Grasslands are gone, too.

Some scientists estimate that native grasslands have declined by as much as 99 percent. By some estimates, this resulted in three billion fewer birds on the landscape than 50 years ago. This has harmed both the eastern meadowlark and the bobwhite which are


April 27, 2023 Environment

The Management Recommendations for Improvement

Six things, easier outlined than executed: 1)     In areas with high potential for shortleaf pine-oak savanna restoration, focus on prescribed burning and treatment of aggressive woody plant species. 2)     Protect and conserve high quality forest that hasn’t been recently clearcut. 3)     Be careful to avoid overgrazing in savanna areas. […]

April 20, 2023 Environment

Landscapes like people get stressed.

Historically, open savannas and woodlands were largely maintained by periodic fire, which served to remove dense blankets of accumulated leaf litter from the ground and promote the growth of fire-adapted trees, such as shortleaf pine. Due to the loss of periodic fire, it is estimated that at least 90% of shortleaf pine-oak savanna has been lost.

Sketch of Melanoplus Lindemanni

April 18, 2023 Environment

About that (new) Grasshopper.

  Long-time blog followers may remember “Grasshopper George” the name that didn’t work for the scientists. Instead the new species of grasshopper discovered on Coal Creek in 2018 was named (consistent with scientific process) Melanoplus lindemanni Hill. That is the species, me and Hill for the “bug guy” that identified it. Of interest, part of how […]

April 13, 2023 Environment

About that (new) Sunflower.

The habitat for this “new” species is found along roadsides and logging trails, in disturbed woodlands with sandstone outcrops. This particular species of sunflower is known to crossbreed. Confirmed by the University of Tennessee, the hybrid species. Further confirming the finding, two researchers collected seeds, germinating them and growing them, demonstrating that the species is […]

April 13, 2023 Environment

Animal Diversity

Plant life at Coal Creek has abundant diversity which support a vibrant animal population. Documented by researchers are 76 birds, 526 insects, 19 arachnids, 6 mammals, 5 centipedes and slugs and a fish. Yeah, there’s more, we’re sure but that is a great starter count. Two new species were found, too, one grasshopper and one […]

April 6, 2023 Environment

Plant Diversity

How diverse are we? Let us count the ways. In the diversity survey researchers documented 599 species of vascular plants that includes 117 families and 337 genera. There are 59 species of trees, 40 shrubs and 3 sub-shrubs. There are 13 wood vines, 348 forbs, 109 species of grasses, sedges and rushes, and 27 ferns. […]