On the Cover - A resting raccoon on the Animal Trail

1.  No, this is actually an illusion.  The barred owl can only turn his or her head about 270 degrees.
2.  The name came about because of the markings on their feathers.  They have horizontal marks on their neck and vertical marks on their chest that resemble bars.
3.  They have 3 eyelids.  There's one on top, and one on bottom just like ours.  The third eyelid is underneath these two.  This eyelid closes at an angle and is semi-transparent.  It's called a nictitating membrane, and its function is to clean the eye and protect it during an explosive capture of prey.
4.  No, their eyes are fixed looking straight ahead.  This is one reason they have adapted the ability to turn their heads so far around.
5.  "Who cooks for you?  Who cooks for you all?"
6.  With one ear higher than the other, owls are able to pinpoint sounds more easily. They can sit perfectly still and determine the precise direction of a sound.

     The waiting seemed to go on forever. He didn't mind it too much, because he could sleep through most of it. But when he was disturbed, it made him unhappy- for a little while. He changed his position to get more comfortable, stretched out his arms and legs  like a contented cat, and went back to sleep.  He was waiting for the light in the sky to fade into darkness that would conceal his mission. He enjoyed the cool, nighttime hours more than the day. He didn't know why, but he did. Perhaps he felt safer with the security of night than the exposure of day.
      The hours crept past uneventfully without a disturbing sound. The change in temperature and light told him evening was approaching. His favorite time.  Time to get up and look for something to eat. He carefully climbed down from his favorite hideout tree and rambled through the woods taking in all of the sights, scents and sounds. The silvery shadows of the moonlit forest danced in the wind as crickets and frogs began voicing their calls.
      He was pretty good at living off of the land and rather enjoyed it. But not when food was hard to find. He found a persimmon tree that still had a few fruits left. Not any more. He moved on towards a creek. He stepped near the water and waited. He listened for the calls of a frog. Frogs are hard to find by listening. Just when you think you have figured out its location, the sound appears to come from a different direction. But not this one. He could see the outline of one sitting on a rock and with one quick, fluid motion, snatched the frog off of it's rocker and started to eat it. He tore off a piece with his teeth and dunked another in the water. It was easier to feel the meat and other tasty parts when wet.
     The frog was good, but he was still hungry. He continued through the woods climbing up over logs, rocks and beneath bushes. He found a few crickets along the way and ate them. Soon the woods came to a clearing. Instead of a field like he expected, the grass was short and tickled his bare feet. He cautiously walked towards a large structure with lights shining out of it. He wasn't sure what it was, but something smelled good.
     The smell came from a container that was cool to the touch. Curious, he managed to climb to the top only to find a barrier blocking the way. There was a convenient bar to grab and he gave it a pull. Nothing happened so he tugged harder. He lost his balance, and with a loud "Crash!",  the raccoon and trash can fell over spilling both onto the patio of someone's home. Frightened, he dashed off a ways and stopped. All was quiet on the western back patio.
    The smells were stronger now. He recovered and returned to examine the contents. There were sweet smells, sour smells, moldy smells, and rotten smells. He tried them all. He tasted a half-chewed chicken leg (very good), stale cookies and old cheese. He licked the inside of a yogurt container as best he could and passed on old coffee grounds.
The coon was rather satisfied with his new find when suddenly a bright light washed over him as a large, two-legged animal came out of the structure growling. "H'yawww! Go on! Git!" said the tall creature, waving its arms in the air. Frightened, the coon ran for its life showing nothing but legs and a tail.  He kept running until he felt safe in his familiar surroundings. 
     The comforts of the creek, the mossy rocks, the smell of wet leaves, and his favorite hollow tree welcomed him from his scary adventure. He belonged in the woods catching food and sleeping and did not like the danger of the big, screaming animal with the light. But the food there
was tasty. Oh the temptations...maybe another night, and another story.
     But who is this masked marauder named Wilbur, you ask? Come to Dauset Trails and find out!

Each year in October Dauset Trails has a scarecrow contest.  For the third year now, First Georgia Community Bank, in Jackson, Georgia, has offered cash prizes of $100, $50, and $25 for three winning entries.  The scarecrows are judged on creativity and inventiveness.  There are no guidelines and any  media is welcomed.
Promote team spirit among your co-workers, or teach cooperation skills with the church youth or scouts by participating in our scarecrow contest.   Let your imagination run wild and let the scaring begin

      Scarecrows stand their ground all summer long and in the fall after the fields are harvested they stand alone.  They may be short timers but their tour of duty isn't over just yet.  Halloween is  around the corner and you just might need them to protect your soul.

    Do you find yourself wanting to take part in exciting adventures with wild animals and nature but can't find the time or directions? If so, then check out Dauset Trails on the web. The address is always printed on the outside cover. Once you access the site, you can click "Wildlife to See" and find pictures, sounds and information about the animals at Dauset Trails. Click "Fun things to do" to see what Dauset Trails has to offer you. Don't know exactly where we are located? Click "How to find us" and print the map for your personal use. Do you have a question you always wanted to ask? It may be answered in "Wilbur's FAQ's" page of frequently asked questions. Keep up on events at Dauset Trails by clicking "Updates"  and you can also read this newsletter and back issues as well.
      Online, you can  visit Dauset Trails in just a few minutes.  But if you want to spend a few hours and visit personally,  you will be glad you did.

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