Enjoying signs of spring
Damphemore Acres, Kan.
We’ve endured a long, cold, wet winter — which makes the recent wonderful spring weather all the more enjoyable. All the signs of spring are popping up all around Damphewmore Acres.
For instance, the last two mornings the Purple Martin scout has been here to evaluate the housing arrangement. I think he found out that when the purple horde gets here, it will have a job evicting the squatter starlings and sparrows who’ve already appropriated the bird houses. From past observations, it will be an easy job.
This morning when I got home from the Saffordville Old Boars’ Breakfast, a flock of around 30 white pelicans had decided to take a rest on my pond. Within an hour they all left except one lone pelican. I don’t know if it’s injured, too tired to continue the migration, or perhaps just ending its final journey.
I think I’ve used this in my column previously, but it’s cute enuf to repeat. My dear ol’ dad, Czar E. Yield, had a saying about pelicans. It went: “A marvelous bird in the pelican. Holds more in his beak than his belly can. Can hold enough in his beak, to last him a week. And, I don’t know how in the hellican.”
The spring ritual of tilling neighbor’s gardens has begun. Yesterday, I tilled up a huge garden spot for one neighbor. He pays me back, eventually, with fresh sweet corn.
Usually, I’ll get at least a couple more tilling requests in the near future.
This week it dried up enuf for me to get several plots ready for spring “chicken forage” planting. I’ll plant some clovers, hairy vetch, alfalfas, and this spring, just as soon as I’m pretty sure it won’t frost again, I’m gonna plant some buckwheat for the first time. It’ll have to be a long, coolish spring for it to mature before the really hot weather.
I make compost in large amounts using rotted big round bales of hay that I tear apart, all the chicken manure from my flock, horse manure from my neighbor’s stalls, and all the kitchen waste we generate. I usually have three piles of compost going at a time: last year’s leftover, this year’s and next year’s.
I’ve been observing and enjoying sunsets all my life and two evenings ago I saw a sunset like I’d never seen before. It was like an optical illusion.
First off, there was a dark cloud bank in the west that came clear down to the horizon. There wuz no gap between the cloud bank and the ground. Normally, the sun appears to set beyond the clouds and behind the horizon.
This time the sun wuz a brilliant orange globe that had the dark cloud bank behind it all the time that the sun set. And after it set, there was absolutely no after-glow sunset. The sun just set — period.
For the life of me, the sun looked just like it set about four miles away with the dark cloud bank behind it. It still baffles me, but then again, I ain’t no meteorologist, planetary physicist or astrologist.
My ol’ Pratt buddy, Claude Hopper, stayed here for three days of fishing last week. I reported last week about the first day’s catch of bass, catfish and crappie. The second day we got completely skunked. The third day the crappie were biting early on lures and we put 16 fat crappie in the fish basket, plus one fair sized bass.
The most unusual item in the news this week that has some connection to rural America wuz a wire service news story about the number of states that have passed laws making it legal for persons to eat road kill.
I think the story said eating fresh road kill is legal now in 27 states. Of course, each state has regulations regarding edible road kill.
I really don’t care how legal eating road kill is, I think I’ll pass in favor of some kind of meat out of the freezer. I like to eat my wild game fresher than bruised and bloodied road kill.
A rural lad graduated from the state university with a degree in agricultural economics. He had great grades and wuz delighted to launch his career with a high paying job with a big bank that had quite a portfolio in farm and ranch lending.
The new grad decides to look his very best on his first day of work, so he goes to a big city tailor to get a custom-made suit. The tailor measures him for the suit and a week later he comes in for the first fitting. As he admires himself and his new suit in the full length mirror, he thinks to himself, “This is stunning. This is a suit in which I can make quite a mark in the banking business.”
But, then as he was nearly finished preening at the mirror, he reached down to stick his hands in the pockets of his new suit. Much to his surprise, there were no pockets. None. So, he confronts the tailor, “There’s no pockets. What’s the deal?”
The tailor replies, “Well, you told me you were a banker and who ever heard of a banker with his hands in his own pockets?”
Words of wisdom for the week. Go fishing. Play golf. Plant something. Have fun. Enjoy spring! ❖