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Author Topic: Woods walking  (Read 35391 times)

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Offline Jeff

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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2001, 08:35:45 PM »
This aint really woods walking, but it was out doors. The Michigan Forest Resource Alliance has an auto tour that runs up US-27 and I-75 starting in Clare, and ending at Hartwick Pines. There are 10 numbered signs along the way that correspond with a brochure that can be obtained at the welcome center in Clare or from Mfra. (www.mfra.org) The problem with the tour in the past has been a lot of people did not know what the signs were for. Well they will have a way to find out now.

We started upgrading the signs to include the MFRA web address today. Do you know how many million people will pass these signs every year?? The kicker is, MFRA includes a big 'ole link to our forum right on its front page!

Here is a picture of my kids (two on the left) and a friend of my son, helping me today, putting up the new mfra.org plaques on the signs.




If you would like to know more about the auto tour, or would like to receive the brochure, or other brochures free of charge, visithttp://www.mfra.org
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2001, 06:31:10 PM »
Tonight we went on the road and added the address plaque to 3 more of the auto tour signs. The Third we got a little crooked because we were trying to rush because of a heavy thunderstorm. We were north of the Muskegon River, almost to Higgens Lake. We had an awsome site! We just got back in the car when a large, mature, Bald eagle swept out of the woods and just in front of us. Looked JUST LIKE THE ONE ON THE SIGN!
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Offline Gordon

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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2001, 07:55:23 PM »
Jeff, that's beauty at it's best! Those are some awsome birds to watch fish as well. In this area there are a few eagles but few and far between. Hard to see unless it's a very quiet day at the refuge.

Something there are quite a few of around here are the Osprey. Another beautiful bird to watch as well. The male comes up from down south after winter two weeks before the female to get the nest ready.

Another bird that I admire for its patience is the Blue Heron. Nice long legs, it will stand on one leg in shallow water for ever waiting for a fish to swim within it's reach and then bam fish for lunch.

But the Bald Eagle is the king. 8)
The signs look great.
Gordon

Offline Jeff

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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2001, 08:23:47 PM »
The area I was in has man made nesting platforms built for osprey, In fact one of the signs I have to do is in the edge of thiat marsh. The sign has "floated out of its holes, and will have to be repaired somehow first. There is also a blue Heron rookery on a high wooded knob in the middle of that same marsh. Remember the Houghton lake area from when you were in Michigan Gordon?

I would like to encourage everyone to go to the MFRA.org site and order some brochures. Thats what they are there for. The education is invaluable. They have had requests from as far as Poland and Finland. They send to everyone FREE! They also have a free issue of MUCC tracks Magazine for your Kids.

I expect them to get some requests from you guys, and maybe some ticket sales, and by the way,I asked, and they delivered the cabin last year to the Wisconsin winner!
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2001, 06:31:37 PM »
Jeff,
Good job with the MFRA signs. They are in need of recurring maintenance. You were in active eagle territory. Maybe you remember when there was an eagle's nest there right along the I-27 freeway and young fell to the ground on highway. The nesting platforms were built soon after in effort to get the parent eagles to move nest to safer location.

I'm a regular ticket buyer for the MFRA cabin so will be getting some.
~Ron

Offline Don P

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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2001, 06:11:08 AM »
There was an article in a paper south of here last week stating there had been a number of Bald Eagle deaths on man made lakes in the south. The autopsies apparently showed brain lesions. They are looking at algae, the article seemed to be hinting at a Pfisteria type outbreak. Anyone heard more?
A laborer works with his hands
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2001, 05:37:05 PM »
I got the signs done today. The last one was the one along the Houghton Lake marsh. I took 4 steel fence posts with me thinking I could drive them in, and anchor the sign to them so it would not keep floating out of it's post holes. The sign sits inches outside of the expressway fence. That close to the Highway, and the steel posts went clear to there top with about 8 smacks of the post driver. I ended up getting it anchored, but will have to go back with lumber to nail across the sign posts to keep it from sinking more and loosening my cables.

The Osprey are already on thier platforms, and there are Blue Heron in the rookery! I will go back in a week or two for pictures. We are creating a virtual tour for MFRA that will change seasonaly. I need some spring photos, so I will wait till it looks a little more like spring. Maybe some of the tour locations will have trilium, thats a sure sign it's spring and not just a snowless winter!
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Offline Gordon

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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2001, 06:52:39 PM »
Sounds like you did a great job on the signs Jeff and yes I do remember where Houghton Lake is. Pretty contry, then again the upper two thrids of Mi really is beautiful.

Don I hope thats an isolated problem. That is all we need is another problem with the eagles. Seems like that they start to recover to good healthy numbers and get hit with another blow.

About signs of spring I cut grass for four hours this afternoon on the small John Deere. I hate cutting grass, glad the wife likes to do it or the kids would get lost in the back yard.

The bad news around here the ticks are out hot and heavy already. Before the shower tonight I picked off four of the little buggers. I hate them worse than snakes!!

Oh to spring and wonderful mother nature--she sure could have left the ticks out.
Gordon

Offline Tom

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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #28 on: May 04, 2001, 08:19:40 PM »
Don,

I have not heard of Bald Eagle deaths this far south.  Bald Eagles are on the uprise in north Florida especially close to the Ocean and the intercoastal waterway.  Mullet schools are thick with thousands being in one school and schools following each other up and down the rivers and inlets.

