Authors Posts by Scott M. Anna

Scott M. Anna

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Scott Michael Anna is a published author of three children’s books and has also had success with interviews and photography used in DVD’s and television. He has written over 300 articles for newspapers, and magazines throughout his career. Along with writing a monthly column for the Smokey Mountains Shoppers Guide he is also working as a self employed photographer. Scott specializes in Wildlife and Nature photography along with In-Studio and On-Location photography sessions for people, and even with their pets. He services the entire tri-state region.

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A pint sized fawn, flowers breaking ground, and Canada Geese formations heading back home to the Northern States mark the beginning of Spring. Having lived in several states in the US, I have never been so content and more welcoming to each of the four seasons we are blessed to experience throughout each year here in the mountains of North Georgia.

From the first breaking of ground through the crumbled autumn leaves that remain on the forest floor, it is an amazing sight to see that in a very short time they will be producing the Native Dwarf Iris’, and the Jonquils, among other perennial flowers that will be adding to the color scheme around us.

Driving up my road I see the first fawn that has appeared, running toward the edge of the woods to escape from harm.

During the month of April the first of the bear that have been living farther up into the mountains during the winter months will be appearing. There is truly nothing more endearing, in my opinion, than to see a bear cub playing in a field with its siblings, and mother.

Although winter is not “officially” over, that does not mean that the beginning of new life will not abound in our area. Acorns will sprout, and plants are preparing for rebirth. Rejuvenating our mind, body, and soul, springtime is a time for renewal, not only for wildlife, and outside plants, but also for us!

Do you know why Canada Geese fly in a “V” formation? And, do you know why one side of the “V” formation is longer than the other?

Do you know what are the most common number of cubs for an American Black Bear?

Do you know what will be the most likely flowers to bloom first in the spring?

Why do White-tailed fawns have spots?

Canada Geese fly in a “V” formation because of the lowering of resistance that the leader of the formation creates on those behind. Each of the Geese will fly slightly above those in front of them which reduces wind resistance. The leader will only be the leader for short periods; will fall back into the formation when they begin to tire. This in turn helps the formation fly further distances without stopping. Another benefit of flying in the “V” formation is so that each bird in the flock can keep a good tracking of most of the other birds in the flock. Fighter pilots have used the “V” formation for very much the same reason. Such a great example of how teamwork should be! And then to answer the second question about Gees formations,

Why does a Vof geese always have one side longer than the other?Simple, it is because there are more geese on the long side…… haha

The American Black Bear has on an average of two cubs per year but the most common is three. It depends on a few factors. One is that a female bear can be impregnated by more than one male during her “season” and another is the supply of food that she has had during the autumn.

White-tailed Deer are given an extremely beneficial camouflage when born, up until they gain a heavy coat the following autumn. The main benefit of the spots that we so often identify with “Bambi”, is that the fawn will be able to stay in the underbrush to remain hidden from harm. The adult White-tailed do not spend a lot of time in underbrush, therefore they are not in need of the camouflage.

Dwarf Iris’, Jonquils, Daffodils, and Crocus’ are the prevalent flowers that will emerge in the early springtime giving way to color to what has been drab tones throughout the winter.

Being a photographer, I find beauty in all four seasons that we have here. Although once spring is among us, I can be found with my camera glued to my face, and probably down on the ground capturing the beauty as it emerges from the cold winter landscape.

Have a wonderful springtime, I know I will!

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A question I get asked quite often is “Do bear in our area hibernate?” Ursus americanus (The American Black Bear) are often thought to hibernate in the south just as they do in the Northern United States. In reality they sleep very little during the colder months in The Southern Appalachians. But, they ARE more lethargic, aka – Winter Lethargy, and show themselves less often to those, like myself, who love to see them.

During the late summer, and into early autumn, the Black Bear find as much to eat as they possibly are able, (acorns, black walnuts, and dried corn left in fields, along with pumpkin and squash), to get the fat supply and nutrients needed to carry them through the winter months.

During much of the winter, the bear will live off of the fat supply within their own body. Female bear who will be having cubs in the late winter will den themselves further up the mountains but nearer to a food source. This is so they can replenish their fat supply if needed. There are many body mechanics that also go into play with how their body replenishes and uses their internal fat supply but that goes beyond the scope of this article. You and can always find that type of information by searching the internet!

A thicker coat is always a large part of the necessary items a bear will carry into their denning place. During the wintergy (as I like to call it) period, their body temperature normally decreases by about 10F, or 23C, and this results in a body temperature of around 90F. A thick winter coat not only protects the bear against the lower body temperature but is also very helpful in keeping newborn cubs warm within the den and snuggled up to their mother.

The male black bear, or boar, also feast themselves during the autumn to increase a fat supply along with developing a very thick winter coat. The boar will do more ranging throughout the winter, and will continually replenish their fat supply as needed (I like that concept). The boar is very much a solitary animal, as are the females, also know as the sow, with the exception of keeping their cubs with them for one to two years.

If we are lucky enough to see a black bear during the winter months in the Southern Smokey’s, or Southern Appalachian’s, it will usually be a male, or a female that did not reproduce during the winter. It is always a wise practice to continue bringing your winter bird feeders and squirrel corncobs in at night and keeping your trash closed up in a shed. This helps to prevent the wintering bear that may be roaming in your area from making an uninvited visit.

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