Watch where you step, it’s baby copperhead season

Going for a hike to see the fall colors? Great. But watch where you step. It’s baby copperhead season in Tennessee. (File Photo)

LOCAL NEWS — It’s baby snake season here in southern, middle Tennessee. Of the four venomous snakes found in Tennessee (copperheads, timber rattlesnakes, pygmy rattlesnakes, and cottonmouths or water moccasins), locals should be most wary of baby copperheads.

Females give live birth to between one and 21 baby snakes each fall with seven being the average. These youngsters blend in nearly perfectly in fallen leaves and ground cover. They don’t like open spaces like fields and instead will hide under logs, rocks, and leaf piles. They’ve been know to follow prey into backyards where they remain wrapped around pet watering bowl or inside a child’s toy. Those clearing debris in an overgrown area, or those cleaning out barns or outbuildings should be especially careful.

They aren’t especially aggressive but will strike if cornered. A copperhead bite isn’t usually life-threatening for adult as their venom isn’t all that potent but a bite can quickly escalate in a small child or pet.

If you encounter one, its best just to walk away say the folks at the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency. Attempting to kill or remove the snake could result in a bite. Plus, unless it poses an immediate threat, all snakes in Tennessee are protected and indiscriminate killing is illegal. Why? Because they serve a purpose in the local ecosystem, says the state UT Extension office.

“Snakes play a vital role in our natural communities, helping keep rodent populations in check and providing food for other predators,” they say on their website. “If snakes are common around the house, it is probably because there is an abundance of rodents in the area.”

According to the Tennessee Herpetological Society, venomous snakes in Tennessee all belong to a family of snakes called pit vipers, who have specialized, heat sensing pit on the front of their head. They possess an arrowhead shaped head that is offset from the rest of their body. With non-venomous snakes it’s often hard to tell where the head ends and the body begins. They also have vertical eyes with an elliptical pupil.

Only 10-12 people die from snake bites each year in the United State. In the past 40 year, there have only been seven recorded deaths from snakebites in Tennessee, according to Craig Harper, an Extension Wildlife Specialist. If bitten, you should immediately seek medical treatment.•

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Tims Ford plans outdoor survival school

Learn the keys to outdoor survival at Tim’s Ford Forged at the Ford. {File Photo}

FRANKLIN COUNTY — Think you could survive for three days and two nights on an island in Tims Ford Lake with just a handful of gear? Then you should definitely register for the next Forged at the Ford Outdoor Survival School, which will take place October 16-18. Registration ends on October 9, and there are limited spots available.

A Tims Ford Park Ranger will teach campers a variety of survival basics using minimal equipment and resources. Participants will learn friction fire, shelter building, knots, and more. During the three days, campers will live off the land by learning wild edible plants, trapping, fishing, and outdoor cooking. Rangers designed the program for all skill levels but campers must be at least 14 years old to attend and campers 14-17 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

The list of required gear includes a fixed blade knife, ferrocerium rod, screw top water bottle, hatchet or axe, 8×10 tarp, 50 feet of paracord, a flashlight or headlamp, a small metal pot, a sleeping bag, fishing line with assorted hooks, and a extra set of clothes in a waterproof container. Optional gear will include a hand saw, insect repellent, and a small first aid kit. All campers will be inventoried upon arrival.

Forged at the Ford is a rain or shine event. The price is $200 per camper. For more information, contact the Tims Ford Park Office at 931-958-3536 or visit their website. To register for the event, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Deer archery season opens September 26

Deer Archery-only season will open statewide in Tennessee on Saturday. {File Photo}

OUTDOORS | It’s a rite of passage for Volunteer State hunters each fall. On Saturday, September 26 the 2020 Deer Archery-only season will open statewide in Tennessee and run September 26 through October 30 and November 2-6. Once deer season opens officially, hunters may use archery equipment throughout the season, which will end on January 3.

