Late Spring in NW Alabama

Reader Contribution by Mary Carton
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Corn is up, canola is blooming, and wheat is hinting at seeding out and turning gold. Fields are being ready for planting soybeans and cotton. Hay is being baled. Dogwoods are finished blooming and Grancy graybeard, peony, iris and daylilies are popping out. Blackberries are in bloom which usually means a cool spell, but the temps were in the eighties for over a week. Then we had over an inch of rain and blackberry winter arrived. Temperatures didn’t make it out of the sixties for several days.

This year, I hope there are no injuries or illness to keep me from finding my flower beds buried under privet, hackberry, honeysuckle and blackberry. I found a cordless pole chainsaw with a 40 volt battery. I was leery of rechargeable, as I have a reciprocating saw that I have at least three batteries charged for a job. It will go through one every ten to fifteen minutes. This one will run out of bar oil before the battery runs out. I spent several days cutting. It will take me two days to haul everything to my tree pile.

The short lived Jackson Military Road which ran from Nashville to New Orleans is two hundred years old. Friday was school day and Saturday public day. Reenactors displayed what plants Native Americans used for medicine. 1816 surveying techniques were demonstrated along with musket firing. With Gen. Jackson in attendance; guests were treated to an 1816 meal at the Belle Mont mansion south of Tuscumbia after we finished up giving educational historical tours. Volunteering does have its perks. We took the normal publicity photos, and then we had some fun.

My high school class at Deshler celebrated our 45th reunion. It was good to see several folks from out of town we haven’t seen since the last reunion. I do get to see several of the girls I graduated with at our monthly girls’ night out. Some of us can still get down and boogie.

I thought I had found a woodpecker nest last week. I was watching a woodpecker nest at the park at NW Birding Trail Site 7 near Wilson Dam waiting to get a picture of the parent. I saw a yellowish bird flying by with a french-fry going up into a nearby tree. While I was looking to see where the bird went to, the bird flew into and out of the nest before I could get back with my camera. While watching for it again, a gentleman rode up his bike and said you must be seeing something I’m not seeing. I showed him the eagle, vultures, red tail hawk and osprey I had gotten while there. I looked up and the bird is flying out of the nest again. I went back the next week to take pictures of the parents, only it was a bluebird nest, not a woody. The spring migration has been coming through our area. I had several rose-breasted grosbeaks visiting my feeders.

On the home front, the Hooligans have been busy as usual. Vultures were circling low when I got home from work. This time they dispatched an armadillo that made a mistake of trespassing. I found one poor chipmunk clinging for dear life up in one of my dogwood trees while the Hooligans hunted for it below. Patches gets upset when vultures circle over her house. Blackie has been limping since the battle. She’ll get better, and then she’ll jump off the retaining wall and mess it up again. She’s due for her shots, so we’ll get that checked out. After five years of illness or injury, I’ve started to reclaim my flower beds. I found a 40V rechargeable pole chain saw and have been going to town with Elvira cutting out brush in my flower beds in back of the house. Elvira is easy to take apart if you accidentally get too low and use it as a tiller. The beds that have blackberry, honeysuckle or trumpet vine, I think the best course will be to dig up the flowers and then take the tractor loader and tiller to them.

Speaking of work, I just got my forty year pin from Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital. I picked out a stained glass lamp for my gift. The hardest part about unpacking it was those little Styrofoam balls sticking to everything.

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