There is an old commercial that had the punch line, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.” As far as I can recall, I have not done a thing to make the old heifer angry, but she has certainly been offended by someone. As I was watching our local weather at 5:30 a.m., our local weatherman stated that for the first time in recorded history of our area, our average temperatures for April and February were the same.
Normally by this time of the year, it is hotter than two rabbits screwin’ in a wool sock, and is often drier than powdered popcorn poot. That has certainly not been the case late into this spring and early summer. We have had abundant rainfall and very cool temps. We were still seeing some lows in the upper 40s and highs in the low 70s, even into May.
These weather conditions made for an absolutely perfect controlled woods burning program, which is always our first step in the direction of preparing for another hunting season. We had no scorched trees and already have natural cover back from our burning. Our ground cover is a rich green, which often fails to appear until late July. Even our South Georgia State Bird, the gnat, has only just now begun to make token appearances.
While the cool spring has been great for our hunting operation tasks, it has not been as beneficial for Greg’s agricultural operations. We have beautiful stands of sweet corn, soybeans and milo. However, the cool nights are inhibiting the plants from picking up the fertilizer and other nutrients in the soil, and are coming up slower and paler in color. Some of our plantings look like they fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down, but everything is looking much better now that the weather is warming up. Just remember – “eat more sweetcorn this summer.”
We are planting our food plots now, and they are looking great since they were planted later after our nights began to warm up.
Meanwhile, Jerry has been as busy as a one-legged cat in a sand box with a slew of special projects. Come to think of it, Jerry is a one-legged man. He has had one total knee replacement, and just had the other one scoped. He kind of reminds me of the old farmer when asked about his two-legged hog. The farmer replied, “That’s a good hog, and you only kill a good hog a little bit at the time.”
Jerry has dedicated four full-time men, led by Moss and Chuck, to full-time dog training. This is the most employees for the second year in a row that have worked full time at the kennels, both with our big dogs and our English Cockers. The fruits of these efforts are showing.
We have also ordered two new Jeeps, which will need to be completely outfitted, Riverview style, which will take a good bit of time. We will also have to sand and repaint a few Jeeps that were mistaken for quail, and took a fair amount of pellets in them.
That is the primary reason that we have never felt comfortable with having more than two hunters on a Jeep at Riverview. It doesn’t take but one pellet in the eye to blind a person. Some of you probably read in one of my earlier blogs that we did not have a single safety violation this past season. Sadly, that never applies to our Jeeps. We’ve given up on protecting them, but they don’t bleed unless shot in the radiator.
Meanwhile down here on the lodge grounds, I am ecstatic to report that we have no major capital improvements to make. However, this was the summer to make our once-every-three-years pruning of all the shrubbery. I try to take Martha out of town during this period of time as her idea of pruning and ours are different.
Working in the office while Retha is putting up fig preserves, mayhaw and blackberry jellies, green tomato pickles, etc., is almost akin to torture as the smells drift up to the office.
We are beginning one special project on a 15-acre tract of land that we are keeping a secret until we can see if it pans out. We will not see a payoff until four years down the road if it works. It is an ag project, and all I can say at the moment is that it does not involve growing an illegal product.
Now back to the hunting operations, which are of much more interest to y’all. We will continue our very popular family holiday date discount program. During the following dates, we will discount our base rate by 35%.
- November 21 – 24
- December 21 – 22
- December 28 – January 3
We had a great hunting season last year, and things are looking good at Lake Woebegone for the 2018 – 2019 hunting season. With that said, I get to my favorite part of Summer Scene in which I just offer up some rambling thoughts on family and life in general.
Since so many of you are familiar with her situation, I am so grateful to God to state that Martha “rang the bell” a few months ago signifying that she had finished her last of 29 chemo treatments. She looks great, feels good, and has returned to her normal feisty self. Her oncologist placed her in the highest quintile for survival, but while confident, we both know that decision is in God’s hands. In the meantime, we plan to enjoy life and our precious grandchildren. While Martha was too sick to function, I learned two very important things:
- I learned which one of those two white things in our utility room was the washer and which one was the dryer.
- Having never been grocery shopping in my life (and, yes, I am spoiled) I learned to never take Martha’s grocery list and go shopping on an empty stomach. The first time I did this, I ended up being the proud owner of Aisle 6 at Publix.
Pop once told me that when we stop learning, we are ready to die; so these are a few things I have learned in the past year:
- People who enjoy meetings don’t have the sense that God gave a goose, and should never be in charge of anything.
- People with time on their hands will inevitably waste your time if you are busy.
- The original name of Atlanta, Georgia, was Terminus. Maybe they should go back to it. I’m kind of like my late friend, Lewis Grizzard, who really struggled with airports being called “terminals” as he was petrified of flying.
I should have learned years ago to never make a woman mad since they can remember stuff that hasn’t even happened yet. Even more importantly, I have always known that some things are better left unsaid to one’s wife. My problem is that I recall this right after I have said it.
And lastly, I wanted to share this since I have to go to Albany today to take my annual Medicare dementia test – I think that senility is going to be a fairly smooth transition for me.
Well, that’s about all she wrote y’all. Let me just close by saying once again, the finest folks in the world come through our doors at Riverview. The Cox family and staff join me in wishing you a great summer, and we look forward to visting you again next fall and winter.