One of the items on today’s board meeting agenda involves the following: “Move approval of the request from Lake & Wildlife Committee to develop hiking trails above the water treatment retention ponds”.
click picture for larger image
For some time, there has been interest in having a long distance hiking trail in Bent Tree, of a more rugged nature than the existing community trails. Bent Tree has a large greenbelt area that seems perfect for such a trail. The plan is to begin with a ¾ mile trail from Bella Vista to a waterfall, then add spurs in different directions. The Lake and Wildlife Committee would handle the responsibility of blazing and maintaining the trail, and would also pay for any costs (which should be minimal). This proposal made me think about the BTCI 20/20 Ad Hoc Committee. I looked back at the 20/20 information and, interestingly enough, their kickoff meeting was held nine years ago today (May 23, 2008). A long distance trail was one of the recommendations in their 2009 “interim report”.
one of the recommendations from the 20/20 committee in 2009
The topic for today’s Lake & Wildlife Meeting was scheduled to be “Wild Boar in Big Canoe”. Due to the possibility of some icy patches remaining on the roads, the meeting has been canceled (or possibly just postponed until later this month). The photo above was taken late yesterday afternoon.
Click here to link to an article on Big Canoe’s wild pig situation.
The scheduled topic for today’s Lake & Wildlife meeting is Medicare, ACA and other related topics.
The topic of the last Lake & Wildlife meeting was VA Health and Other Benefits.
“The mission of the Lake & Wildlife Committee is to protect and maintain our natural resources to serve the needs of the Bent Tree community. The committee will furnish leadership in preserving the natural beauty consistent with good stewardship and wise assimilation of human occupancy into the natural setting. The committee will focus on providing education to the community regarding suitable use of the forest and related ecosystems and resources they contain. Additional concentrations will be on providing recreational and service opportunities for the Bent Tree community. Members of the committee are the Chairperson or Co-Chairpersons, the Secretary, the Treasurer and the chair persons of the following subcommittees: Gardeners, Lake, Trails, Yard Sale, Special Projects and Keep Bent Tree Beautiful. All residents and property owners wishing to participate may be Lake & Wildlife partners and are encouraged to become involved with and participate in the activities of the committee.” – April 2013
Using the phrase “sitting ducks” in a post a couple of days ago reminded me of some pictures I took during the summer. A lone female mallard was hanging out near the spillway. When I drove up, she was wading near the swing. It didn’t seem to ruffle her feathers one bit when I walked over and sat in the swing. I sat there taking pictures for quite a while.
Click thumbnails below to scroll through larger images. Click here for an earlier post with pictures of a lone male mallard.
Yesterday’s post was about a couple of Bent Tree homeowners who took it upon themselves to clean, repair, replace, and monitor the neglected bluebird boxes on the golf course. They have become the caretakers of the bluebird boxes. Today’s post gives a few more details.
Some of the older boxes were constructed using nails and the boxes could not be easily opened for cleaning. Where needed, the caretakers replaced the nails with screws so the cleaning and other maintenance can be properly done. Squirrels and wasps have caused some issues. A squirrel gnawed around the hole on the newly installed front of one of the boxes. Wasps began building nests in several boxes, and the caretakers promptly cleaned them out.
Many of the renovated boxes have already been used for nesting and raising babies. As of the beginning of this week, at least one group of babies had already fledged. The caretakers have already cleaned out the box, and it is ready for the next nest. Sadly, a nest of dead babies was discovered. The caretakers dug a little hole and buried them, nest and all. Then they cleaned out that box and it is ready for the next nesting cycle.
Following are pictures of some of the bluebird boxes on the golf course (click thumbnail for larger image). This first photo (taken in February) shows a box before repairs were completed. You can see where some pieces have been replaced/added to the old houses. The new fronts and roofs have a fresh coat of green paint. The all green box is a total replacement for one that was beyond repair. Note: the locations of the boxes were not changed.
Following is an excerpt from the approved minutes of the November 2012 Lake & Wildlife Committee meeting. The choice of wording about the exclosures is interesting; “to verify the effectiveness of the deer herd reduction”. Click here for a previous post on a “Predetermined Outcome”.