Today is Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Looking For A Rainbow

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Looking For A Rainbow | Anthony Gray, American Kestral

Tennessee Trash



I am hoping that each of you had a nice Halloween, with plenty of spooks to brighten your evening. After being on my feet all day at the Senior Center, I was ready to kick back and raise my legs a tad to alleviate the swelling. We had a great party there where I sang the "Monster Mash" with most of our costumed friends stomping around in time to the beat. Lots of fun.

We couldn't wait till Saturday, with the promise of sunshine to see what was lurking about at the Cedars of Lebanon State Park. Several things came into play with the weatherman missing the part where the bright star called Sol stayed behind the clouds most of the day. Most of the birds stayed out of sight too. On the back roads we rode through Statesville with the most of our feathered friends staying put and advoiding us making eye contact. The only wild turkeys that day was probably on the shelves in the area liquor stores.

Then came the rain, mostly in a fine mist which I believe followed us all the way from Cedar Forest to the Old Statesville Road about four miles out from Watertown. We cruised through a spot close to Hoot Owl Holler, then topped a hill and the sun shone bright. Not too far off was the most beautiful Rainbow that I have ever saw in my whole life. Anthony Gray was driving and it was almost impossible to pull off of the road to get a decent picture of it because of all the traffic behind us. I had brought my camera hoping to take some photos of the fall colors amongst the towering hills at that location. God was definitely smiling down upon us, as in the time of Noah.

There were bunches of small sparrow type birds flitting across the road in the weeds from one side to the other. Most likely they were Field Sparrows. Another of the most frequently spotted bird was the American Kestral, formerly known as a Sparrow Hark. These quick flyers seemed to be on about every other field during our drive, sitting on the power lines scanning the grass for their next meal. I love to watch them as they hover in mid air, like a helicopter, then divebomb some unsuspecting field mouse.

Another bird seen on a high voltage wire was a Loggerhead Shrike, also known as a butcher bird because of his habit of catching a rodent or small bird and hanging the victim on a thorn or even the sharp parts of a barbed wire fence. Later the Shrike would return to his larder to finish off his meal.

How many of you have a pet-peave? Mine is trash. Last week, Anthony and myself went out to the blown out bridge on Cedar Creek looking for wading birds. The biggest thing out there was the trash all over the place. Some people just are plain lazy when it comes to properly disposing of their unwanted garbage.

Back in my caving days, one of the first lessons learned was if you took something in, you would bring it back out. Leave only footprints, take only pictures, and kill nothing but time, a simple rule that should apply to each and everyone of us. Most fishersmen know the danger to wildlife when you toss old fishing line anywhere, except a trash receptacle. This area will close on November 15th through February 29th. I wouldn't blame the TWRA, if they closed it permanently, just because of the way it is abused. Now I feel better, since I had climbed up on my soapbox.

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, rpope15@bellsouth.net

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American Kestral, Anthony Gray
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