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Outdoors & Environment

Beware of Fire Ants During Heavy Rains and Floods

fire ants flooding

AUBURN, Ala.— Tropical storm Cindy promises to bring heavy rains to Alabama and possibly flash flooding.  When floodwaters come, humans are not the only ones looking for dry ground. In areas infested with red imported fire ants, these ants and their colonies can present a potentially serious medical threat to people and animals during and after a flood. Flood Waters ... Read More »

Fire Ant Mounds Popping Up After Recent Rains

fire ant

AUBURN, Alabama—Thanks to recent rains, fire ant mounds are popping up in lawns across the state. An Alabama Extension entomologist says what appear to be new mounds have been around for probably several months at least. “Just because you don’t see fire ants doesn’t mean they aren’t there,” said Dr. Kathy Flanders, who is also an Auburn University entomology professor. “When it is ... Read More »

Yellowhammer or Northern Flicker: It’s Alabama’s State Bird

northern flicker

AUBURN, Alabama — Designated back in 1927, Alabama’s state bird, the Yellowhammer, is really a Northern flicker . A  member of the woodpecker family, Northern flickers got their common name comes from the bright yellow coloring on the undersides of their wings. Dr. Jim Armstrong, a wildlife scientist with Alabama Cooperative Extension System, said while found in Alabama all year round, the Northern flicker ... Read More »

Hurricane Season Begins June 1

hurricane

AUBURN, Alabama — The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1. That week throughout the nation is Hurricane Awareness Week. A campaign led by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and storm-vulnerable states are encouraging residents to increase their awareness and preparedness for the upcoming hurricane season. The peak period of the season is August through ... Read More »

Slime Molds, Nostoc Appear in Yards after Heavy Rains

slime molds nostoc

 AUBURN, Ala.—Many Alabama homeowners felt the effects of torrential downpours in the garden and in their yards. Dr. Dave Han, an Alabama Extension turfgrass management specialist, said homeowners may see a plethora of strange-looking organisms popping up in the yard. “Besides the usual mushrooms, moss and algae, two strange-looking things are popping up: slime molds and Nostoc,” Han said. Slime ... Read More »

Maintaining Pond Fertility for Good Fishing

fishing

By William Heartsill AUBURN, Alabama — Spring and summer bass and bluegill fishing is in full swing. While it is a little late this year to start, you can still manage the fertility of your pond to keep the fishing good for the rest of the season. Dr. Rusty Wright, an Alabama Extension fisheries specialist, has some advice on how ... Read More »

Planting Indian Hawthorn

indian hawthorn

AUBURN, Alabama — Spring is here and many people across the state are working in their gardens and yards. One plant that seems to be particularly popular this time of year is Indian Hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis species). Indian hawthorn is a small  shrub or ground cover native to southern China and Japan and cultivated across U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones ... Read More »

How to Make Your Lawn the Envy of the Neighborhood

Auburn, Alabama – With temperatures continuing to rise and summer only a few weeks away, people are beginning to break out the work gloves to start the process of lawn management. As nice as it is to have a lawn with beautiful green grass, the job of maintaining such a landscape can be difficult and require a considerable amount of ... Read More »

Buzzing Pest: Carpenter Bees

carpenter bee

AUBURN, Alabama — No one enjoys pests living around them. One pest in particular can cause destruction with its hole drilling abilities. Carpenter bees are large bees best known for boring holes in wood. An Alabama Extension entomologist said the only threat they pose is to the wood in buildings and homes.  Carpenter bees do not use wood as nutrition. In fact, carpenter ... Read More »

Fish Camp Slated for June

AUBURN, Alabama — Auburn University’s School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Science and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System are offering a Fish Camp June 11-16. The camp is for young people aged 15 to 18, that have a knack for finding fun and adventure in nature and learning at the same time. Dr. David Cline, an Alabama Extension fisheries specialist and camp ... Read More »