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The Trailhead is located in Lake County, Florida. map

For more information, please contact info@scrubjaytrail.org
(352) 429-5566

sat - wed : 8:00-5:00

Email photo contributions
of wildlife or plants seen
on the trail to this address: photos@scrubjaytrail.org



September 26, 2009 Trailday Newsletter
Hello Trailblazers!

NWF logo

Scrub-Jay Update

Our jays have been very elusive. Not caring about anything but the acorn crop. This is typical for this time of year however, they started very early in July pulling off the smallest of acorns. That is not typical. It will be interesting to see what this means as far as our winter weather.

The jays have also been covering many acres each day in search of those acorns, also typical this time of year. Much of today they spent in the newest restoration area, where they were first spotted 12 years ago. Many of you have worked hard cutting back the overgrown citrus and tall oaks. Neal Rossdeutscher has spent endless hours each week opening up the white sandy soils , bush hogging and keeping the fence lines cleared. Everyone has pitched in with eradicating the invasive exotics. The scrub-jays are loving it!

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Trailday Activity

Our number one invasive this year has been the ragweed, and this is what we will tackle on Saturday, September 26, 2009.

One thing you will notice is that over the years of focusing on removal of one or two exotics ,we now are down to the sandy soils that we have been working towards. This open sandy soil is
a key element in securing the proper habitat for the scrub-jays to cache their acorns and food sources. The liatris is beginning to show its beautiful purple blooms and the garberia is beginning to bud along with the goldenrod and hundreds of Fall bloomers.

Remember the prickly pear cactus is also everywhere so keep to closed shoes, hats, gloves, and a rake and clippers if you have them. If you'd like to bring something for the breakfast table, that is appreciated but not required.

Please RSVP so we have enough food.

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Trail Benches

Thanks to Dan Cleary and Rudy Parker for the construction and installation our very first benches on the Trail. Visitors and Trailblazers immediately put them to good use. Thank you guys for your generous contribution.

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Scrub-Jays Meet Master Gardeners

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On September 10, Charles Fedunak , Urban Horticultural Agent, hosted the Florida Scrub-Jay Consortium as we presented a program to the Lake County Master Gardeners at the Agricultural Extension facility in Tavares.

If you're new to Florida, or have been here all your life, and have not experienced the Discovery Gardens, it's worth the trip. With a variety of demonstration gardens and a wealth of "how to" hand-outs, this is a must trip. While you're there, make sure you pick up information on the scrub-jays.

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Gopher Tortoises Hatched

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Several of you have had the good fortune of finding gopher tortoises that had just hatched.The Trail has been full of hatchlings, so please make sure you watch where you walk and go especially slow on the driveway. These little ones also have a rough start to life with so many predators and of course us humans.
Keep your distance and do not disturb.

A camera is your best bet to get close with the lens. Please share photos with others by sending them to our website at  photos@scrubjaytrail.org  and include your contact info.

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Florida Scrub-Jay "Adopt-A-Roadway" Program

Thank you very much to those of you who went above and beyond on the Scrub-Jay Trail " Adopt A Roadway" Clean-up. We had 20 people actively involved on the rainy morning. Once again an extra special guest was County Commissioner Elaine Renick, who took time out of her busy schedule to pitch in and support this very important community service. Thank you Elaine for your continued support.

We gathered 10 garbage bags. Some of the items found were 3 hubcaps, a piece of a radial tire, large cardboards pieces, and a golf ball. The prize for the most interesting item goes to young Talon Richardson with his find of unidentified canine bones. He won a Florida Scrub-Jay T-shirt.

A special thank you to Lou Anne Rossdeutscher who took all the vests home and is hand washing them and hanging them to dry. It's so nice to smell so fresh as we cleanup the garbage. How eccentric!

Our next scheduled Florida Scrub-Jay Trail "Adopt A Roadway" Clean-up is scheduled for Saturday, November 21 (note date change) from 8am-11am, followed by a cookout. This is becoming quite the event...never know what you will find! Vests go fast so get your RSVP In ASAP.

                                                              click here for more details

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Another Reason to Work and Play

Thanks to those who brought wonderful food items to the "Adopt A Roadway" event. Unfortunately it was a bit early for lunch because of the rain, so we rescheduled the cookout for Saturday, September 19th.

Thanks to all that showed up 2 weekends in a row. A good portion of the trailhead (Eagle Scout Steven Scott's section) was cleared of ragweed. Uncovered were budding and blooming rosemary, liatris, and a variety of full scrub-oaks filled with acorn caps. The Scrub-jays have been very busy gathering the acorns. We also celebrated Neal Rossdeutscher's birthday with a homemade lemon cake made by Lou Anne Rossdeutscher.

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National Wildlife Federation Habitat Stewards Training

NWF logoNext year marks our 9th year of hosting NWF Habitat Stewards Trainings and we are very proud and honored to have this partnership.

Our next training will be March 6, 7 and 8, 2010. This course is for
those who are interested in making a difference in their community
while learning about creating wildlife habitats in backyards and public places. We are proud of the 160 individuals who have successfully completed the course and gone on to make great impressions in their communities throughout Florida.
This 3-day course covers how to create a Florida Wildlife Habitat, with guest speakers, field trips and the culmination of a National Wildlife Federation Habitat Certified Garden.

Registration is now open.

For further information contact  bbbrowns@earthlink.net  or call  (352)-429-5566.

                                                              click here for more details

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Next Guided Tour

Saturday, November 7th marks the next Scrub-Jay Trail Orientation from 8am-11am. If you or someone you know has not had a chance to tour the Florida Scrub-Jay Trail, this is a good opportunity. Get a close up view of the scrub-jays and learn how you can help in saving this threatened bird. Share this event with everyone you know and care about that has a love for birds and the outdoors.

The event is free, however, we do request you RSVPinfo@scrubjaytrail.org ) as we like to keep the group small.

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Trail Open for Community Projects

Please contact  info@scrubjaytrail.org  for ideas for your next community project.
The cool weather is ahead and groups are starting to book projects. Don't be left behind. We have plenty of opportunity for your groups. The birds will thank you and you'll feel very special about your contribution.

Looking forward to seeing you.

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