For local hunters looking for opportunities, the state offers over 100 wildlife management areas (WMA) and refuges for hunts. Click here for a list of the WMAs. Southern middle Tennessee exists in Region II and includes nearby WMA at AEDC, Woods Reservoir Refuge, Flintville Hatchery, and Mingo Swamp. Click here for more information.

Regardless of the hunting location, all hunters must possess a current, valid hunting license and the state reminds hunters that they must obtain permission from landowners to hunt on private land.

For more information, you can access the 2020 Tennessee Hunting Guide by clicking here. You can also visit the TWRA website for more information. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

5 Things to Do This Weekend

A hike past Adams Falls, an art show on the picturesque Monte Sano Mountain, and a whiskey tasting at a charming Winchester distillery … yeah there are lot of safe, small venue, socially distanced things to do this weekend. {File Photos}

We get it. Everyone grows weary of being stuck inside. As fall approaches, there are lots of outdoor or small venue events happening in southern, middle Tennessee that present an opportunity to safely get out and explore. So mask up, grab the hand sanitizer, stay six feet apart, wash your hands, and enjoy a little socially-distanced fun.

Hike in Tullahoma — Summer is winding down and with the first day of fall right around the corner, locals better grab all those opportunities to explore outside. On Sunday, you can explore the Short Springs, Adam Falls area with Tennessee State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath. The guided 2.5 mile hike will begin and end at the parking lot on Short Springs Road. Hikers will enjoy the moderate Adam’s Falls Trail past Machine Falls while enjoying gorgeous flora and fauna of the South Cumberland along the way. This hike will be limited to 12 people and you can sign up by calling 931-455-1121. Masks are recommended. For more information, click here.

Antique Tractor Show in Eagleville — If you are heading to the Moore County versus Forrest game on Friday anyways and you happen to have a little man who is all about tractors, leave a little early and stop by the Pioneer Days Antique Tractor Show on the way. Hosted by the Tennessee Valley Pioneer Power Association, and features lots of makes and models of antique tractors, trucks, cars, lawn tractors, and other gas powered engines. The free event takes place on Friday and Saturday. For more information, click here.

Art Show in Huntsville — It’s been an end of summer tradition on Monte Sano Mountain for two decades, and it will happen in 2020 with a few social distancing measure in place to keep everyone safe. The Monte Sano Art Festival kicks off on Saturday at 9 a.m. and will feature over 100 local and regional artists as well as area food trucks. Attendees must wear a mask. For more information, click here.

Whiskey Tasting in Winchester — There’s a charming little distillery located right off the historic Winchester Square call Branchwater. Master Distiller Bud Kelley makes some fabulous (and potent) southern, middle moonshine there. On Thursday, they’ll host a Ladies Night. Local gals are invited to come from 3-7 p.m. and taste some of what they have to offer including their new frozen drinks. For more information, click here.

Food Trucks at Beans Creek Winery — A local winery is great. A local winery with a food truck is outstanding. On Saturday Mark’s Specialty Seafood will return to Bean’s Creek Winery in Manchester for both lunch and dinner. Enjoy a refreshing wine slushy as well as seafood favorites like fried scallops, conch fritters, lobster roll, catfish fingers, and more. For more information, click here.

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

150,000 Purple Martins roost in downtown Nashville

Thousands of Purple Martin take over the trees near the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in downtown Nashville. {Photo Provided}

NASHVILLE — Due to COVID-19, the Nashville Symphony isn’t currently performing but there’s still a show happening nightly in downtown Nashville. An estimated 150,000 Purple Martins have taken up roost in the tourist district on the plaza outside the Schermerhorn Symphony Center … and they are causing quite the stir.

Purple Martin exist as a staple of Tennessee summers. They arrive each March, many to the same Martin house or box they’ve summered in for years, and leave each September to winter in South America and the Amazon. Each year, the global population of martins gather at just 350 roosting sites to prepare for their winter migration. {Editor’s Note: We reported on the Purple Martin’s return to Moore County earlier this year, to read that coverage, click here.}

Martin and humans enjoy a special relationship. They are North America’s largest swallow and in the East, they are nearly 100 percent dependent on human-made birdhouses for nesting areas. It’s a tradition started by this areas Native Americans who once hollowed out gourds to provide nesting spots. They can be seen in all 95 Tennessee counties but rarely in urban areas.

