Blackie's Surgery, More Flowers and Hummingbirds, and Remembering a Molasses Bath

| 10/11/2011 10:38:09 PM

A photo of MaryWhen Dad milked in the old milk barn he fed cotton seeds hulls, molasses and cotton seed meal. The barn was a stanchion type with sixteen cows on each side and a trough in front of the head locks and a walkway in front of the trough.  The cotton seeds were stored in a side room on each side, and we would carry a big scoop down the walk and drop in front of each head lock. That would be followed by a small hand scoop of cotton seed meal followed by the molasses over and around the mound. The molasses was kept in a metal 50 gallon barrel stored laying down on the foundation remains of an old milk truck shed. The barrel was in full sun and during 100 degree weather would get very hot and the contents expand almost to the point of exploding. It didn’t have a spout on it so it was opened by un-screwing the small cap in the lid. When the last bit of thread lost its grip, the molasses would shoot out like a rocket. 

One nice hot humid summer day, this two year old decided that she wanted to help pour the molasses from the barrel.  My uncle kept telling me to move out of the way, but Miss Smarty Britches wouldn’t listen and kept telling him to let me do it, and I got a bath when the plug was removed from the barrel. Dad brought me back to the house and had a good laugh, telling Mom to take me down to the cows and let Francis (my pet cow) lick me off. Mom was extremely upset as she had just given me a bath and had me smelling so nice, and now I reeked of the odor of burnt molasses.  It took her five wash changes to get all of the molasses off of me and out of my hair.   

  ruby throat 3207 

    ruby throat 3208 

The hummingbird migration is almost complete. This weekend I had one straggler at my feeders. In a day or so she should be moving on. A hint of fall is in the air. The leaves are starting to show their autumn colors. With the lack of rain trees are quickly loosing their leaves. However, the apple trees are confused with the crazy weather we had and are in an spring bloom. The last of the daylilies are finishing their re-bloom. Cone flowers and blanket flowers are still blooming strong. The sedums are showing their red signaling that fall is almost here.  


Mary Carton
10/16/2011 8:13:14 PM

Thanks Cindy. I've gotten into collecting some of the better daylilies, especially the spider forms. I took Blackie to get her stitches out yesterday and she has just amazed the vets at her recovery. They said she was up and walking an hour after surgery, drunk, but walking. She has been on a tear catching the mice & field rats and leaving them at the end of the drive. I have several fruit trees that I'll have to replace this year due to the 13 yr cicadas. Two of the trees were over 12 yrs old and I lost a pear tree that fruited for the first time and all lost so much sap they died. I lost a couple of dogwoods also. The local paper had an article quoting the Extension Agent who said not to worry they are harmless will lay their eggs in the barks of the trees and the noise will go away in 6 weeks. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

Cindy Murphy
10/16/2011 7:52:48 PM

Mary, when reading your blog, I'm always amazed at the variety of daylilies you have, and such unique ones too! Just beautiful. I'm sorry to read in your comment to Dave, that you lost the apple tree, but very glad for you that Blackie is on the mend, and sure to be up to the usual hooligan antics soon.

Mary Carton
10/12/2011 8:18:48 PM

Thanks Dave. I've had 0.15 inches the other day, it's the only rain we've had in a month. Cooler weather has been nice. The apple tree was knocked over in a storm and I took the tractor and pulled it up Saturday, so I won't be able to find out if it would have bloomed next spring. It had apples while on the ground this year. It was a Pink Lady a variety I just love. Leaves are falling here also, I think from lack of rain. Thanks for commenting.

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters