Of all the many gifts that God has graced us with, the gift of sight may be one of the most precious. To be able to see the moon beams sparkling off the flowing waters of the Flint River at 4:00 am in the morning is an awesome sight to behold. Why you may ask am I out at that time of the morning? What you should really ask yourself is why is this lunatic walking around in his yard in his underdrawers, toting a 12 gauge shotgun, and wearing a miner’s helmet with a light on the top of it? I’m doing that because the dadblame armadillos are about to destroy my yard. I have killed five so far, but there appears to be at least that many more still out there since my grass and yard looks like a herd of hogs have rooted in it. Armadillos seem to have no natural enemies around here other than me. They use their long claws to dig up the grass in search of grubs and worms. Interestingly, the Tall Timbers Quail Research program has added them to the class of nest predators that destroy quail eggs along with other critters such as skunks, coons, and possums. So now I have yet another reason to have a “license to kill” these aggravating pests. I certainly would have preferred them to stay in Mexico and Texas. When I was growing up, we did not have coyotes or armadillos in this area. We do a really good job of trapping our coyotes on Riverview, but I have never found an armadillo trap that works. If any of you know of one that works, please e-mail me at: [email protected].
Another blessing of sight is the ability to read. I have always enjoyed reading, and I seem to enjoy it even more as I grow older. For one thing, it doesn’t require nearly as much exertion as most of my other hobbies that I still enjoy. Yesterday I read this quote from Aldo Leopold that really resonated with me. He said,” We shall never achieve harmony with the land,anymore than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these aspirations the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.” Now that is very profound. I firmly believe that God granted us the stewardship of the land and waters of His creation. It is my job to leave it better than I found it for the next generation. I do not own it, but am just renting it for my time here on earth.
I believe that perfect harmony is impossible, but we try very hard here at Riverview to manage this beautiful piece of property to the best of our ability. We have already had to fight off our federal government who wanted to make the eastern diamondback rattlesnake an endangered species which would have required us to manage our habitat for rattlesnakes rather than quail. A large number of plantations had to kick in money to hire the legal staff to fight an environmental law firm which is 100% funded by the federal government; so we were fighting a group who was being paid by our own tax dollars. Only in the USA ! If these folks try to add the armadillo to that group, they are going to make a grievous error. They don’t want a bunch of mad, old women marching on Washington with their broomsticks in their hands. Perhaps I forgot to mention that the reason I am getting no sleep and hunting armadillos at night is that Martha Cox told me that these little ‘expletive deleteds’ were not going to destroy her yard any longer, and that I WAS going to handle it.
I need to go take a nap now. More to come later!