I wasn’t in the mood to blog until I got an email from my beloved husband who is only 20 feet away from me. You see while I was drinking cold coffee in rainy, tornado laden weather on my way to Dunwoody to pick up my new SUPRA key, Dan was home with fresh brewed coffee, in his comfy clothes making websites. He caught a glimpse of movement in the front yard and looked up at 2 adorable twin fawns. They were just frolicking about and staying close to “Mom”. He quickly grabbed his camera and snapped some great pics of the young’uns. Yes, we see deer, fawns, and lots of turkey families but it’s rare that we have the camera ready to prove it to the rest of the world.
This story may sound humdrum if you are not that into cute little speckled fawns, but it made me think about other parts of the world where the wildlife isn’t as friendly. One of my very favorite clients has been trying to get up to Big Canoe for a while now. Her commercial bakery business has kept her nose to the grindstone. So when she wants to catch her breath and go for a peaceful walk in her neighborhood in Boca Raton she does not see these fuzzy, little, button-nosed, babies. She is greeted by a long scary hissssssss from a scaly, spiky-eyed, jagged toothed, dragon-looking thing that roams around freely! (Hope my scientific terms haven’t made me look pretentious!) Secretly I think he’s kind of cute in his own scaly way. After all he DOES have a mother! However if I had a choice, I’d take the frolicking fawns any day! How about you?
All comments are appreciated!
Karin Elliott August 27th, 2008
Posted In: Wildlife in Big Canoe
Have you ever done something, gone through a process, or committed to a course of action and then been smacked in the face with the cold hard truth that maybe your way of doing something was not the best way to do it? And to add insult to injury, something or somebody was giving you advice to steer you in the right direction the whole time?
Not too long ago, I found a bright neon green caterpillar with sharp spiky bristles. This thing even had what appeared to be brightly colored racing stripes coursing down the length of its 4 inch body. It did not appear threatening, but it sure did look like it was issuing a loud warning not to touch it. I had read about venomous and stinging insects often being brightly and vividly marked to provide warning to potential rocket scientists like myself so they remain undisturbed.
Did I listen? After watching this bug happily munch away on my shrubbery for several minutes, I made the bright decision to test whether it was bluffing or not. Don’t ask…..the markings and sharp spikes should have been ample warning, but that signal went unheeded, and I reached out and picked-up the little rascal. Within seconds, a burning sensation spread from my fingers through my hand and up my arm. I had picked up the venomous, stinging larval stage of an Io Moth. Little blisters popped out wherever the spikes had made contact with my skin. It was unpleasant, and it hurt. But I had been warned!
So how does this tie in with real estate? For whatever reason I was thinking about this particularly stupid lifetime memory as I sat in traffic, and it dawned on me that life is full of of unheeded warnings and advice. As real estate agents, we have a responsibility to listen to the desires and needs of our clients. Our clients are also hiring us to provide advice on listing their home that will result in a sale so it would seem that they would take note of our advice to help sell their home.
To coin the phrase “It’s a two way street” is a little hackneyed, but it really is the truth. I’d like to think that as an agent, I have never let anyone down, and that I have fulfilled all my client’s checklist of selling their home the way they want it sold. Probably not 100% accurate, but I can wish. On the flip side of that, I have had a few clients that just had their feet dug in on how they were going to sell their home. No matter what the market conditions were or how other homes were priced, they had their idea of how much their home was worth, and that was that!
My parting advice is for both agents and clients is to try to listen to each other. Agents should try to listen and be sensitive to how their clients want their home marketed. Clients need to have realistic expectations about pricing and being competitive in their respective markets. Try to listen to each other and achieve the goal – selling the house. Don’t grab the stinging caterpillar!
Dan April 22nd, 2008
I recently wrote a blog article regarding our water supply in the Big Canoe community of North Georgia. The article goes into more detail, but the gist of the story is that good and proactive management of natural resources is a big part of the equation involved in ensuring that demand does not exceed supply to the point of upending the whole apple cart. A short drive North of metro Atlanta will lead you past one of the main water supplies for the state of Georgia, Alabama, and North Florida – Lake Lanier. Right now, Lake Lanier is more dirt than water. Too many people dipping into the lake combined with a shortage of rain have drained it to record lows. In contrast, our water supply in Big Canoe, Lake Petit, is healthy. If Lake Petit is not at full pool, it is darned close. This has an obvious tie-in with management of resources other than water.
