Wisdom of the Woods (10/16/2014)

Oct 19, 2014

Wisdom From The WoodsThis week’s column will venture into a different direction than normal as I intend to give some wisdom from the Woods that gets away from hunting and fishing. How about flower growing?

Our house is at the end of a private lane off Butler Co. Road 415 and there is timber lining the driveway all the way to the house. When visitors approach the driveway, they see a sign that lists some of the items available from Maggie’s Farm & Hatchery.

Maggie is our great-granddaughter and approaching her third birthday. Their house is less than 100 yds. from ours and that little rascal routinely visits us with her dogs in tow.

When we moved out here in 1979, there was no garden spot; no house but several outbuildings the previous owner had constructed as he had a small hog operation. We bought a small mobile home we used while our house was being built. Our home is a two-bedroom, one bath, and is covered on three sides by dirt, so it’s what has been termed an earth-shelter home. We use both electric and wood heat and the heating bill isn’t bad as the interior of the house usually stays around 70 degrees without too much of a fire.

Elaine, my wife of almost 60 years (anniversary on Halloween), loves to spend time with her flowers. She also keeps chickens and guineas. Three years ago she decided that she would like to enter some of her flowers in the Butler County Fair.

The first year she took 20 exhibits and won 19 ribbons.  In my years of competition in the wild coon hunt sport, I never approached that kind of success. The next year she, again, exhibited 20 different flowers and came away with thirteen ribbons. This year wasn’t as dramatic, but she came home with 2 blues, four reds, and five whites. She also helped our great-granddaughter Willow with an entry which won a blue for best of its class and a purple for best of show in the youth division. Not too bad for a farm that grows big rocks without using fertilizer.

The key wisdom that I pass along is to get good potting soil and some professional advice from someone like John Hobbs’ Nursery. Elaine helped out there when they were located in Poplar Bluff and learned a lot about growing plants from them.

The first year of showing was a learning experience. The rose she entered won first place and our great-grandson Brayden said it was because it was God’s rose. We had planted some roses at our church, Westside Church of God, and when the roses at home weren’t so hot, Elaine clipped one from the church, so it was God’s Rose that won.

We have one very unusual house plant; an Aloe Vera that is commercial grade and is nearly four feet tall. Everyone who sees it has never seen an Aloe that size.

Rain played havoc with the UKC events last weekend in the area. Butler County Coon Club has a hunt at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. deadline for registration while Ripley County has both a show at 6:30 p.m. and hunt at 7:30 on the 18th.

Duck season is just around the corner and at one time it competed with coon hunting for the top of my hunting list. Several nights I hunted until nearly midnight and was back in the duck blind by 5 a.m. That was on my day off during the week.

My hunting buddy in the blind was my foreman at the DAR, Herb Piper. We spent many days in a duck blind and some of those hunts will be highlighted in the near future.

Fishing tournaments are nearly over with the Current River Smallmouth Classic last weekend.

Crappie fishing on Lake Wappapello and Clearwater is usually good during deer season and a lot of hunters fish in the afternoon after hunting in the morning.

While getting ready for church Sunday, a hummingbird came to our window searching for food. Our feeders were taken down, but it took Elaine a couple minutes to refill some. When she got the first feeder hung, a hummer came right up into her face, probably to say thanks.