Hickory Farms

December 2023 Hickory Farms Newsletter

- Editor, Jennifer Maloney (Farm House Ln)

Hickory Farms Annual Assessment Due January 31, 2024

By Judy Deng, Treasurer

The amount of the Annual Assessment (dues) is set each year by the Board of Directors and affirmed by the homeowners. At the October 17, 2023, Annual Meeting the community voted to set the Annual Assessment to $290. Annual assessments are used to cover the costs of operations and contribute to the reserve fund which is used for repairs and upgrades of HFCA assets.

Your $290.00 Hickory Farms Annual Assessment is due by January 31st.

Detailed payment information will be included in the January newsletter and can always be found at: https://hickoryfarms.org/annual-assessment

Join Our Listserv!

Don’t miss any news! Join the Hickory Farms Listserv! Hickory Farms utilizes Google Groups to manage our listserv. This platform is simple, easy to use and free. If you don't have a Gmail account, you can sign up for one at http://www.gmail.com.

Once you have an account, visit https://groups.google.com/my-groups to sign into Google Groups. From there, go straight to http://groups.google.com/g/hickory-farms-hoa/ and click the "Ask to Join." In the Reason for Joining, please include your address, phone number, and own/rent status to include in the neighborhood directory.

Once your membership is approved, you'll receive emails when they are sent to the listserv. You can adjust your membership settings - like changing single emails to a weekly digest - in your Google Groups Settings.

Please don't forget to review the guidelines on the Hickory Farms website here: https://hickoryfarms.org/ hickory-farms-listserv . There's also information on how to post to the listserv, manage your account and more.

Finally, if you need basic Google Groups help, visit: https://support.google.com/groups/answer/1067205? hl=en. You can always contact the admins of the listserv for help or questions by emailing hickory-farms-hoa+managers@googlegroups.com.

Hickory Farms Holiday Light Contest

Vote for you favorites starting mid-December! Winners will be announced early January.

The 4 Categories:

  • Holiday Heavyweight: Biggest and most excessive display.
  • Most Holiday Spirit: Brings joy to kids young and old
  • Most Colorful: Best use of colored lights
  • Most Classic: Best use of white lights and other classic themes

The Birds of Hickory Farms

By Bob Cosgriff

“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat . . .” This lyric is just one example of how birds are integral to our lives and, indeed, our popular culture. In the same vein, consider the birds that are named in one of the most popular Christmas songs, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”: counting down, they are: “seven swans a-swimming,” “six geese a-laying,” “four calling birds,” “three French hens,” “two turtle doves,” and the ever-popular “partridge in a pear tree.” Granted, some of these birds are domestic species, but it is important to remember that for humans, wild birds are the most numerous and accessible living things on earth.

Because birds were so ubiquitous in the past, humans often treated them like a commodity that would never run out. This led to such activities as market hunting of certain species for feathers and restaurant dishes. Coupled with habitat destruction (forest-clearing and swamp-draining) to provide farmland or to provide material for construction, many species went extinct in the United States in the twentieth century. Today, these same threats still exist and have been joined by others: toxic pesticides, glass buildings, wind turbines, and at the top of the list, outdoor cats. Because of these threats, many species have suffered extensive declines in just the last 40 years, some hovering on the verge of extinction. True, there have been success stories: the Bald Eagle, the Peregrine Falcon, Eastern Bluebird, Kirtland's Warbler, and others. But the sad truth is that many songbird species that were common, such as Wood Thrush, are in steep decline.

I mentioned above that outdoor cats top the list of threats to wild birds. There is ample scientific literature to validate this statement. Here is a link that discusses the issue and includes links to studies. https://abcbirds.org/program/cats-indoors/cats-and-birds/

In terms of bird sightings in Hickory Farms, there is not much to report. We have begun to see Slate-colored Juncos and White-throated Sparrows. Both species showed up pretty much on schedule at the beginning of November. The prediction is that Pine Siskins (related to goldfinches) are going to irrupt south out of Canada, but as of this writing, we have yet to see any at our feeders.

On 1 January, we will begin our annual “Year Yard” species count during which we count every species we see or hear every day, in or flying over our yard, until 15 May (the effective end of the spring migration). We use the “point count” method so “our yard” encompasses everything within a 50-yard radius centered on our house, basically our neighbors’ yards and the edge of the common area across the street from us. If we are in doubt as to the exact location of the bird, we don’t count it. In reality, most of the birds we see are in or directly over our property, but each year a few are seen in a neighbor's yard or over the street. We have a lot of data to let us know dates of sightings, average daily and monthly numbers and year-over-year total species numbers. As 2024 goes on, we will share the data with you each month.

Best wishes for the upcoming holiday season. Try to get out into the Hickory Farms commons or nearby parks to see what birds you might see. While a partridge in a pear tree is not likely, you might get to see some Tundra Swans a-swimming!

HFCA Board Meeting Notice

HFCA Board Meetings continue to be held via Zoom. Unless otherwise notified or due to an unforeseen change, HFCA Board Meetings will be held the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7 pm.

To join a Board meeting, contact any HFCA Board Member or send a request to join to hfca@hickoryfarms.org. You will be provided with the Zoom meeting URL, meeting number and passcode.

Student Yellow Pages

Lily Bucher lrbucher4@gmail.com Babysitter/Mother's Helper, Pet Sitting
Kiera Stark commonareas@hickoryfarms.org Pet Sitting
Greysen Berg 210-428-5535 Yard Work, Leaf Raking
Cedar Batz 571-398-1467 Dog Walking, Dog Sitting

If you offer services such as those listed above, or others such as tutoring, etc., and wish to be included in future listings, please email the Newsletter Editor at newsletter@hickoryfarms.org.

Newsletter Item Deadline and Distribution Notice

Newsletter items are due the 25th of the month, for the next month’s issue. Please send submissions to newsletter@hickoryfarms.org.

Newsletters are distributed via the HFCA listserv and posted on the HFCA website. Paper versions of the newsletters are no longer delivered to households. All are encouraged to access the digital newsletter via the listserv or the HFCA website.