Bald Eagles will spot a single and swoop down to water level, reach below the water with their talons and fly away with a 3 or 4 pound mullet.  If they were to grab more than they could handle their life would be in jeapordy because the water is deep and the currents swift.  Somehow they know what to do.  

This isn't an everyday occurance but is getting frequent enough that most fisherman have seen them lately and can talk about the experience.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2001, 08:25:36 PM »
Tom, Done won't be able to reply until probably November. He is in Illinois building a log home and will be away from him computer until it is done.
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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #30 on: May 04, 2001, 10:54:20 PM »
That's cool.  I remember reading his post about that I think.  Doesn't matter. I like ospreys, Eagles and Kites too and just wanted to join in some of this conversation and also bring what I thought was an interesting thread, back to the surface.

I have been watching a  couple of Swallow Tailed Kites soaring over my place for the past 3 or 4 days and stop whatever I'm doing while they visit.
Man, they're pretty.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2001, 06:35:58 AM »
We have a pair of Red Tailed Hawks that nest very close to our home. In fact they hunt our neighbor hood.

We only have one reservation about them. We have an ankle biter that my wife inherited when her dad died. He is a Yorky that weights about 5 pounds. We do not let him stay out by himself!
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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #32 on: May 05, 2001, 08:46:35 AM »
Yeah,  I bet a Red Tailed Hawk would give a Yorky a bad time. Have you ever seen the dog hunted or is it just a concern?

We have a couple of big ol' Hoot Owls courting in our front yard a couple of times a week. One puts its face on the ground and spreads its wings out flat and the other sits in a little sweet gum tree and watches. We have a big, solid black, "fixed" cat that my wife worries might get caught.  I would like to see the fight if it happened.  That owl better not miss.

Have you ever seen a soaring Swallow Tail Kite?  They are beautiful.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #33 on: May 05, 2001, 10:12:21 AM »
Never seen them hunt the dog, but the concern comes from watching one actually get one of the neighbors tame rabbits as we stood in the mouth of his garage drinking a "beverage". The rabbit was on the lawn to the front and left of the garage, and the hawk came right over the garage and down on him. It happened within 30 feet of us.

The neighbor ran out flailing his arms and trying to scare the hawk, which just took a little flying loop right at him and them back to it's kill. ( I would say that rabbit was dead or unconcious the second it was struck.) the hawk then flew off with it. Dropped it about 100 yards away. ( I wonder if they do that to make sure the amimal is dead). Picked it up again and was gone.

That rabbit was probably about the same size as scooter.
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Offline Gordon

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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #34 on: May 06, 2001, 06:43:59 AM »
Jeff, that would not be a nice site to see, scooter being hauled away. I'd keep a close eye on the little dog. If that's not enough to scare you nothing is.

Birds are amazing animals. One day I was walking and there is one trail about 1/4 mile from the house that usually has standing water across it in one spot after heavy rains. Before it has a chance to run out the ditches.

Well I was walking along watching this woodpecker going to town on this rotten tree that I left stand just for that reason. It's actually in the way on that trail but the woodpeckers love it. So I'm thinking about how glad I was to leave that dumb old tree for them and I hear flop-flop-flop. Wings just a getting it. By instinct I ducked and looked around.

Boy did I feel dumb, it was a hen and drake mallard that I had scared up. They flew right over me and off they went. What's worse is that wasn't the first time that had happened in that same area.

I just tilled up seven acres for the man across the road for corn. He had a small corn maze last year that he haunted. It went over very well. So this year he came to me and wants me--get this--to design a corn maze for him. Lay it out and build it because he has so many projects going on right now. Any ideas?

Wish he would have come to me during winter. Now I've got to figure out how to charge him for my time. The fun never stops. Corn walking-woods walking ur um yea thats pretty close.

Gordon

Offline Jeff

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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #35 on: May 06, 2001, 07:00:24 AM »
You got lots of time! Don't you cut the maze after the corn is grown? or do you go in and mark it off when it's knee high so you can see what your doing?
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Offline Gordon

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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #36 on: May 06, 2001, 08:10:10 AM »
Not really, I'll be planting silage corn and depending on conditions it grows from 7' to 11' tall in a good season. So time will go quicker than you think.

Wait until the corn is about a foot in height, then go in and lay out the grid. Then off of the grid you lay out the trails. Remove the corn from the trails and let the rest grow. It will have two bridges as well going over a large ditch that I will have to plan and build as well.

I'm going to lay out a grid. Unsure right now as to what size would be best. A 5'-10' or 20' grid. Also thought about trying to use G.P.S. if possible instead of laying out the grid by hand.
Gordon

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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #37 on: May 06, 2001, 10:39:55 AM »
gordon,

Is a Maize Maze for intertainment or profit?  It sounds like a fun thing for a neighborhood project.
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2001, 08:06:56 PM »
A good "Haunted House" project for Halloween. Vary or wave the edges for maximum edge for wildlife.
~Ron

Offline Gordon

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Re: Woods walking
« Reply #39 on: May 07, 2001, 08:39:16 PM »
Tom, actually a little of both. For me the learning curve is going to be pretty steep for the next few weeks getting all of this straight. Should be fun though.

Ron how much of a wave should be used? Please tell me how this will help. Thanks

Plans are for a haunted loop in Oct. and flashlight walks.
Gordon


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