Archive for January, 2007

Baby Bluebonnet

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

This is what John Steel was trying to show and tell me about. I think I got the message, even though the kids have not been by to Google the information.

Wild Flower

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

I went to the feed store the other day to buy some wildflower seed. I know, that is God’s job but I just wonted to be of some help. There is nothing prettier than a hill side covered with springs blanket of bluebonnets. The color, the smell, the feeling of bluebonnets raises a mans sprits. I have the proper setting, blue sky, green trees and plenty of space. All I needed, it seemed to me was a few packets of seed. Besides the picture on the container looked beautiful and the instruction on the back sounded easy.
About that time a voice behind me said, “What are you thinking of doing Baker?” I turned to find John Steel standing there with a whimsical smile on his face. Now John is a tall, slender, slightly stooped man with plenty of experience showing in his lined face. He wears faded jeans, muddy boots, and a jacket of some undefined color or shape. John lives by him self on a little ranch out county road 200. He keeps a few cows and one old horse he has retired from years of work on that ranch. But John is a warm honest man and tends to make people trust him and listen when he speaks. I explained my plan to paint the hills with the bluest of bluebonnets, that Mother Nature not to mention God would be proud of. “Put those packets of seeds back in the rack and come with me?” John said. I don’t think Chris, the man who runs the feed store appreciated John Steel just then, for I put the seeds back and went out with John.
We drove in his battered, ‘ 85 Ford Pickup out to his ranch. We walked out into the pasture behind the barn. “There”, said John pointing down to the ground, “There they are.” He kneeled down and showed me a small gray-green plant no bigger than a half dollar. They were everywhere. ” These are bluebonnets,” he said. “But this is January” I said. “They can’t be up now!”
These plants he explained, came up last October. “Won’t they freeze?” I asked. “No, they can stand a lot, but they do need moisture to handle extreme cold.” They come up in October and just lay flat on the ground, pushing their roots down deep, getting ready for spring. On their roots the bacterium, Rhizobium, buries itself to live on the juices of the bluebonnet and in return extracts nitrogen from the air for the plant. This works well for both of the life forms for a while. In time the nitrogen builds up in the soil and promotes the grass to grow stronger and chokes the bluebonnets from their field. In the middle of March the bluebonnet begins its growth spurt for the gold, in this case, the blue. By the middle of April they have reached their peak and are almost gone by May. John explained the plant throws its seeds by June where they lay until the rains of October. They then start the cycle over again. “So that is why I could not let you buy those seeds. You are to late for this spring.”
All of this seems a little farfetched to me. However John Steel said it and most would say it is so. Before I embrace John’s story I am going to wait until one of my grandchildren comes by and Googles it. If the story passes Google I will accept it. Just don’t tell John what I said.


Sunday, January 21st, 2007

Perhaps you would like to see one of the better barns being used in our area. I have no idea how old the structure is. It has looked just like this as far back as I can remember, and that is a long time.


New Year’s Resolutions

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

One of the difficulties I have with a new year is the idea that I should make some resolutions. That is heady stuff. In fact it is so intimidating I have never been able to make a resolution, let alone a list of them. To do so would be tantamount to admitting I am not perfect. There seems to be plenty of reasons to believe I am not. In fact it has been discreetly pointed out many times that I just may fail the perfection mark by a wide margin.
This time of year most publications have an article on making resolutions. Newspapers and magazines are full of Cabbages and Kings who have drawn up dandy lists to try following during the coming year. Even the internet and television parade their polished and shinny versions of suggestions to make the new year better. I have a fellow blogger who has filled a page of neat suggestions of ways to change his and my life for the better. He speaks as if I didn’t have a clue how to do my own. Now I am appreciative of his help, but it still pangs me to be so introspective. So I decided to make a little survey of my fellow villagers on the subject of making New Year’s Resolutions.
To start a survey one needs to begin at the very center of our universe and that is at Liberty Hill Information Center, manned by Troy Joseph. He is the fellow who waves to everyone as they go by, whether they are a Democrat, Republican, Independent or none of the above. He said he never makes a list of resolutions. Said his dad told him, long ago, never make a promise you can’t keep nor one that doesn’t help someone else. Troy said, “And I have done that ever since and it always works”.
I stopped at Parkers Corner Market for a coke. I asked Majda Parker if she made a list of New Year’s Resolutions and she said, “I resolve to better serve our customers.” I felt that was an easy one for she has been doing that always. But it is good to know she is going to keep it up. Corinna, who works at the Market said she intends to stay healthy this year. Good idea.
I ran into Jimmy Oliver at Foundation Park. He was straighten up a leaning sign that had inadvertently gotten knocked over. He is not the care taker but sure works like one on our Park. I tipped my hat to his industriousness to duty and a clean orderly place for us all to play. I asked about my quest for resolutions and he said he always made a list but hated to check back on them as the year progressed. That is my kind of man.
Our Liberty Hill Public Library was open and I stopped in to chat with Mrs. Linda McClane, our librarian. We made some small talk until I broached to purpose of my mission. “No”, Mrs Linda said, “I never make a list of resolutions.” I knew again I had found, as Anne Shirley in Green Gables so often said, “a kindred sprit.” Keep up the task, Mrs Linda, for you are doing a great job without a list. On the other hand, Sandy Schultz, who works with Mrs Linda, said she always makes a full list of resolutions on several areas of her life. I didn’t ask how many her list contained. I did ask if she checked them later to see how she was progressing and she said she did, and often. Sandy is doing our city and Library a fine job. So there you are. Two approaches to life in a new year that are poles apart but both are successful.
I stopped by the Post Office to check my mail. I didn’t have any which was no surprise. I spoke to Mrs. Mary Guice about New Year’s Resolutions. Mary is the lady behind the counter that sports a lovely Louisiana accent. I love to hear her talk and never miss a opportunity to speak to her. She said she made a list ever year. I didn’t have the nerve to ask about keeping them, but I bet a good pair of alligator boots she does.
So there are the results of a carefully conducted scientific study on New Year’s Resolutions. I am not sure just what the study proved if anything. However it has brought me to the conviction I need make a New Year’s Resolution. Therefore I resolve next year to consider making a New Year’s Resolution.


Tuesday, January 9th, 2007