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Welcome, spring!

Well, this is the first column of April and the signs of impending spring are everywhere. From a bird standpoint, the buzzards arrived enmasse this week. A pair of killdeer is scouting out the driveway for a nesting sight. A mockingbird is reconnoitering the hawthorn tree that it always nests in. The meadowlarks — Kansas’s state bird — came back sporting vivid black Vs on their bright yellow breast feathers.

Speaking of birds reminds me that I need to recruit some help in erecting my purple martin houses. I’d forgotten about them.

Continuing, from a plant standpoint, the daffodils are blooming in many yards and every yard is being festooned with yellow dandelions. The tiny grape hyacinths are poking through the soil. The wild onions are greening up in the yard. The henbit will be blooming soon. And my first planting of radishes have sprouted in one of my raised garden beds. The lawn grass has kicked into high gear and will need mowing in a couple of weeks.



From a weather standpoint, my pond has gone from 2 feet down in water depth to nearly topping the dam twice in the last two weeks. Yesterday, the weather popped to above 80 degrees in the afternoon and then deluged us with 2 inches of rain last night and some spot flooding on the creeks around us. Today, the temp is in the 40s and the wind about matches that in miles per hour.

When the weather clears up and warms up again, I’ve got to plant tomatoes, peas and green beans. Plus, I bought a sack of oat seed for wildlife food plots.



***

I’ve reached the age when it sad to note that three friends around my age have taken tumbles lately that scabbed them up pretty good and even broken a shoulder on one of them. I keep telling Nevah that with my balance problems, I’m just a “fall” waiting to happen. All an old person can do is stay alert to situations and take precautions not to take a header.

***

It seems that for every problem that a computer is supposed to solve for me, another arises because of it. The latest example: The videos I’ve made of my life history are relatively easy to make and get downloaded to my computer.

The problem is finding a way to easily and inexpensively distribute them to my family members. First, I find out the video files are too large to simply email them to others. Then, I thought I’d hit upon the solution with a computer application called “Dropbox.” But, to handle and share the big video files would require every recipient to pay more than $100 per year for the service. So, that’s out of the question. Buying thumb-drives or auxiliary hard-drives for everyone is both expensive, cumbersome, and nearly impossible to keep updated.

So, the more-computer-savvy members of my family are on the hunt for the most logical way for me to share my life history episodes to family members spread from coast to coast.

***

A Texas rancher was visiting a Kansas cattleman and his Kansas host took him on a driving tour. A jackrabbit ran by and the Texan asked, “What was that?” “Why that was a jackrabbit,” the Kansan replied.

“I guess I didn’t recognize it because we grow them so much bigger in Texas,” the visitor said.

A while later, a deer ran by, and again, the Texan asked what it was.

“Why, that’s a deer,” the Kansan said.

“We grow them so much bigger in Texas that I didn’t recognize it,” the visitor responded.

A while later, they were driving down the road and saw a big snapping turtle.

“What was that?” asked the Texan.

“That’s a baby tick,” the Kansan replied.

***

I’m always talking about getting old. So, a kindly reader emailed me (htcsac@gmail.com) about the demise of various kinds of folks. I’ll share some of them as my words of wisdom for the week.

Old beekeepers never die, they just buzz off.

Old hardware engineers never die, they just cache in their chips.

Old hippies never die, they just smell that way.

Old horticulturists never die, they just go to pot.

Old investors never die, they just roll over.

Old journalists never die, they just get de-pressed.

Old lawyers never die, they just lose their appeal.

Old milkmaids never die, they just lose their whey.

Old owls never die, they just don’t give a hoot.

Old pacifists never die, they just go to peaces.

Old photographers never die, they just stop developing.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class.

Old farmers never die, they just go to seed.

***

Have a good ‘un.

Milo Yield

The spectacular plunge

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I’ve mentioned many times that living in the semi-wilds of the Kansas Flint Hills frequently brings me into unusual contact with wild critters. That proved true again this past week with a big wild bird.




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