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March 6, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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March 6, 2019
 

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Page 2B March 6, 2019 R porter MONROE OUTDOORS by Terry W. Johnson Ifyou are a fan ofthe ruby- throated hummingbird, I know you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first hummingbird of the year. Now that March has arrive& we re- alize this special day is ever so dose. More often than not, the throfirst ruby- ats of the year arrive in Monroe COunty around TERRY W. JOHNSON the middle Many ofthese plants will be through blooming by the time ruby- throated humming= birds arrive in Monroe County. This, coupled with the fact that other flowers now poised on the threshold of blooming could easily be killed by a night or two of freezing weather could diminish the food sup- ofMarch, I . . ply available to personally see my first hummer what is arguably our around March 18. Some years favorite bird. I see one later; however, I have never spotted one earlier. Other local hummingbird enthusiasts like Debbie Menard always seem to catch sight of one a few days earlier. It is obvious that the days of unbelievably warm spring-like weather we have been enjoy- ing lately urged many of our spring-blooming plants to regale the county with a profusion of blooms weeks earlier than nor- mal. The weather has stoked our hopes of seeing a hummingbird much earlier than usual this year. While we will have to wait and see flour desires become a reality, we should pause and give some thought to the impact this unseasonably warm weather is having on the plant world and the potential consequences this might have on returning hummingbirds. Fortunately, many of these plants are not great sources of nectar. However, if there is a nectar shortage, the birds may be forced to rely more heavily on the food we provide them in our feeders. With that in mind, it would behoove all of us to make sure we have a feeder or two filled with nectar hanging in our backyards awaiting the wave of humming- birds that will soon be arrivifig in the county. I mention this because a year doesn't go by when somebody tells me about looking out his or her window on a cool March morning and spotting a hummingbird hovering at the spot where a feeder was hung the year before. Hummingbirds like this female ruby-throat usually begin arriving in Monroe County around March 18 and look for hummingbird feeders they have visited before. Recent warm weather caused early blooms and may create a greater need for hummingbird feeders. (Photo/Terry Johnson) When this happens, they im- first thing usually no need to fill a feeder we need with nectar. This is because typi- to do cally only one or two birds will be is place using your feeder during the first our first few weeks of the hummingbird feeder up season. Consequently, the food no later will sour before it is ever used than the up. With that in mind, initially end of the begin by filling a feeder only second one-third to one-half full, If you week in find the birds are using more food March. than you anticipated, gradually The increase the amount of food you feeder can offer them. contain Since we have no idea what, either if any, effect our unseasonably home- warm winter weather will have on made or ruby-throated hummingbirds, we store- should closely monitor the feed- bought ing activities of thebirds using nectar, our personal hummingbird ha- Cam- vens. More than likely, the birds mercial are going to do fine. However, hum- i if we find the birds seem to be ming- depending on the food we offer bird them more than normal, we can nectar quickly offer them more food. works as Since nobody knows what will well as happen this year, please let me mediately feel like they let the the nectar we make at home. The know what you Witness in your little bird down. Then, in an main advantage of making our yards during the next several effort to makes things right, they own is it is much cheaper,weeks. Reporting what we all scurry about pulling a feeder out If you prepare your own hum- experience can help us better of storage as they heat a batch of mingbird food, keep in mind understand what we need to do to hummingbird nectar on the stove, hummingbird food consists of benefit ruby-throated humming- When the nectar, cools, they then three parts water to one part birds should they face a similar fill the feeder with food and hang sugar. Bring the water to a boil situation in future years it outside their window in hopes before adding the sugar. Once that in the meantime the bird the sugar has dissolved, boil the Terry Johnson is retired Program didn't continue on to another yard solution for two to three minutes. Manager of the Georgia Nongame- in search of food. Allow the liquid to cool before Endangered Wildlife Program. Here are a few hummingbird- pouring it into a feeder. Store the He has written the informative feeding tips that will help ensure remaining fluid in the refrigerator column 'Monroe Outdoors'for the returning hummingbirds will find for later use. Reporter for many years. Email food awaiting their arrival. The Early in the season, there is him at tjwoodduck@bellsouth.net. / Comedy le! end White plays golf at River Left: River Forest Golf Club welcomed :a celebrity golfer over the weekend when comedian Ran White, pictured with River Forest general manager Brian Boeling, stopped by the club to play a round and grab a post- round drink. Right: River Forest golf pro Derek Lafferty, also pictured with Boeling, received the Central Georgia PGA Professional Award at the annual Georgia Professional Golf Associa- tion awards banquet at the Atlanta Braves' SunTrust Park on Saturday. 