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Forsyth, Georgia
April 3, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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April 3, 2019

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Page 2B Reporter April 3, 2019 MONROE OUTDOORS by Terry W. Johnson 7 ApCOUple of weeks ago I voiced my inion that, spite of the unseasonably warm weather we enjoyed during the lat- ter stages of winter, ruby- throated hummingbirds would probably not arrive early this year. As it turned out, my prediction missed what took place by a long shot. To date, I have received eight reports of hummingbirds arriving in the county before March 18. aree Monroe Countians reported birds arriving at their homes prior to March 15. I saw my first bird March 14. This was a personal record. To top it aU off, Carolyn Per- kins reported the first bird of the year showing up March 9. According to my records, this marks the earliest a rubythroat has appeared in Monroe County since I be- gala keeping records of such events some three decades ago. Interestingly, to date the only report I have received regarding the arrival of a female came from Taylor County. A female ruby- throat showed up at a feeder near Buffer March 18. Since TERRY W. females typically arrive later than the males, this is an indication a wave of female ruby-throated humming- birds is now making its way northward across Middle Georgia. As such, ffyou have yet to see a rubythroat, your first hum- mingbird of the year might be a female and not a male. Several times over the years, my first bird of the spring JOHNSON has been a female. People sometimes employ novel ways to encourage the first hummingbirds of the year to stop in their backyards. Although I cannot attest to whether any of these strategies actually work, you might want to try one or more of them in your yard. Since it is well-known hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, some folks put out red objects to decoy the first migrants of the year to their yard. I know one woman that hangs short red streamers on small trees and shrubs about her backyard. Another hummingbird enthusiast glues pieces of red cloth to clothespins. She then dips the dothesp'ms to vegetation growing around her house The most extreme strategy I have heard was employed by a man who placed a red traffic cone atop his home in an effort to attract a sharp-eyed hummingbird. In each case, the home- owners hoped humming- birds passing through would spot what appeared to be red nectar-laden flowers in their yard and swoop in to investigate this potential source of nectar and discover their hummingbird feeders. Some folks take a differ- ent approach. They simply hang large numbers of hummingbirdfeeders about their yard. Their hope is that any hummers that discover this bounty of food will be enticed into staying. Until someone can demonstrate any of these strategies worL I am going to stick to hanging a single feeder out in the same loca- tion it hung the previous year. One thing is certain, few of the birds that find their way to our yards in the spring stay for any length of time. The reason for this is hum- mingbirds have a strong ten- It is obvious we witnessed an earlier migration this year. , Several of the " folks that reported ' early birds wrote that within a day or so of - erecting their first feeder, a bird showed up. In another in- -. stance, a woman said she put her feeder up when she got home from work and within an hour, she saw a hummingbird feeding at her feeder. " This leads us to :: wonder ifwe had our : feeders up by March 1 or earlier, would we -, have recorded our A male ruby-throated hummingbird hovers over a { - cJer. Hummers were sight- first hummingbirds ed in Monroe County earlier than usual as they migrated to where fhey were of 2019 earlier than raised in North Georgia, Tennessee or even Canada. (Photo/Terry Johnson) March 9? dency to return to the area in which they were raised. Consequently, most of the: hummers that pass through our yards in spring are headed elsewhere to where they fledged in places such as North Georgia, Tennes- see, Virginia, New England or Canada, to name a few. As such, our backyards offer them much needed stopover sites along their migration pathway. Since food is scarce when the earliest of these long-dis- In any event, I, for tance migrants are passing through, the nectar provid- ed by our feeders enables the birds to quickly re-fur and head on their way. Without our help, these birds would have to spend more time seeking food before continu- ing on their epic journey; this requires a lot of ener . As such, there is a distinct possibility they would arrive in poorer physical shape had we not provided them backyard re-fueling stations along the way. one, plan on putting up my feeder much earlier next year just in case rubythroats arrive early again. Terry Johnson is retired Program Manager of the Georgia Nongame-Endan- gered Wildlife Program. He has written the informative column 'Monroe Outdoors" for the Reporter for many years. His book, "it Journey to Discovery7 is available at The Reporter. Email him at 0 By Richard Dumas with 95.5 points while eighth in the 100-meter County Middle School gids seconds, Abbey Stembridge, feet, 2 inches, and Amiya Peach County finished in hurdles with a time of 17.14 squad amassed 31 points gs who placed sixth in the Davis, who placed eighth third place with 79.5 points, seconds, and Jesean Wilson, Pike