Oak Creek in May!

The rain finally stopped yesterday long enough to get out on the ranch and check things out yesterday. It has rained over 2 1/2 inches so far this week, with more on its way.

IMG_0251.jpgThe guys got to get in and mow the Vita Rack Clover fields. The clover mowed perfect. As I went back past the first field mowed, there were already deer out filling their bellies. It was a two man job, one man on the mower and one on the four wheeler running ahead checking for fawns.

After watching them for a while, I decided to check out the rest of the ranch, hoping to see a monster up close enough to get a good photo.

With the noise the Gator makes, it was more seeing white tails flagging as they went into the timber, but there were lots of those. In all I saw four bucks, three were big enough that I could see from a couple hundred yards off. They will definitely be something to look forlater on this summer. I did get close enough to get a photo of one really nice young buck.

It also always amazes me how beautiful it is here in the Missouri Ozarks. Almost every time I go out, I find something new.

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Great Outdoors!

It is amazing what just a 10 minute walk outdoors can do for you spirit. While just needing to stretch my legs, I decided to grab my camera and walk around the lodge.

IMG_9990Four new wildflowers had started to bloom and the air was abuzz with life.

The Ox-Eyed Daisies were just starting to bloom with only about 10 in full bloom. By next week the hillside will be white with them. The insects had already found this one. This is just one of the many bees I saw taking advantage of the newly blooming daisies.

The Yarrow was also just starting to bloom.

One flower nearing the end of their blooming cycle was the False Dandelions. Seen below with a Yellow Sulfer.

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There were two drake Wood Ducks sitting on an overhanging limb on a shallow pool. There must have been at least one hen in the vicinity as they were all puffed up. IMG_1471feature

Burned areas continued to show great promise!

IMG_1077.jpgWe went out to check the burn areas yesterday. It is amazing the diversity of life that is showing up now. The deer are loving the newly cleaned up areas and the new grasses and vegetation that are now able to grow. IMG_1012.jpg

We saw two really nice bucks along with a doe that we are sure had just had her fawn or fawns. The first buck we saw was a young buck that was already as wide as his ears and had great mass. The second was a monster buck we saw at the edge of one of the Vita Rack Clover food plots, he had huge mass and already good width for this point of the year.

IMG_9710.jpgAnother good find while out was five new species of wild flowers. We found a good patch of Star-of-Bethlehem. Also found were Hairy Phacelia, False Dandelion, Hairy Buttercup and Cutleaf Toothwort. These wildflowers were alive with life. There was an abundance of insect life, including an emerald green sweat bee and a skipper, as seen in the photos.

Hummingbirds return to Oak Creek!

h3.jpgThe hummingbirds returned to Oak Creek today. Always something we look forward to each spring.

Have the hummingbirds come back to your area? What kind to you have in your area? We have the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds here.

Leave a comment to let us know about your hummingbirds. Send us a photo, we would love to see hummingbirds from other areas of the world too.

Never know what you will see on the Oak Creek food plots!

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I went out to watch Nick spray the food plots on Friday. The Vita Rack Clover from Hunter’s Specialties has really grown this week. I saw several tails leaving the plots as we made our way between them.

There were many other critters that did stick around the plots though as we worked, from turtles to red-headed woodpeckers the fields and edges were alive with sounds and wildlife. You just never know what you are going to see at Oak Creek.

More Ozark Wildflowers

It is incredible the diverse plant life we are seeing now that the brush is cleared up from the spring burns. It is really greening up and we have already found 11 different Ozark wildflowers that we had previously not seen.

We have started a wildflowers page on our blog. On it we will be adding more species as we find them. Yesterday we added five species that had just come into bloom.

Be watching in the future, as we continue to find more beautiful Ozark wildflowers.

 

Link to Wildflower page!

Out of the Ashes

Earlier in the year, we had a prescribed spring burn to clean up the ranch and get rid of the brush and downed trees from the winter. We had a couple of perfect days and the burn worked great.

This week I went back out to check the burned areas and saw that everything was greening back up nicely and the brush had been killed out. Along with the fresh greenery, I spotted four variety of wildflowers and many birds in the burned areas.

It always amazes me the new life that comes out of the ashes of a burn. Watch for more photos to come from this new series.