Spring Drought Festivals Begin in the Shoals
By Mary Carton
About a month ago, two to three inches of rain was predicted. Farmers fertilized their corn crop only to have 0.01 inches to fall. We are having August temperatures in the nineties. Those who have irrigation have been watering day and night. Those who don’t are seeing their crop wilt. Forward to two weeks later, and 0.24 inches fell while I was at work. When I got home, the ground was dry as a bone and I couldn’t tell that we had gotten any. Since May 1, I’ve reported 1.71 inches in my gauge, over 7 inches below normal for the year. Wheat is golden and ready to combine and a good crop is expected.
I mowed the front yard, back yard, and my lower 3 acres, and tried to do a General Lee across an area I had made 2 rows with a middle buster for sunflowers while trying to get a field rat. There’s nothing like a hard landing with three bad discs to get the back complaining.
My veggie garden consists of six Cherokee purple tomatoes and a few scalloped squash plants that will go in the flower beds when large enough. This year I’m focusing on taking back my flower beds from privet, hackberry, blackberry, weeds and honeysuckle overgrowth.
The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, I took Mom to Decatur for the Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic. A friend and his daughter had gone that morning and gave me the direction the balloons were floating. We sat up at the park across the road from the Wheeler Wildlife entrance and waited. A nice couple was there and we talked to them for a while. We were about to head home when they finally starting floating up. They were headed south. So I got directions for a road south of the river and we found the landing site. It was awesome. Mom fussed when I jumped the ditch asking if I was going to let her sit sideways in the truck. After I got across the ditch, I park on a grassy area around the edge of a wheat field. One Sopwith Camel Snoopy balloon barely cleared a church just as service was over.
Memorial Day I attended the American Legion Memorial Day program at the Colbert County Courthouse to honor the memory of my great uncle killed in France during WWI.
The festivals started in April. Lagrange College site had a blue grass festival. Sheffield’s street party, a fund raiser for NW Shoals Community College was very well attended. The Marshall Tucker Band and Wet Willie rocked the house until late in the night. I wish to thank David and Faye Johnson for allowing me to take photographs again this year. The Coondog Cemetery Lady and I decided to grab something to eat afterwards as neither of us had eaten since breakfast. I’m getting too old to stay up until 3 AM like I did when I worked the graveyard shift.
Next week is the Helen Keller Festival and the weather is usually hot and humid. Helen Keller was born in my home town of Tuscumbia. I’m not familiar with the headliner, so he must be a country music star.
A couple of bald eagles with their newly fledged offspring have been hanging around the park below Wilson Dam. I’ve been swinging by on the way home after work and getting a lot of pictures. I’m in awe whenever I see one.
The city park in Muscle Shoals has a colony of nesting red headed woodpeckers. They aren’t very common these days due to habitat destruction. One put on a show on the fence on the other side of the street. I got a lot of shots of it before a car came by and scared it off. This was a new bird on my list.
Conversation with Mom
I took Mom out to eat on Sunday’s and get groceries. She said, “Oh, I meant to tell you I had a strange dream the other night. We were somewhere and you were trying to catch this big frog, this big,” making a hand gesture that it was as large as a basketball.
I asked her, “Where were we?” but she didn’t know.
“I told you to leave it alone, that it had big teeth, and it did. I guess I need to stop watching so much Judge Judy,” she says.
“Why?” I asked.
“Well, she’s been having a lot of pit bull dog bite cases on.”
The Hooligans? I had to take Blackie to the vet’s for a limp she had after the Hooligans did battle with a armadillo. Turns out one of the workers had thrown some gum down and she had some pointed seeds in her foot pad and the gum was pushing the seeds into her foot with each step. She was close to getting an infection. So think about what could happen to an animal when you toss.
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