Wilson Post Blogs
Our Feathered Friends - February 1
By RAY POPE
Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to be able to fly like a bird. There was one time that found me on the roof of our house with an umbrella in one hand and my mother’s prayers in the other. Another time I built a set of wings on my old bicycle, without the knowledge of weight-to-lift ratio.
My uncle, Chuck, joined the U.S. Army and was a member of the 101st Airborne Division stationed at Fort Campbell Kentucky. I admired him for this and was more impressed when I found out that he was a paratrooper. Long after his service was over, he still had the love of jumping, so my uncle, Charles Wayne Gann,decided to take up skydiving. Back when I was in the hospital, Uncle Charles came by to see how his nephew was doing. We talked for a couple of hours when I made up my mind to try skydiving. Barring any unforeseen problems, we will make the trip to Tullahoma this spring and undertake another piece of my “bucket list.” I will desire your prayers on this undertaking.
This past Saturday found me out in the back yard watching probably last year’s Bluebird family checking out the house where my last brood of Bluebirds came from. Now is a good time to put out your Bluebird houses. This goes to show that they are getting ready for winter to let go and for spring to get here so they can do their thing. It seemed to me that the whole brood had come to check out things around here since there were about six or seven looking around.
Last year I had a couple of Tree Swallows looking about in my Bluebird box and even my Purple Martin Condo. Third times the charm, I hope. One way of attracting Tree Swallows is to have more than one Bluebird house out in the yard. Having a plethora of feathers stashed about will help, because if you decide to check out one of their nests, feathers you will find. I could kick myself in the seat of my pants for not collecting a sack full at the Wilson County Fair in the poultry barn. There have even been times that you might hold a feather out at arms length and have a Swallow take it from you on the wing.
Last week Karen introduced you to the Northern Harrier. You will see them hunting across fields in an odd pattern of flight, kind of like a back and forth search pattern, and other times you may watch them hover like an American Kestrel.
Here is something to add to your calender for Feb. 18. At 10 a.m. that Saturday morning, I have been invited to do a bird seminar at Gardens on Main on Highway 70 just down the hill past the Snow White Drive-in. Please make plans to attend, and I will be glad to answer any questions you may have.
The next month I have two seminars on the same day, March 10, on Bluebirds and Purple Martins at Garr’s Rental and Feeds in Mt. Juliet. Hope to see you there also.
Last, Sunday, I went out with Carole Young hoping to show her the White-throated Sparrow out by the lake. Someone was shooting their pistol on the other side of the river and there was nothing to be seen.
There is still plenty of time if anyone would like to make a day trip to see the Bald Eagles at Reelfoot Lake in northwestern Tennessee. The first trip I took was with the Late John W. Sellars, and we saw over a hundred, plus lots of Ducks.