The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

2007.07.18 I don't mind the deer, but beware new critters

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY

I’m often surprised by the difference in the types and amounts of birds and animals in Fulton County and surrounding areas, compared to what was in eastern Lenawee County. Back in 2004, I moved about 32 miles to the southwest, but it seems like 3,200 when you consider the changes in wildlife.

For example, I never would have expected to ever see a bald eagle outside of a zoo or vacation to Alaska, but one day while driving on Route 66 just north of Zone, one decided to swoop down across the road maybe 300 feet in front of me, then make a couple of quick circles to make sure I had seen it. Just as quickly as it appeared it was gone. I’m still waiting to see it again.

The area seems to be full of odd-looking birds I’m unfamiliar with, but enjoy seeing, anyway. I also enjoy driving through Harrison Lake State Park to see the ducks near the dam (if visitors haven’t scared them away for a while) and the geese on the southwest end.

Another surprise to me after I moved is the number of deer in the area. The Goll Woods area on the county’s western side is a great place to spot deer without leaving your vehicle. In Lenawee County, I usually only saw deer bouncing off the front of my car.

I’ve seen as many as seven or eight deer on one drive through Goll Woods. There doesn’t seem to be any particular place to look as every month or so, one will turn up somewhere new. They aren’t a bit afraid of humans either. They seem to know that they are protected from hunting most of the time. As long as you stay in the car, they will let you look all day, or at least until they are bored and finally wander off.                                                                                                                                                                                                  

I’ve also seen deer off of Route 66 south of Archbold, east of Defiance near Independence Dam State Park, and the largest sighting of all: a herd of about 12 to 15 deer south of Route 20 just west of Fayette.

But I got the biggest deer surprise last Saturday night. I took a drive through Harrison Lake to check up on the ducks and geese, but found none at home. Of course, it was raining at the time, so any smart bird was probably in a dry spot.

I was leaving the boat launch area on the southwest end of the lake and was nearly to CR 27 when a small fawn darted out of the trees on my right. Without slowing down a bit, it looked straight at me, them continued into the trees on my left.

Since I moved to Fayette, I’ve either driven or ridden through Harrison Lake two or three hundred times and this was my first deer sighting. I stopped to let any other deer cross, but none appeared. Maybe the fawn was running behind her mother and trying to catch up. Now I’ll be driving even slower when I visit the park.

It was odd to see a deer in a park where I’ve never seen one before. It reminded me of the stories of the exotic species of birds, lizards and snakes starting to populate Florida. There’s another animal on the move, one that may end up in our area as a threat to deer and a nuisance to humans. Care to make a guess? No, that’s wrong, try again.

A recent Associated Press article told of the spread of armadillos. The animal that sort of resembles an armored rat is spreading east and north and now is established in southern Illinois. They are also now as far north as Nebraska. That’s a fast expansion for an animal which was once found mostly in Texas, then throughout the Southeast.

As with many things these days, global warming figures into the growth as armadillos don’t hibernate and need mild winters so they can keep searching for grubs and earthworms. They are adept at hitching rides on railroad cars so they could make the jump to our area whenever they wish, mild weather permitting.

The big problem is they like to live near forests and river valleys and they love to root. This is bad news for deer, other wildlife, cattle and humans, all of which would be prone to stepping into their holes.

Experts say our region has no predators to stop the spread of the animal, although it’s said starving people ate them during the Depression and many recipes can be found on-line. I wonder if bald eagles might like the taste of armadillo?

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016