Deadlines keep me indoors on nice days
Now that winter is rearing its icy head, I am not one of those people who wax nostalgic about fireplaces and heating their homes with open fireplaces or wood/coal burning stoves or furnaces.
So I’m sitting here, indoors, in front of a computer monitor and keyboard on this early afternoon of the first Monday in June after just spending over an hour on the front porch where the temperature is 74 degrees and a nice, little, 10 mph breeze is stirring the leaves on surrounding trees and the sweet corn stalks in my garden.
But I have deadlines to meet and the battery is kaput in the lap-top computer that might have enabled me to work on the porch. I’m stuck indoors with only a wide window to remind me about how pleasant the weather conditions are outside. It is, in fact, the first day of 2018 that has felt remotely like spring. Need I remind you that we have just completed the hottest, wettest and most humid May on record for central and eastern Kentucky. Our recent May felt more like August and now June is already starting to act like September.
Of course that will, most likely, change dramatically by the time you read this. We should be back to full sizzle by the weekend. There is no evidence that last summer’s mild temperatures will return on a regular basis before September but this little reprieve is truly welcome.
In the meantime, I’ve been told, without seeing any direct evidence, that my brother, Keeter, there in the Letcher County community of Redstar, has been picking snow peas by the bushels. Apparently he grew them on the north face of a mountain that has an old, abandoned, very-deep, coal mine, wherein the air is a constant 55 degrees.
According to the Facebook rumor mill, Keeter bought one of those Big Ass Fans(hey that really is the brand name!) and rigged it up at the drift mouth (main entrance) of the old mine. The Big Ass sucked air out the mine and blew it onto Keeter’s pea patch throughout the month of May. While the rest of us, especially yours truly, watched heat blight destroy our peas to the point that we only had scant handfulls, Keeter is enjoying a bumper crop and, reportedly, giving them away to the less fortunate.
I am certainly much less fortunate but I have not received a mess of Keeter’s peas.
In other news, my buddy, Lynn Embaugh, who lives up there on Herrington Lake recently sent numerous photos of a raccoon that was bent on destroying her ornamental shrubbery. She had professionals come in and catch the critter. They determined the coon was a female and proceeded to “relocate” her. The amazing thing to me is that the animal was captured before Lynn gave it a proper name like she does most critters that show up at her place. The only name I am remembering right now is “Petey,” the pileated woodpecker, but I know, for sure, that several other of Lynn’s wild thing neighbors, including hummingbirds, deer and a screech owl have been given regular monikers.
I’ve already told her that, unless the “relocators” took the coon to Ontario or some other place north of The Great Lakes, she may as well get ready to name her because Lynn may think she’s a goner but coons do come back.
In the late 1980s when coons in Garrard County were thought to be scarce but treeing them with coon hounds was a very popular sport, I had one turning over my 30 gallon garbage can nearly every night. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife spent considerable man hours helping me trap and “tag” it with bright orange spray paint that enabled us to place a number, just slightly larger than what you can do with a “sharpie” or magic marker these days.
We numbered it A-1, or some such number, as I recall, without bothering to determine its gender because “A-1” was not a very cooperative raccoon when it came to divulging private matters. We hauled it over to Maywoods Lake, more than 10 miles from my home, at the time, where the natural habitat looked to be as close as one could get to Coon Heaven here on earth.
Three nights after the relocation, A-1 was back in my garbage can. One night later he (I figured out his gender) was in a neighbor’s stew pot where, I’m told, he tasted “a lot like ground hog but the meat was a bit more stringy.”
Reach longtime Enterprise columnist Ike Adams at email@example.com or on Facebook or 249 Charlie Brown Road, Paint Lick, KY 40461.