The management of wildlife resources is another area where I believe the community of Big Canoe has really succeeded. One of the big reasons people decide to move into Big Canoe is because of the abundant wildlife. It is not at all uncommon to see wild turkey, deer, and even the occasional bear. Part of the design philosophy of Big Canoe was for man made structures to “fit in” with the natural surroundings and not to over-run the natural beauty. In some ways, our community has almost done too much in this regard.
A perfect example is the white-tailed deer. Most of Big Canoe is a wildife sanctuary. Our sanctuary has provided a predator free environment for the deer herd, and the population has really exploded. For the past past two years, it was not uncommon for us to see herds of 10-15 deer at a time. Explosive population growth in a limited area is not a healthy situation for any animal group. In these situations, deer are more susceptible to viral blue tongue disease, worms, or Chronic Wasting Disease. Our solution in Big Canoe was to contract with the US Department of Agriculture to safely harvest some of the deer herd. This culling of the herd was performed in only certain areas with public safety and humane handling of the deer as the two primary concerns. This has resulted in a deer population that our sanctuary can safely support which results in a healthier deer herd.
We have had prospective Big Canoe residents ask us how we manage our deer population. Some of these clients were initially alarmed that we manage our deer population, but once we explained how and why we do it, most understand the neccessity. Without good wildlife managment, the entire deer herd here in Big Canoe is at risk for starvation and disease. By taking the initiative to manage the deer herd, we are helping keep the deer herd healthy and stable. We are also helping to ensure that future generations of Big Canoe families will be able to enjoy and appreciate these beautiful animals.
*The picture of the handsome buck photographed above was taken near McElroy Mountain in Big Canoe and was graciously provided by Big Canoe resident Dave Spinda.
Dan February 28th, 2008
We enjoyed the lunar eclipse last night from our front yard here in the North Georgia mountain community of Big Canoe. There were some fast moving wispy clouds that occasionally interfered with our view of the moon, but overall it was an excellent show. Not as exciting as the Geminid meteor shower back in late 2007, but it was still a good time. Here in Big Canoe, the show started around 10:00 PM and was all done around 11:00 PM. Viewing the night sky here is easy as we do not have much light pollution in the North Georgia mountains. The only real disturbance we encountered was something large crunching through the woods nearby…most likely a deer, but I opted not to go investigate. As I mentioned in my blog about the meteor shower, being able to enjoy this kind of natural beauty from my front yard is one of the perks that comes with living in the peace and quiet of our mountains here in Big Canoe.
Dan February 21st, 2008
Yes, the title is truly an overly dramatic paraphrase from a letter that Ben Franklin wrote to his daughter in the late 1700’s regarding the wild turkeys of America. In consideration of the holiday season and its commonplace culinary centerpiece, the roasted turkey, I felt this was an appropriate subject, although Ben Franklin might have disagreed.
Wild turkeys are fascinating birds. Wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) are North America’s largest gallinaceous bird. To look at them, you’d never think they could get off the ground. In fact, they are incredibly agile both on and off the ground. On the ground, they can reach speeds of over 12 MPH, and they can reach speeds over 55 MPH in flight. Watching them here in the North Georgia community of Big Canoe, you’d never know it. This may be due in part to the fact that all 8000+ acres of Big Canoe is a Wildlife Sanctuary, so maybe the birds just do not feel compelled to run or fly at these speeds. Seeing these magnificent birds is not at all unusual here in Big Canoe, and notwithstanding the wildlife sanctuary, this is also a testimonial to excellent wildlife management.
According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the wild turkey population in Georgia numbered around 17,000 birds in 1973. The DNR instituted a restocking program, and today Georgia enjoys a healthy population of wild turkeys numbering around 300,000 birds. Considering the wild turkey was nearly extirpated from the landscape of Georgia, this is a fantastic success story for wildlife management.
Every time it rains here in Big Canoe, it brings the wild turkeys out. I am not sure why they do this….maybe it uncovers food for them or provides cover noise. Regardless, I like it. My dad teases me about getting overly poetic when talking about these magnificent birds, so I’ll let Ben Franklin do it for me. Mr. Franklin felt that the chosen symbol of American freedom and our fledgling Nation, the Bald Eagle, was not as worthy a recipient of this honor as was the wild turkey. An excerpt from Ben Franklin’s letter reads:
“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”
-Ben Frankilin (letter to daughter, late 1700’s)
Come visit us in Big Canoe! There are no longer any Grenadiers of the British Guard invading our farms, but the wild turkeys are still here for you to enjoy!
Dan December 20th, 2007