The nor’easter side of Kansas has had days of hefty winds and scuds and williwaws and commotion blowing everywhere. My hair was just impossible.
I hope you have received an adequate amount of rainwater. Storms were scattered though. I started at my home north of Paola with no rain, and by the time I was in Olathe, the clouds had opened and a deluge had begun. Everything was washed clean by the massive drops. I just hoped that the members of Miami County were receiving water as well.
Nope! Dry as a cactus whisker. I couldn’t believe it. Nothing. Eventually we received closed to 2 inches of rain…so far.
A big scuttle abruptly blew into town while I was outside enjoying a warm afternoon. A strong westerly current suddenly caught my yard by surprise.
My two maple trees, which were loaded to the brim with tan helicopter seeds, started whipping and whopping those things continuously. A bazillion million maple seeds took flight like a fleet of copters bound for war. Everywhere! Endlessly they flew!
Twirling and whirling… looking for a safe landing.
The next day after the winds had slowed, I found my two maple trees barren of seeds and the ground absolutely covered with tan tree droppings. Throughout my three flower gardens, covering the grass, all over the roof and the porch lay piles of grounded whirlybirds.
Ugh!! You know what all this means, don’t you? These helicopters will plant themselves in anything that looks or acts like soil. I will have a whole woodlot of burgeoning maple trees staring me in the face next spring.
This spring I counted 17 seedlings in a 3’ x 3’ area. I guess I could have dug them up and given them away. Alas, the treelings met the fate of a chopping shovel. I had them all over my front yard. This type of maple is considered to be a “soft” wood and breaks easily under duress. We haven’t had this problem with ours, but many don’t care for it.
In fact, I found out that silver maples are considered to be one of our area’s most invasive tree species, followed by white mulberry. Hackberry trees are not well liked for the same reasons as a silver maple…they produce loads and loads of offspring trees. A hackberry is good for caterpillar and butterflies, and birds love it.
Cottonwoods are not haled to be a favorite due to brittle branches, floating cotton fluffies, and other things. I own one though, and I will hail its beauty and glory forever. This is the one my husband threatens to cut down after every thunderstorm.
Mimosas are invasive…but so very pretty. Willow trees are invasive to homes and should NOT be planted near a foundation or pipes. I would never have a honey locust or Osage orange.… the thorns are out to get you.
A little side story … As I was tippy-typing along on this just now I looked down to see something black on the floor (no, it was NOT a tick). It was the size of a dime and hovering along on the floor. I bent down to get a closer look and immediately saw it was a jumping spider. The legs were not hanging out and hairy, no juicy fangs. Just this cute black blob of movement.
I reached down and scooped it into my hand. I whispered quietly, “You are OK. Don’t worry. I am going to take you outside. I will tell you though, you should be happy I found you and not someone else in this house. You would be flyswatter-dead.”
After setting him down on a pink flamingo statue, I said, “Go be a spider, little friend.”
The Paola Free Library is having several outdoor-related activities in June. If you have a love for wild birds or want to learn more about birds in your backyard or are a professional ornithologist, mark your calendar for June 24 at Lake Miola for a BIRDWATCHING FIELD TRIP.
Dr. Roger Boyd from Baker University will be leading the walk.
Boyd is a brilliant observer of Kansas wildlife along with his extensive erudition with creatures that fly, spending 42 years teaching, researching and managing the Discovery Center at the Baker Wetlands. Boyd is retired Emeritus Professor of Biology at Baker.
The library is also planning a Family Fishing event held at Miola Lake on June 28 at 6 p.m. Watch for more information on that later.
There have been many photos with big fish caught and lots of turkeys shot recently. I know the Ward family of Paola spent a weekend fishing a farm pond and caught some whopper bass. Pops yanked in the biggest, probably weighing in at 6 pounds. The children spent hours dropping a line and returning with a little bluegill. Popcorn fishing… All the fish were returned to the pond to reach maturity.
There is a group of bass fishermen who fish the Wednesday Night Bass Tournament at Hillsdale Lake. You have a month left to participate. You must have a BLACK BASS PASS for every angler, a 5 bass limit with 15-inch minimum. There is a one-time membership fee of $5. Each boat is $40. For more information on an evening of fun and fishy merrymaking, get in touch with Will Rogers.
I met with one turkey hunter, and he said the hunting was miserable with all the wind we had had. He was out for three days looking with nothing to declare.
But, then I heard from Will Johns and wife Carrie in Osawatomie who were out for no more than 10 minutes and both bagged a turkey.
My grandson was so excited after he shot his first turkey. All winter long he spoke about shooting a turkey and how he was going to hide and the turkey sound he learned. He and his dad practiced with targets after school.
I know he was thrilled to pieces and is having the bird “stuffed,” but my comment to him was, “poor turkey!”
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