County Middle als 800 meters with a time of in the shot put with a heave The Monroe County Mid- Monroe County boys who placed fourth in the took the girls meet with a 2 minutes, 59 seconds and of 25 feet, 6 inches. Also, die School boys and girls athletes who scored points discus with a throw of 91 total of 115 points. Upson- placed second in the 3,200 Monroe County's No. 14 track teams each placed at Saturday's meet included: feet, 8 inches. Also, Monroe Lee Middle narrowly meters with a time of 13 x 100-meter relay team of eighth at the Zaxby's Cen- J.T. Owens, who placed County's No. 1 4 x 100-me- finished behind the Lady minutes, 34 seconds, Jaliyah Bigham, Barkley, Ah'Zoria tral Georgia Middle School fifth in the 100 meters with ter relay team of Athan Bur- Pirates with 113.5 points to Johnson, who placed eighth Hardy and Serenity Bland Athletic League (CGMSAL) a time of 12.21 seconds, leson, Owens, Davis and place second while Peach in the 800 meters with placed fourth with a time of Championships in Jackson Brandon Alford' who Alford placed seventh with County came in third a time of 3 minutes, 10 54.05 seconds. on Saturday. placed seventh in the 200 a time of 50.27 seconds. 52.5 points seconds, Kadence Brown, Other girls teams compet-- . The Monroe County meters with a time of 25.91 Other boys teams corn- Monroe County girls who placed fo .u h in the hag on Saturday in order Middle School boys squad seconds, Austin Adams,peting on Saturday in order athletes who scored points 1,600 meters with a time of highest to lowest finish ;: amassed 25 points to fall who placed third in the of highest to lowest finish at Saturdays meet included: of 6 ,milautes, 47 seconds, induded: Lamar CountyliT: well short ofboys meet 800 meters with a time of 2 included: Lamar CountyAnyana Barkle) who Quaneshia Brown, who Middle, Kennedy Road,;:: champion Pike County minutes, 29 seconds, Seth Middle, Kennedy Road, placed seventh in the 100 placed sixth in the 100-me- Cowan Road, Henderson, : Middle, who finished with Davis, who placed fourth in Cowan Road, Henderson,meters with a time of 13.34 ter hurdles with a time of Carver Road and Rehobath 98.5 points. Upson-Lee the 100-meter hurdles with Carver Road and Rehobath seconds, Zora Bigham, who 19.65 seconds, Bella Toles, Road. :: Middle finishedjust behind a time of 16.17 seconds, Road. placed eighth in the 200 l who placed seventh in the the Pirates in second place Jacob Webb, who placedMeanwhile, the Monroe meters with a time of 28.95 shot put with a heave of 26 i AAP RAqI:RA/I innings in Game l, strangely came pletegame, while giving up 2 hits, before,An drewsprovidedthe win at Spalding in Game 2. wr ii unglued. Second baseman Zach 2 runs, both earned, one walk and kmingsbig blast with a three-run The Bulldogs, trailing 2-0 in the 21 ( onhnued from / 15 Thomas booted a ground ball off 2 strikeouts home run shot down the leftfield top of the fourth, scored a trio of :i the bat of Snow to start the game. Meanwhile, West Laurens Brant- line to put the Dogs in front 5-0. runs on a Kite sacrifice fly, a How- 21 trotting around the bases, he was The next hitter, Claxton, then ley had a miserable night, largely Spalding scored a pair of runs off ard RBI single and an Andrews f mmmng Nlan, manK kJO(1 UllS : reached on an error by shortstop thanks to the horrendous defense of MP starter Claxton in the top of RBI double, respectivdy. Watson game Is over lnat was melongest ' Scott. scoring Snow. MPs next behind him, pitching two-and- the third, the first coming on a Kite recorded the win for the Bulldogs, :i game Ive ever playeu nonesw. three hitters, Kite, Moore and " two-thirds innings, giving up 14 throwing error and the second on pitching 5 innings, allowing 6 hits : vmore nmsnea me game 2 4 - Howard respectively, each singled hits, 17 runs, 6 earned, 3 walks and a solo homer by Tristan Tidwell. and 2 runs, both earned, while 21 warn a oouole, a nomer, 3 walks, 4 off of Raiders starter Wade Brant- one strikeout to take the loss. But the Bulldogs came right back striking out 9 while walking just 5 runs scored and 3 RBIs Howard ley and suddenly MP had a 3-2 MP head coach Clae Mathis in the b tt--om of the third with 2. Claxton pitched the final two =' and Claxton also had multi lait - lead. Two batters later, Watson hit said he never anticipated a 15-run, two of their own on a pair of innings, recording 5 strikeouts, to games Ior the tmuaogs ton the ". . a looper to short center that was win over a team of West Laurens Holmes wild pitches. Spalding got earn the save. Snow, who added mound, Moore threw 5 mnmgs, misplayed by Mathis, allowing a caliber but he reiterated that hes one run back in the bottom of the an RBI hit in the top of the fifth up a season high 8 hits and, gmng - . fourth run to cross the plate. The known all year his 2019 squad was fourth, but Moore prevented the fortheDogs fourth and final run, , 5 runs, all earned, while sUikmg MP a er then sin ' next fourb tt s gled, capable of big things. Jaguars from inflicting any more was the lone Bulldog with multiple out aria wawung m renei, WlU , . . . . - driving in four more runs. Finally, I think this team is special. I damage when he gunned a rtmner hits, going 2-3 with a run and an ,- mgham, who picked up the win, the Raiders committed their fifth knew they were different; Mathis athomelplate from centerfield to RBI. gallantly pitched 6 innings" gwmg,* . . error of the inning when Branffey said. We got down 5-1 in the first end the i