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Outdoors & Environment

Battling Invasive Plant Species

Invasive plant species are an increasing issue across the country–pushing out native flora and changing ecosystems. Dr. Nancy Loewenstein, an Alabama Extension invasive plant specialist a, says  invasive plant species’  should be taken seriously and can be battled with the proper information and techniques. “An invasive species is one that has become weedy and is displacing native plant species and changing ... Read More »

Tea Olives: A Staple for Southern Gardens

If you’re looking to add shrubs to your garden this fall, then it might be time to add tea olives to the mix. An Alabama Extension horticulture professional called tea olive shrubs (genus Osmanthus)  a classic staple of southern gardens. “Tea olives bring color and a sweet fragrance with its delicate blossoms,” said Mike McQueen, Alabama Extension Regional Horticulture Agent. ... Read More »

Steer Clear of Touch-Me-Nots

Auburn, AL –Southern summers are the annual itchy time for many folks that enjoy the outdoors. Good outdoorsmen know what to do if a snake is spotted and have plans in place for contact with an unhappy wild animal, but wildlife is only part of the issue to consider when spending time in the great outdoors. Poison ivy and poison oak ... Read More »

Be Smart about Water Moccasins and Other Water Snakes

cottonmouth

As people take to lakes and rivers to cool off from summer’s heat,  it’s possible they might see a snake in the water.  Not every snake you see swimming is a water moccasin.  Alabama has a number of non-venomous water snakes. There are ways to tell the difference, and Alabama Extension professionals have important information to keep you and yours safe ... Read More »

Increasing Sightings of Alligators Around Alabama

Alligators are showing up more frequently in central Alabama, further north than some people might expect them. The state’s largest reptile has been spotted near Woodland and  also near Alexander City. But an Alabama Extension professional said this is not surprising. Patrick Cook, a regional Alabama Extension agent, said that no alligator sightings have been reported in the Chilton County area yet ... Read More »

Alabama Birding Trails Perfect for Summer

AUBURN, Ala.–Summers in Alabama are known for their heat and humidity, but a lesser-known attribute is the great bird watching that can be done almost anywhere in the state. With eight geographic regions and 270 sites, the Alabama Birding Trails are ideal places to do all of your bird watching this summer. Whether it’s a random day trip or a ... Read More »

Raptors Soar Above Alabama

Alabama has a wide variety of birds of prey throughout the state. “We have a good diversity of raptors in Alabama,” said Dr. Mark Smith. These birds can be migratory, but most will be in Alabama year round.  With spring here, people are spending more time outdoors and as such will be more likely to see an array of wildlife. This ... Read More »

Take Control of Fire Ants

Summer is here. Children are spending  more time outdoors enjoying the sun and their break from the classroom. Many parents and homeowners are concerned about how to clear their yard of insect pests, especially fire ants. Red and black imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta and Solenopsis richteri) are invasive species that not only bite, but also sting and inject venom that ... Read More »

Alabama and Mississippi Extension Partner to Bring Webinar Series on Tree Care in the Urban Landscape

Community Forestry teams from Alabama Extension and Mississippi State University Extension Service are partnering to conduct a webinar series to expand knowledge of how to maintain community forests in urban landscapes. Alabama Extension Regional Agent Arnold Brodbeck said, “We tried to keep the topics fairly broad to include professional arborists, landscape architects, municipalities who manage these trees within their towns ... Read More »

Urban Forestry: A Growing Industry

Although it may seem that much of the world is becoming more urban, there is proof that nature is spreading alongside of the urbanization – that proof is urban forestry. This industry is designed to plan for the planting, establishment and care of trees and green spaces in urban areas. Here in Alabama, the value of trees is oftentimes under-appreciated ... Read More »