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Outdoors & Environment

Be Safe After a Disaster

safety after disasters

AUBURN, Ala. – The calm after the storm is when homeowners head out to assess damages to homes and property.  When natural disasters strike, take care of yourself and your family first. There are serious problems to deal with before recovery begins. Illness or injury may result from contaminated water, debris-filled roadways, electrical and fire hazards and displaced wildlife. Follow ... Read More »

Hurricane Preparedness–Are You Ready?

AUBURN, Ala. – Currently a tropical storm, forecasters expect Nate to become a hurricane before it arrives on the U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend.  The latest computer models indicate landfall anywhere between southeast Louisiana and the western Florida Panhandle.  Alabama residents should take time time now to ensure they are prepared. Hurricane Preparedness People throughout the nation should keep alert ... Read More »

Wildlife Scientist Chris Jaworowski and Alabama Extension a Good Match

AUBURN, Ala. – Growing up outdoors in Alabama, Chris Jaworowski, a regional forestry, wildlife and natural resource agent for Alabama Cooperative Extension System, knew he wanted to spend his life doing something he loved. “I started hunting at an early age,” Jaworowski said. “I knew I wanted to be outside. That’s how I got into wildlife science.” Jaworowski, an Auburn ... Read More »

Venomous Snakes of Alabama: What You Need to Know

AUBURN, Ala. — Alabama is home to almost 50 species of snake, but only six of those are venomous snakes.  Although deaths from snakebites are relatively uncommon in Alabama, it is important to know how to identify and avoid poisonous snakes. The six venomous snakes of Alabama include the Eastern coral snake, copperhead, cottonmouth, Eastern diamondback, timber rattlesnake and pigmy rattlesnake. Alabama ... Read More »

Fox squirrels: The gray squirrel’s colorful cousin

Fox squirrels

Auburn, Alabama — Have you ever wondered what species of squirrel roam around your backyard? The Eastern Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger) is often found in Canada and the Eastern part of the United States. They are fairly common in Alabama and currently have a status of low conservation concern. This means their population size is doing well and they do ... Read More »

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 »