Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
February 21, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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February 21, 2018

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Page 6C . porter February 21,2018 MONROE OUTDOORS by Terry W, Johnson If you spend much time outside in Monroe County, chances are you have made the acquain- tance of a vine sometimes called Mother Nature's barbed wire. When the plant's abundant spikes snag your clothing or pierce your skin, you are not apt to for- get the encoun- ter. The native plant I am referring to is also known by names such as greenbrier, smilax, and cat- brier. All told, some 14 spe- cies of green- brier spread their green, woody vines across the Southeast. Although some species do not dis- play sharp spines, we are most familiar with those that sport enough of them to earn the nick- name of Nature's barbed wire. Depending on the spe- cies, a vine's leaves are often heart-shaped and can be either evergreen or deciduous. At this time of the year it is easy to spot greenbrier vines adorned with shiny dark green leaves; indeed they bring a touch of color to a winter landscape domi- nated by gray and grown colors. If you look closely, you will notice greenbrier grows in a wide range of habitats. You will find them growing all the way from moist creek bottoms to dry uplands. They are TerryW. Johnson how far green- also able to exist in both shade and full sunlight. Much to the chagrin of local garden- ers, they have a propensity to thrive in our yards. Greenbrier vines emerge from rhizomes. I have long been amazed brier vines can venture out from these rhizomes. I have seen them reach the top of trees 30 or more feet tall. Yet I still wonder how long they can get. The vines are able to attain dizzying heights with the aid of tendrils that extend from joints spaced along their vines. Once a ten- dril touches any means of supports, such as a twig, it quickly wraps itself around it. Consequently, as the vine grows sky- ward, it is held aloft by a network of sturdy anchors. Those vines that grow close to the ground form seemingly impenetrable thickets. If you have ven- tured into a greenbrier thicket, you can attest to the fact that the experi- ence is often a nightmare. However, these thickets provide both nesting sites and escape cover for wild- life ranging from quail and songbirds to rabbits. Well more than a cen- tury ago Eatonton native Joel Chandler Harris wrote a humorous Uncle Remus tale that vividly illustrates the value of brier patches to rabbits. It is the story of how Brer Rabbit tricked Brer Fox into thro ng him into a briar patch. What the wily fox didn't realize is that the dreaded briar patch would offer Brer Rabbit from the supposedly wily fOX, Nowadays rabbits are still using greenbrier patches to escape foxes as well as hawks and other predators. However, they also provide nesting sites and escape cover for a variety of other wildlife ranging from quail and songbirds to opossums and small mammals. Greenbrier vines' are dioecious meaning they are either male or female. e e Greenbrier can grow 30 feet or more to the tops of trees. Its thorns are menacing, but it provides food and shelter for many animals and birds. (Photo/'Ferry Johnson) Female vines bear 1/4"- devoured by opossums 1/2" fruits that turn and black bears. blue, red, or black when White-tailed deer, mature. Each fruit con- eastern cottontails, and tains one to four seeds, swamp rabbits will eat These fruits will often the greenbrier's leaves remain on the vines well and vines. Believe it or into winter and offer food not, beavers will even for more than 40 song- feed on the plant's rhi- birds including hermit zomes. thrushes, sparrows, car- The greenbrier is also dinals, American robins, important to a fascinat- gray catbirds, and mock- ing little butterfly known ingbirds. They are also as a harvester. The small eaten by fish crows, wild butterfly is our only car- turkeys, common grack- nivorous butterfly. les, northern flickers and The harvester lays its others. The fruits are also eggs on greenbrier leaves. e The butterfly does not do this because its caterpil- lars feed on the plant's leaves. To the contrary, its caterpillars eat wooly aphids that suck juices from the leaves. The food value of the greenbrier has long been recognized by humans. Some folks incorporate greenbrier in salads. Others use it to make jelly. Native Americans utilized greenbrier to treat urinary infec- tions and joint pain. In the past, the perennial vine was employed to treat gout and skin dis- eases. Greenbrier tea was sipped to alleviate joint pain. When we take the time to learn more about this thorny vine, it is obvi- ous greenbrier does have some redeeming values. However, in the minds of many, greenbrier still deserves the nickname of Mother Nature's barbed wire. Terry Johnson is the retired Program Manager of the Georgia Nongame- Endangered Wddlife Program. He has written the informative column VIonroe Outdoors'for the Reporter for many years. Email him at t uck@bellsouth. net. MONROE COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL 2018 C-TEAM BASE- BALLTEAM: Pictured from left to right on the front row: Dawson Niblett, Aric Mock, Eric Snow, Drew Grant, Thomas Brooks and Leighton Judd. Pictured from left to right on the back row: Jake Causey, Jarvis Germany, Caden Swancey, Holton Bell, Logan Hickman, Ryan Jenkins and Brycen Home. (Photo/Richard Dumas) Com~ to Ex~fer~e A TRANE COMFORT SPECIALIST IS AS RELIABLE AS THE TRANE THEY ARE 405 College Street Forsyth, GA INSTALLING. We are DET and BPI certified for testing you~ home and duct work for air tigh ess ! Service On All Brands Replacement & Repairs New Construction Remodeling Custom Designed Metal Duct Systems . Zoned Systems . Trane Communicating Systems ii i i il Don Etheridge, 2018 C-Team Baseball Schedule DATE OPPONENT LOCATION TIME Feb. 20 Clifton Ridge Home 4:30 p.m. Feb. 22 Byron (DH) Away 4:30 p.m. Feb. 27 Henderson Home 5 p.m. Mar. 1 Gray Station (DH) Away 4 p.m. Mar. 6 Upson County Home 4:30 p.m. Mar. 9 ACE (D-Team) Home 5 p.m. Mar. 12 Lamar County (DH) Home 4:30p.m. Mar. 14 Windsor (D-Team) Away 5 p.m. Mar. 15 Clifton Ridge Away 4:30 p.m. Mar. 20 Byron (DH) Home 4;30 p.m. Mar. 22 Henderson Away 5 p.m. Mar. 27 Gray Station (DH) Home 4:30 p.m. Mar. 29 Upson County Away 4:30 p.m. Apr. 10 1st Round PlayoffsTBA TBA Apr. 12 Finals Playoffs TBA TBA MONROE COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL 2018 D-TEAM BASEBALL TEAM: Pictured from left to right on the front row" Tucker Bennett, Ta nner Ivey, Michael Whitfield, Liam Whitson and Landon Trice. Pictured from left to right on th eback row: Christian Childress, Andrew Hill, Anthony Clements, Andon Riley, Christian Smith and Dylan Garza. (Photo/Richard Dumas) il Advertising Publication Deadline: Date: February20,2018 February28,2018 For years we have honored women in the workplace. We are excited to sa~; "Men this is your year!" In our upcoming"Men at Work" special insert, we will tell your story and recognize your years of dedication, hard work and bushaess leadership. For each busin~ that does a half page or larger we will write a story chronicling your histor); services, struggt~ ~ and future goah etc. Please fed flee to include an old photo when you first started your btmess or a cunent picture of you and your staff (which we can take for you). Dofft miss out on being a part of this special history making insert that is designed to honor men in business! Full Page $350 1/2 Page $185 1/4 Page $125 2x3 $75 Business Card $50