“Most of the purple martin population no longer nests in natural cavities. The species only continues to exist because individuals invest in and maintain purple martin houses,” said Tennessee Wildlife Federation (TWF) CEO Michael Butler. “When we saw what was happening downtown, it only seemed right to the Federation to share in the cost of their roosting site when it’s hurting a fellow nonprofit already impacted by the pandemic.”

If you’re looking for a fun, social distanced outing, the Purple Martins are putting on quite the show … but it will have a short run. They’re fueling up for a long flight back to South America. Be warned though as the birds swan dive and move in ballet like motion across the sky, they tend to poop … and 150,000 birds create a lot of it. It covers the sidewalks, the fountains, the windowsills, the Symphony Hall, the trees outside … and you might get dive bombed just looking up. You’ve been warned. The flock of birds are also loud and can be heard from blocks away.

Purple Martin are protected migratory songbirds by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, so despite the fact that they’re wreaking havoc, the symphony is being patient if not chagrined hosts. They says once the Martins have traveled South, they’ll break out the press washers. Until then they’re enjoying a bit of entertainment … completely on brand for 2020.

In fact, they’ve partnered with the TWF to raise money to help with the unexpected clean up costs. Without income from performances, the symphony — like many non-profits during COVID — doesn’t have extra cash just lying around. The TWF will match donations dollar-for-dollar (up to $5,000). This partnership transformed the Purple Martin visit from a nuance to a once-in-a-lifetime performance.

“We are profoundly thankful to Tennessee Wildlife Federation, as well as to The Nature Conservancy and other conservation groups, for stepping in and helping raise funds to help us take care of the Schermerhorn,” said Nashville Symphony President and CEO Alan D. Valentine. “This will help us stay focused on the critical work of bringing back the musicians and staff who fulfill the Nashville Symphony’s mission of providing great music and education programs to the diverse population of Middle Tennessee.”

The TWF set a goal of raising $10,000 for the clean up and as of September 1, they’d raised $10,600.77. If you’d like to contribute to help with the clean up, click this link. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

TWRA: Dove season opens September 1

Dove season is a favorite among Moore County hunters. The season kicks off on September 1. {File Photo}

September means many things to many people … cooler nights, the kick off to college football, county fairs, and to area hunters, the beginning of dove season – one of the state of Tennessee’s long-standing outdoor sports traditions. The first segment of Tennessee dove season open on Tuesday, September 1 and closes on Monday, September 28.

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA), mourning doves are a popular game bird and one of the most widely distributed and abundant birds in North America. More mourning doves are harvested than all other migratory bird species combined in 39 of the continental states. In Tennessee, an estimated 15,500 hunters harvested approximately 277,000 mourning doves last year.

Moore County exists in Region 2 with wildlife managed dove fields located at Pickett Farm in Franklin County and the William’s Farm in Lincoln County. For a complete list of TRWA managed fields, click here.

The TWRA reminds dove hunters that it’s illegal to hunt on a baited field – meaning no additional grain, salt, or other feed has been added to the field to attract doves. To learn more about baited field regulations, click here. Hunter will also need need a state permit to harvest birds.

The second dove hunting segment will take place October 10 through November 1 and the third and final will happen December 8 through January 15. For more dove hunting info, visit the state’s migratory bird page but clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Oak Barrel Half confirms October date and offers virtual option

The Oak Barrel Half Marathon finishes on the historic Lynchburg Square. This year, registered runner can participate in Lynchburg or virtually at home on October 24. {Photo Courtesy of the Oak Barrel Half Marathon}

LYNCHBURG — The Mach Tenn Running Club, the organizers of the Oak Barrel Half Marathon, recently confirmed their intention to run the race in Lynchburg on Saturday, October 24.