4 By Will Davis publisher@mymcr.net The Mary Persons boys soccer team ended a five-game losing streak with a 5-1 road win over Howard on Friday. The Bulldogs (3-5, 1-2 in region) led just 2-1 at the half but dominated the Huskies in second stanza with a three-goal out- burst Senior midfielder Tanner Lee, who's been doing much of the scoring lately for MP, got the Bulldogs on the board first just three minutes into the game. But six minutes later, Howard (0-5) scored its first goal of the season to tie the game 1-1. Lee responded with 26 minutes left in the half by arching a free kick into the back of the net as the Bulldogs regained the lead. MP, which outshot flae Huskies 25-12, attacked the goal for much of the contest but only led 2-1 at the break. in the second half, the Bulldog offense heated up on Howard's new turf field. Senior Braydon Martin attacked left, spun offa defender back to the right and hammered a shot into the net to give MP a 3-I lead with 25 minutes left in the second half. Then it was senior Liam Spence's turn. He scored two goals within nine minutes to put the icing on the cake, including a nifty spinning shot of a cross. Tanner Lee and Garrison Walker both recorded assists in the game. Keeper Aubrey Peterman recorded five saves as the Bulldogs celebrated a badly-needed win, their first region victory on the season. On Tuesday, the Bulldogs gave a hearty effort but fell to the No. 1 team in the state, Upson-Lee, by a 3-0 score. Sophomore defender Garrison Walker had the job of marking . one of the best players in Georgia, Chase Winters, and Walker held his own, holding Winters to only one goal late in the first half, giving Upson a 2-0 lead. The Knights added one more in the second half for a 3-0 win. Upson-Lee outshot the Bulldogs 17-8 and kept Peterman very busy as he recorded 22 saves on the night. This week, MP begins the job of trying to work itself into playoffposition despite the five-game slide. Those playoffhopes would get a huge boost ifMP upsets Perry on Tuesday, March 5. On Friday the Bulldogs face Upson-Lee again, this time in Thomaston. Boys games are at 7:30 p.m. Continued from 1 B MP's offensive attack while those same three players along with Anderson each led MP with two runs cored each. Despite frigid 40 degree temperatures at game's end, the Bulldogs surprised head coach Clae Mathis with an impromptu ice bath at game's end. A still- freezing Mathis said he was im- pressed with the way his offense, which had 11 hits in all, broke out against Jordan? "We saw two junkballers to- night" Mathis said. "I was a little worried about us staying back because we've seen a lot of tough fastballs lately but you've got to be able to hit both. We had a bunch of extra-base hits. You never know after a loss like Friday how you're going to show up, and I think we showed up and did a good job tonight." The victory came three nights after MP was stomped 11-1 in six innings at home in a non-region showdown against a strong Jack- son club on Friday. Red Devils' ace Dakota Cope: land silenced the Bulldogs' bats, limiting MP to just three hits over five inningsand striking out 10, while normally reliable starter Conner Watson had a tough night on the mound for the Bulldogs, giving up six runs (five earned) in just three and one- third innings. MP opened the scoring in the bottom of the first when Kite doubled to straightaway center, scoring Snow and putting MP on top 1-0. Jackson then answered on the first pitch of the top of the second as Red Devils' slug- ger Keith Taylor belted a Watson fastball over the leftfield fence to tie the game at 1. A pair of MP throwing errors on an ill-advised pickoff attempt led to ]ared Mc- Collough scoring the Red Devils' second run of the frame to put Jackson ahead 2-1. The Red Dev- ils then added two more runs in the top of the third on a sacrifice fly by Payton Hyson and a line drive solo homer to left by Beau Mosteller, respectively, that put Jackson ahead 4-1. Jackson then added to the Bulldogs' misery in the next inning, chasing Watson while adding two more runs on an RBI double by Dalton Smith followed by another Hyson sac fly. MP never threatened the rest of the way;and the Red Devils added five more runs combined offofDogs' relievers Keller Smith and Snow for the final 10-run m gin. Mosteller, Copeland and Smith led Jackson with two hits apiece while Claxton, Kite and Moore had MP's lone hits in the game. In a putrid all-around performance, MP pitchers also walked six batters and theD ogs' defense accounted for four errors. Mathis said Friday's disappoint- ing effort, which came four days after an 8-4 MP road win over Jackson, was not at all reflective of the quality ofhis 2019 squad. "There is not any doul t that's coming into my mind about this team,' Mathis said "This is a spe- cial team. The ball didn't bounce our way at all tonight. We didn't do what we needed to do to make it bounce our way Tonight, I would boil it down to our pitchers didn't really have our stuff. Those guys (Red Devils) hit a little better than they did ori Monday and we didn't hit as good as we did Monday" The Bulldogs were next sched- uled travel to Rutland tara non-region road contest at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. MP will then play another non-region road game at Jordan at 4 p.m. on Wednes- day before facing Islands in a home doubleheader on Saturday with Game 1 starting at noon and Game 2 starting at 2 p.m. MP will then face Rutland in yet another road contest at 5:55 p.m. on Monday. Meanwhile, the MP JV base- ball team was scheduled to face Upson-Lee in a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. The JV Bulldogs will then return home to host Schley County in a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. on Thursday. Also, the Monroe County Middle School baseball team was scheduled to travel to Upson County Middle for a road contest at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The C- Team Bulldogs are then slated to travel to Lamar County Middle for another road contest at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Then, on Friday, the D-Team Bulldogs (7th Grade team) and C-Team Bulldogs will play a doubleheader at Gray Station with Game 1 starting at 4 p.m. The Monroe County Middle School squad will then return home to host Lamar County Middle at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12. The C-Team Bulldogs are off to a 2-0 start after pounding Hen- derson 12-1 on the road in their season opener on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Monroe County then followed up that win with a 4- 3 nail-biting victory over Gray Station in its home opener on Thursday. Also, the D-Team Bulldogs defeated Henderson 7-2 in its season opener on Tuesday, Feb. 26. (