50 Bald Eagles counted on area lakes

Published 7:38 am Wednesday, February 2, 2022

By Donna Traywick

Mt. Olivet Community

Mt Olivet community has had more excitement this week than we have had in a long time. Mallory Fleming, daughter of Giles and Paige Fleming was in the top ten of the Most Beautiful Beauty Pageant of Lafayette High School. Mallory is a freshman at Lafayette and the only freshman to place in the pageant. Mallory along with her sister Addison are very talented singers and musicians.

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Barrett and Renae Johnson welcomed their first child, Saturday, Jan. 29. She weighed 7lbs 12 oz and was 21 inches long She has been Lucy Johnson. Beaming grandparents are Susan Gordon Carlisle and Randy and Deborah Johnson.

I was saddened to learn of the death of Lt. Col. Billy Smith. He grew up in the Mt. Olivet Community and was the age of my late brother Glen Palmertree. They hung around the Palmertree spring that I wrote about last week. They had carved their initials in a young sapling tree that hung on the bank just over the spring. As the young tree grew, so did their initials. One other friend, the late Johnny Frank Dettor had also carved his initials.

I thank y’all for all the interest you have shown in the spring. People from as far away as seven miles called to tell me that was their only source of water until James R. Lipe of Pope began to drill a few wells in the area in the early 50s. Veedy Franklin said they hauled the water in large cream cans. 

They especially used it to wash their hair, because water from a well was harsh. When they finally got a pump it contained too much iron. They thought that it was the most serene place around. That must be why so many people hung around and visited with each other. They had to sometimes wait in line to fill up jugs and barrels. 

When my niece and nephew came to visit from Sledge they often sat up on the bank and watched the people as they came and went.

My family is indebted to James Vaxter for using his back-hoe to further clean out the spring. He obtained a large culvert to put in the spring when the weather permits. 

Barbara James’ daughter was a very good piano student. When she was about fourteen, I let her teach for me on Saturdays while we attended quarter horse shows. I did not know until I attended the homecoming at New Enon M.B. Church one year where she was the guest minister, she told the congregation her father would let her drive the truck to my music studio every Saturday.

Mt Olivet community has an ambassador and she doesn’t even have to leave home. Several times a month recently I have received a sweet card or letter with the most uplifting message. This ambassador is Joyce Phillips. She and husband Sam will call to see if I need anything from time to time. Her sweet notes seem to come at just the time when I need them and they always make me smile to know that someone is thinking of me. 

Several others in the community also get the inspirational notes. The last was written on a scrap of paper. That’s o.k. it doesn’t have to be fancy paper. What a wonderful community it would be if all took time to do the same. 

Lynda Browning Davis from Atlanta has been spending several weeks with her mother, Elizabeth Browning. When she returns home another daughter Jane Browning Carr from Clarksville, TN, will come for a while.

While working in their pasture this week Paul(Bud) Franklin and Chris Franklin saw a lone bald eagle. In January the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District held its annual mid-winter bald eagle surveys at its North Mississippi lakes. 

A total of 50 eagles were counted across Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid and Grenada. Due to Covid-19 precautions only USACE personnel conducted the surveys. I always looked forward to the general public getting to go and help the count, but the weather was so bad that day of the count that I backed out.

Because of all the protection and the good habitat that North Mississippi and other Southern states provide, bald eagles are no longer an endangered species, but they are federally protected. 

Stay warm this week friends and read your newspaper and your Bible. Call or text me your story. Remember William Faulkner said “Everybody has a story; it just must be told.” Phone or text Donna 901-828-8824