In March, Mach Tenn representative Melissa Miller appeared before the Metro Council to seek permission to block off the square for that new date. (Read our full coverage of that appearance here.) Traditionally, the event is held the first Saturday of April but this year organizers moved the event due to the COVID-19 health situation.

“It’s the old Jack Daniel’s World Invitational Barbecue date,” Miller told the Metro Council in March. “They’ve moved their event up and we decided we liked that date.”

Since then, Jack Daniel’s Distillery cancelled the 2020 World Invitational Barbecue, but plans for the half marathon remain. However this year, they will allow participants not comfortable with running in groups to convert their registration to a virtual run. Runners who complete the 13.1 miles on their own will receive their “swag” at their home address. 

According to Mach Tenn, those who plan to run in Lynchburg do not need to do anything. Those who plan to run remotely, should contact the half marathon to convert their registration. For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page or website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Tims Fords State Park, others issue mask requirement

Masks are now required inside any state park facility where employees or the general public might gather. This includes the Visitor’s Center at Tims Ford State Park as well as the park offices, gift shop, and recreation center. {File Artwork}

Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors during the COVID-19 health situation but do so safely. That’s the message from Tennessee State Park officials this week as they add a mask requirement to facilities at most parks.

Masks are now required inside any state park facility where employees or the general public might gather. This includes the Visitor’s Center at Tims Ford State Park as well as the park offices, gift shop, and recreation center.

Tennessee State Parks re-opened on April 24 after remaining closed under Governor Lee’s Stay at Home order. Since then, they’ve be a popular weekend spot for lots of locals.

Park officials also remind locals to stay home if your feel sick or have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19. While inside parks, only visit areas where it is possible to maintain six feet of social distance at all times and avoid crowded areas.

On weekends, parks tend to fill up quickly, so park officials say it’s best to arrive early in the day. If the parking lot is full when you arrive, it’s probably best to leave and come back at a different time. Park officials also ask that visitors not park along the shoulder of roadways and instead only park ion designated areas.

In most cases, park officials try to keep public restrooms open but say visitors should prepare for limited or no bathroom access.

If you’d like more information about COVID-19 closures as well as social distancing tips for visitors, visit the Tennessee State Parks website by clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Tims Ford plans evening canoe, kayak floats

Tims Ford State Park will offer an evening float for both canoers and kayakers on Friday. {File Photo}

FRANKLIN COUNTY — Floating on the picturesque Tims Ford Lake is always fun but a sunset float adds a bit of drama.

Officials at Tims Ford State Park in Franklin County plan an Evening Canoe Float and an Evening Kayak Float on Friday, August 7 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Participants should meet at the Fairview Campground Check In Station. If you prefer to kayak, the state park will also host a Sunset Kayak Float at the same time.

Life jackets can be provided for either float for both adults and youths but the state park can not supply vest for children weighing under 50 pounds.

The cost of the Evening Canoe Float is $25 and you can register by clicking here. There were eight spots available at press time. The cost of the Evening Kayak Float is also $25 and you can register by clicking here. There were six spots available at press time.

For information about event at Tims Ford State Park visit their website or like their Facebook page. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Nonprofit claims Manchester released raw sewage into the Duck River

{Editor’s Note: This is a breaking story and we will update here when more details become available.}

A non-profit organization is suing the City of Manchester for illegally dumping untreated sewage into the Duck River. {Photo Courtesy of the City of Manchester}

MANCHESTER — A state non-profit named Tennessee River Keeper filed a lawsuit against the City of Manchester on July 9 claiming the city has dumped nearly 34 million gallons of untreated sewage into the Duck River. Click here to view a copy of that complaint.

Tennessee River Keepers is filing the suit under the umbrella of the Clean Water Act. The group claims that the Manchester Sewage Treatment Plant has received over “336 violations within the past five years and over 33,930,595 gallons of untreated sewage” have been released. It also states that EPA records show over 50 sanitary sewer overflows from January to February 2020.

Tennessee Riverkeepers is seeking an immediate injunction and a $37,500 civil penalty along with their legal costs. •