"
I loaded up the kids before sun-up this morning and headed for the Wildlife Management Area at Buffalo Springs for an early morning outing.  These couch potatoes needed to get out in the fresh air.
We got there at sun-up and was greeted by the fields of color that appear annually on this property.

I've posted shots of these flowers in past years and am continually impressed with the beauty they provide.  The flowers go on and on for acres.  Stunning is the word that comes to mind.

The colors and variety of flowers are diverse and so beautiful that if the public could see this sight - they would stop their cars an be compelled to walk through them.  The fields, however, are hidden and protected in the midst of the forest where the animals can enjoy them.

It's impossible to walk here and not get a smile on your face.  Impossible!  I don't know who's responsible for this spectacular display of color, but my hats off to him.  I'd like to take a fold out chair out in the middle of this field an just sit there.

I understand that Tennessee Wildlife Resource's Agency, (TWRA) is undertaking a planting program called "Savannah."  Vast fields of grain producing crops will be planted for the benefit of wildlife.  The harvesting of the grains and distribution of same will feed much of our state's wildlife population.  The grain that falls to the ground or remains on plant stalks will be of tremendous benefit to the local wildlife such as quail, turkey, deer and many other species.  I was skeptical about bulldozing down so much forest to achieve these needed agricultural fields, but now I kind of like the idea.  A lot of trees and forest had to come down to create the vast areas needed to plant on - hence the term Savannah.

Already grain crops are thriving.  If it helps the wildlife then I'm all for it.  This is an example of the vital projects that TWRA undertakes to propagate, nurture and extend good stewardship to the state's wildlife.  This is excellent use of vital budget money to enhance wildlife resources and fulfill the agencies mission to the citizens of Tennessee and "their" wildlife.  Sounds like a commercial - huh?

As you can see a good portion of forest has been cleared away.  This bothered me at first, but when one looks at the big picture - it all makes sense.  There still remains a vast forest on the entire perimeter of these future fields. 
I love how the dogs stay with me.  They are the best.  We followed a trail that, hopefully, would lead us to the creek they like to swim in.
The trail brought us out onto another freshly cleared piece of land.  What's that black spot out there by the mud?  It's, it's Shade.  For goodness sake!  Oh no!

My black pig dog found a spot she couldn't resist.  Well, it is getting warm out and that, to her, is water.

Just look at her enjoying the mud.  I don't care.  It's her morning and it's clean mud.

Chestnut Hound joins Shade in the mud but she walks through the water.  She doesn't lay down and roll in it like pig dog does.

Shade is having a tremendously wonderful time.  Her face is lit up and she's enjoying the coolness of the mud.  I don't mind at all.  If it makes her happy, then I'm happy too.  She is, however, sealing her fate as far as a shampoo bath goes for when we get home.  All that mud will wash away when we get to the very clean, cold creek later.
"Come on Shade - lets go find the stream."
It is impossible to walk through or around all that wood that borders these cleared fields.  The trails are blocked and we're having a difficult time getting to the creek we need to find.  The sun is getting hot even at this early hour.  We'll find the creek and start back toward the truck and home.  I don't want to risk them out in extreme heat.
I decided to take them straight into the thick woods and head straight down over the hill to the creek.  The plants in here were covered with water and would help keep them cool as they past through them.  All I could think about was all the ticks and chiggers that were clinging to my clothes as I waded through this mess.  
We came out on another trail that would parallel the creek we sought.
We finally found the cold, clear stream.  They went nuts.

Chestnut was really enjoying the water.  She walked in it for a long distance, drinking deeply.  Sweet little girl.
Shade laid down in the stream and just languished in the coolness of the water.  The mud was washed from her hair and she came out clean as a pin.

The sun is really getting hot.  It's only 8:30 AM and the humidity is raising with the heat.  It's time to hoof it out of here.
I'm glad I took them to the forest today.. These are woodland dogs and they don't belong on the couch at home.  Today they could act like woodland dogs and seek and search, smell, sniff and run in the woods.  I wish I could get them out more, but I can only afford so much gasoline.  It's all about gasoline these days.

I thought I'd show you some flowers in my yard at home.  I planted climbing roses as well as knock-out roses and they are beautiful.  I need to get some more bleached out drift wood for them to climb on.  
Above is one of 7 knock-out roses.  They are super beautiful!
Below is a shot of the climbing rose area I'm creating.  It will change as the roses grow.
Those are climbing roses between those poles where the yellow wire is spanning the distance over them.

I really like the bleached drift wood look.  You can see the climbers starting to come through the wood lattice above.  They all seem to be healthy even though I know nothing about roses.  You might notice the vines over near the upside down tub.  Ivy.
Clematis has climbed up onto the bleached wood and is spreading out nicely.  Can't wait to see the blooms, whenever they happen.  I need drift wood that will stand higher off the ground for all the stuff to climb upon.  I sit and pull out all the grass and weeds surrounding these plants every three days.  It grows back so fast!
Below is one of the forsythia plants I got from the old Scona Lodge area.  This is one of 14 plants I "borrowed" from Scona.  Every plant has survived and is very healthy.  They are growing tall and starting to widen, as I hoped they would.
Finally, here is one of the seven butterfly bushes.  They are growing very quickly and spreading out just as I hoped they would.  I'll never cut them back.  They can go where they wish,  and the forsythia can do the same.  I'm not sure when the butterflie bushes will bloom but I bet it will be pretty when they do.
So, that's about it for the morning.  I had these pictures and thought I'd just go ahead and put them on the blog.  Actually, I'm resting up after a shower to wash off the chiggers that I'm sure covered my clothing.  I'm thinking of tossing the canoe on the truck and heading for the flood plain.  I'll see how I feel in a little while.  Its noon now, so I better get it in gear.  Hope you enjoyed the entry.  See ya later.