rame on a bullet throw One night earlier, on Tuesday, up 8 hits, 3 runs, 1 earned, with 1 made a poor pickoffthrow to third game and we didnt bat an eye. that reached the catcher Kite in March 26, MP opened the three- , walk and 3 strikeouts . ' base, allowing Claxton to score for Ihis is what I expected. I think the air Tne Bulldogs took an 8-3 game series with Spalding with a Stars tor the Raiders included: " . MP s ninth and final run. that we hit the ball up and down,lead m the bottom of the fifth on 3-0 home shutout wctory over the Franks, who was 3 6 with a homer, ,-- 2 After a shaky first, Watson the lineup, and today we did in a Jaguars throwing error and then Jags. z runs scorea ano o m ls aria retired the final seven batters he both games. To get 10 runs on padded their lead in the bottom Moore was the star of the night, 7 mngmer, wno waos J o wlm a -, faced as the Bulldogs tooka 9-2 them is one thing. Those first two of the sixth on a two-run single hurling a complete-game shutout : aotmie, a nomer, a run scoreo anO lead into the bottom of the third, pitchers we saw are D- 1 guys. by Kite, followed by a sacrifice fly while pitching 7 innings" giving up " ru ls un me moun rran "; With Branffey almost inexplicably They re talking about the first guy by Moore and another'run on a just 3 hits and no runs while strik- Dtcne.a 4 ana z/J innings" gwln. g still on the mound, the Butldogs (Franks) getting drafted. They had wild pitdh, respectivdy. Leading ing out 5 and walking 2. 2 up.4,hits, 5 runs au e arnea, w m bats finished off the demoralized a scout here watching him today. 12-3, Mgthis pulled Claxton, who The Bulldogs scored all three / WalKS and 5 strIKeOUtS m rellei, " Raiders. Another West Laurens And we scored like five or six on pitched 6 innings, giving up 7 hits, of their runs in the bottom of the Wilson and Mathis combined to throwing error enabled a 10th MP him and we scored three or four 3 runs, 2 earned' 3 walks and 5 second inning off of Spalding pitch 6 innings" yielding 6 hits, 5 runs, 3 earned, with 3 walks and 5 strikeouts. Following his latest heroics, Moore said MP's togetherness has been the key to the Dogs' 2019 succe~. "This year we're really buying in as a team; he s d. "We really en- joy each other, and we haven't had any kind ofpmblems at all. And we just love playing the game to- gether and we play well together." With Game 2 starting about two hours later than expected, the Raiders struck for two runs in the first inning offofMP starter Conner Watson on a Slaughter two-run double. Wxth a two-run lead and a series victory still a possibility, the Raiders' defense, which made a single error in 11 run to score. Snow then crossed home plate sliding on an infield hit by Claxton. Howard drove in two more runs on a single to lefffield. Watson then grounded to short, but yet another error, the Raid- ers' seventh of the game, allowed two more runs to score. Finally Snow put the Raiders out of their misery with a two-run double over Mathis' head in centerfield, giving MP a 15-run advantage and invoking the mercy nile. Snow and Howard were the offensive stars in Game 2 as MP's freshman shortstop went 3-4, including a double, with 2 runs scored and 4 RBIs while the Dogs' hulking first baseman was 2-3 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBIs. Watson picked up the win on the mound, throwing a rare three-inning com- on the other guy So yeah, it's not a shock to me. Now, did I think I was going to show up today and leave with a three-inning game against them? No. But we gave up two runs and answered with a nine-spot. There's just not enough words for how proud I am of them right now:' The Dogs' doubleheader sweep came three nights after the Bulldogs completed a three-game sweep of region rival Spalding with a 12-6 home victory on Frida Having already taken the first two games in the series, MP scored five runs in the first inning off of Jaguars' starter Dreylin Holmes. Snow scored the first run when Moore was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. A Howard ground- out then knocked in another run strikeOuts to earn the win, in favor starter Grant Adams as MP man- of Kite. Kite gave up a pair of hits aged just five hits. Howard was the - and fou walks en route to three lone Bulldog with multiple hits, Spalding runs, and Moore was going 2-3. forced tO come in to dose out the said of the Spalding game, which he did with a four- sweep: I'm very proud ofus this pitch strikeout of Ben Stewart. whole week We've really answered :' G to a number of Jaguars' the call:' . walks, wild pitches and errors, the Bulldog scored 12 runs on just 5 base hit . Kite was MP's top offen- sive star vith a 3-4 night, including 3 runs s4ored and 2 RBIs. An- drews was also a standout with a homer, 2 walks, a run and 3 RBIs. Mathis said of Andrews'first- inning shot: "That cemented a big inning, and it k ,d of deflated them a IRtle bit too. TvW cgh mrs earlier' n Wednes- day, MP came back from an early two-run deficit to take a 4-2 mad The Bulldogs were next sched- uled to travel to West Lanrens for Game 3 of the three-game series at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. MP will ' then host Perryin Game 1 of a - three-game set at 5:55 p.m. on '. Monday. " Meanwhile, the Monroe County ,: Middle School Bulldogs were next scheduled to play at ACE in a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. on Thursday. The C-Team Bulldogs will then host Clifton Ridge at 4:30 , p.m. on Monday.