By the time this arrives at the newsstands, all of the rain talk about the deluge, the Niagara Falls of inches and inches of precipitation will have expired. It won’t be important until the next ruin of rain.

But I must share that we had 3 inches of rain one day, and 3 more the next evening. That’s a bucket full… or two.

Mulch was swooshed anywhere from 3 to 10 feet beyond its regular spot in my garden. The cosmos I slightly tucked into the soil surely will grow in someone else’s yard downstream.

Fantastic frog weather! Drenched ducks are deliriously happy! Water-logged fish are ecstatic!

~~~

I do have to renege on part of my previous column, and I do apologize for any confusion it has caused. I reported that the plastic in Miami County was NOT recycled, as told to me by someone in the Waste Management system. The individual was emphatic about this announcement.

So, plastics are collected in Osawatomie, Louisburg, Paola and Spring Hill with other curbside recycling materials. At the Waste Management center on 327th Street, there are plastic receptacles for individuals who live in the country to recycle.

Miami County will recycle cardboard, paper and plastic. Glass can be taken to each Price Chopper in our area…Paola, Louisburg and Spring Hill. We are lucky to have these available for everyone to use.

The plastics from our county are hauled, along with all the other recyclables, to transfer stations in the city. There it is all separated, mostly by hand, and sent to other centers. It is quite a process.

When you recycle, it is important not to toss regular old dirty trash in with it. The recycled goods are then considered contaminated, so be attentive with recycling.

The least recycled material nationwide creates the most trash…PLASTIC! Talk about a mess! In an article written by “The Last Beach Cleanup,” just recently published on May 4, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that in 1980 each person created about 60 pounds of plastic. In the year 2018, we are up to 218 pounds PER PERSON!

My lands! That is horrific! Two-hundred eighteen pounds?! That is an astounding amount of plastic!

Consider all the items made of plastic throughout the day that you might use. It is astronomical…from the plastic milk jugs, water bottles, the bag holding the bread, the bag holding your fruit… the list continues and continues.

In the same article, the EPA estimated that in 2020 only 9 percent of our plastic in the United States was recycled. That is embarrassing! UGH!!!

This overuse of plastics will have to change in our country, but it will only work if we, as the consumers, are more diligent and serious in our purchasing and demands to companies.

We have to work on this!

~~~

The small purple wildflowers that swarmed the fields awhile back and appeared to paint the farmers’ soil with bright colors of orchid and lilac have been replaced by some pretty yellow flowers.

The yellow flowers are just so charming and qualified for spring growth and pleasance. I have seen large patches of them, and the bright yellow color can’t be missed.

If my visions and research are correct, I believe they are known as yellow rockets.

There aren’t very many other yellow flowers in bloom right now…except for dandelions.

Somewhere in the past few years, I dug some up and planted them in my flower garden. They make a nice addition.

Yellow rockets are an introduced species brought over in colonial times to be used with salads. The young leaves and stems can be cooked. Kidney problems are a problem if you happen to eat too many though.

The Native Americans used the leaves in a tea to treat scurvy and coughs. So, if scurvy makes a comeback, you know where to go.

~~~

I believe I told you, back in March, about my Rhode Island red chickens who were excavating soil in my raised beds.

In order for me to plant seeds or young plants, I had to cover the beds with wire. I found some hog-fencing sitting around the ol’ homestead. It worked! That type of fencing is a tripping risk, so I will have to keep my eyes and feet braced and fortified. One problem solved.

My newest chicken predicament is with the rooster. He is a dapper fellow standing about 18 inches tall, glistening, sparkly feathers, with no spurs.

Recently this old snarky schmo has started attacking me…like serious attacks and ambuscade!! This guy has cornered me in the barn, flogged me as I put them up for the night, and waylaid me in my neighbor’s backyard one day.

It was really frightening because I had nowhere to go, I had no club or stick to smack him with, and he kept jumping and clawing and thwacking me with his wings.

I finally made it to a tree and hid behind the thing while the rooster made circles around me. (Please picture this in your mind… retired old lady being chased and clawed by a large brutish rooster around a tree with nowhere to run…IF I could run!. Not pretty!)

Finally, my noble husband arrived on the scene and shooed the crazy bird away. He thought the whole incident was a tad humorous.

At the present time, I have umpteen bruises from my knees to my ankles… big, purple and blue and yellow bruises. I wore shorts for the first time the other day. It was embarrassing and pitiful.

Maybe the next time I write this column I will have one rooster terminated.

~~~

I have noticed the remnants of a few armadillos clobbered all over the highways. They haven’t been around for some time now. They do dig long burrows down in the soil to live in during the winter but don’t hibernate. They have to eat insects and grub in order to survive.

My yard would have been a perfect host for armadillos with all of our grubs and moles. We had a plethora of hills and tunnels all over our yard this winter… I don’t really care for the grubs, but I don’t think I would want a bunch of bandicooted creatures digging bigger tunnels.

I always figured that these little vermin were mainly down South in Oklahoma and Texas.

No, armadillos are found in all of the 105 counties.

Welcome to Kansas armadillos!

Beth Conner is a Miami County resident, teacher and outdoor enthusiast. She can be reached at bethconner2019@gmail.com.

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