Lake & Wildlife Meeting Tomorrow Morning (9:30 at Club Tamarack)

The scheduled guest speakers are Doug Byrd (BTCI’s General Manager) and Steve Smith (BTCI’s Public Safety Director). The meeting is open to all Bent Tree property owners. Update – The speakers were Doug Byrd and Steve Atkins (BTCI’s Fire Chief).




Not Necessarily

Click here for a related previous post from last week. The second sentence of the November GM Report states “The majority of residents voted to increase our assessments for improved lots and reduce our assessments for unimproved lots.”

That statement is not necessarily true. A more accurate statement might be “The majority of property owners who actually voted, were in favor of the CC&R amendment regarding the restructuring of assessments.

There were 625 votes cast in favor of the amendment. The General Manager used the word residents. Since the returned ballots were not tallied by whether they were from improved or unimproved property owners, there is no way (at this time) to know how the majority of residents voted. Someone could probably go through the returned ballots and figure out the breakdown; it would just take some time. It could be that the unimproved lot owners pushed the amendment through. Each and every unimproved lot owner will save at least $110 in assessments next year. If they own a combined lot, the savings will be much greater. For example, an unimproved three-lot combination will save $720 in assessments next year.

Also, the “voted to increase our assessments for improved lots” wording is not accurate. As previously noted, some improved properties will enjoy decreased assessments.



Beaver Trap

Speaking of beavers…

Earlier this year, a beaver trap was set along the edge of Lake Tamarack. The first picture below shows a beaver lodge along the water’s edge. There are some sticks sticking straight up out of the water (see second photo below for closeup). These sticks are part of the trap setup. “It is unlawful to trap any wildlife upon the lands or in the waters of any other person except with written consent of the owner, which must be on the person setting or using the traps. Traps must be tended at least once each 24-hour period. Traps and snares must be labeled with the owner’s name or owner’s permanent trapper’s identification number provided by the department. Foot-hold traps for beavers must be smooth or rubber jaw steel. Body gripping traps in excess of 9½ inches square must be used in water or within 10 feet of water. Snares must be used in water or on land within 10 feet of water.” – GA DNR Trapping Regulations

February 14, 2015 - Beaver trap and beaver lodge along the shore of Lake Tamarack

February 14, 2015 – Beaver trap and beaver lodge along the shore of Lake Tamarack

February 14, 2015 - closeup of sticks used with the trap

February 14, 2015 – closeup of sticks used with the trap

Beaver Moon


Last week’s full moon put on a bright show in Bent Tree. The photo below was taken on Wednesday, and the photo above was taken on Thanksgiving. The November full moon is known as the “Beaver Moon”. According to Native American lore, this is the time of year to set beaver traps to ensure a good supply of warm furs for the winter, before the swamps freeze over, and while the beavers are actively preparing for winter.

November 25, 2015 - Full "Beaver Moon" over Bent Tree (click photo for larger image)

November 25, 2015 – Full “Beaver Moon” over Bent Tree (click photo for larger image)

It’s Not Apples to Apples

Click here for a related previous post.

This year, the way the bar charts represent the financial picture is different from past years. I picked a couple of bar charts to use as an example. The first one is from the July 2014 Bent Tree newsletter and the second one is from the July 2015 newsletter. Both charts include April 2014 data (highlighted in yellow on both charts). The numbers shown for April 2014 differ in the two charts. The way the bar charts were created in 2014 corresponded with the summary data given at the top of the budget reports found on the website. Starting this year, carryover funds were subtracted from the revenues, and capital transfers were adjusted out of expenditures, when creating the charts. The 2015 budget bars (left bars in second chart) show revenues less than the expenditures. If the bar chart was done the same way as last year, the revenues figure would be $4,197,332. It would be greater than the expenditures figure of $4,115,787.

201404 budget

click for larger image


201504 budget

click for larger image



Time to Break Out the Winter Coat

The forecast called for the temperature to drop to 28° before daybreak this morning. The deer are ready with their winter coats. Note – check below the photo for some fun facts about their winter fur.

November 22, 2015 - Winter coat on deer in Bent Tree

November 22, 2015 – Winter coat on deer in Bent Tree (click photo for larger image)

  • The deer’s winter coat has amazing insulation properties
  • There are only about half as many “guard” hairs in the coat during the winter, compared to the number in the summer coat. But, each winter hair is at least twice as long and twice as thick as the summer hair.
  • Winter hair is kinked vs sleek hair in the summer.
  • The winter hair shafts are hollow so that air gets trapped inside, helping with insulation.
  • The winter coat is much darker than the summer one, and absorbs more solar energy.
  • There is also woolly underfur in the winter which traps warm air near the skin’s surface.
  • Adding even more to the insulation is the process of puffing the fur. There are actually tiny bundles of muscles attached to each hair shaft that cause the hair to stand on each, producing an even denser layer of insulation.


“Flipping Bent Tree”

“Flipping Bent Tree” seems like it would make a good HGTV show. There have been a couple of great flips this year alone, and a lot of the properties currently for sale have great potential for creative makeovers. It’s still a buyer’s market. The flip at 58 Tamarack Drive is a good example of what is possible. Less than a year ago (December 2014), it sold for only $65,000 after foreclosure. The house was built in 1973, had fallen into disrepair, but had character and was in a prime location on the golf course. After extensive renovation, the Mountain Contemporary house closed for $215,000 last month (October 2015).

58 tamarack