So here we are, heading into the last few days of August. Labor Day is dawning and with it goes the last days of summer.
Already, little yellow leaves are fluttering down from the wild pear tree in the side yard. That causes me to winch because I can see in my mind the 17,286,000 green leaves of the big maple in the front yard and the like number in the big tulip poplar out back turning yellow and crimson before falling to the ground.
The colors as they still cling to the tree limbs I appreciate. But, alas, they all turn loose and tumble down – leaving me the task to rake and rid the yard of them.
Last fall I packed the utility trailer and the bed of the pickup full twice and carried them off to dump them as compost in a farmer’s field in the river bottoms.
SEEING IS BELIEVING
There’s an old song that goes something like, “…’raccoon up a gum tree, ‘possum on the ground, ‘possum said “gosh dang your hide, shake some ‘simmons down.”
I reported earlier about Darrell Thomas and the fox that climbed a persimmon tree to shake some of the ripe fruit down.
Thomas, of Franklin Furnace, might have thought I was a bit skeptical of his tale. My wife Bonnie and I were having lunch last week at the Ponderosa in Wheelersburg when Thomas came to my booth with a video on his phone he wanted me to see.
“I know a report of a fox climbing a tree is hard to believe,” he said. “So here’s the proof.”
Sure enough, the big red fox was clearly shown in the tree, hanging onto a limb with one hind foot, and vigorously shaking it. The ripe fruit was raining to the ground, where a couple of young foxes waited to share in the bounty.
With the coming of fall, wing shooters start oiling up their shotguns in eager anticipation.
You can’t yet quiet feel it in the air, or yet see its beauty in the hills of the Ohio River Valley.
Nevertheless, the first day of September, for the American hunter, traditionally marks the opening day of fall – the fall hunting seasons, that is.
The bones of old men and old beagles and retrievers feel a renewed strength surging through them. Shotguns and rifles come down from the wall. Hunting vests are checked to see if they’ll hold up for another season.
Birds sense it. Dove, wood duck, woodcock, snipe, quail, grouse and pheasant are on the wing. Ducks and geese fly higher and faster. The wild turkey becomes even more wary, if that’s possible. The wing shooters will soon disrupt their patterns.
Squirrels scamper about and rabbits test high gear.
Wild game recipes are dusted off. The one who prepares the meals for the family is told to forget that $11-a-pound steak down at the supermarket.
Hunting is a recreational and food bargain.
There are those outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen who will never put down their rod and reel for the gun. Fishing improves for many species through September and October and on into November. Check out the sauger runs in the Greenup Dam tailwaters.
A 30-pound blue catfish was landed from those tailwaters. Who knows what size blue cats might swim in those waters? The Kentucky record blue weighed well over 100 pounds, while Ohio’s record blue weighed ….hm-m-m, no record listed for the blue—just channel, 37.65 pounds, and flathead, 76.5 pounds.
Kentucky’s dove season opens Sept. 1 with a daily limit of 15 and a possession limit of 45.
Also opening Sept. 1 are the seasons on Virginia and Sora rail and Gallinule.
Later in September coms the seasons on Wilson’s snipe, early woo duck, and teal.
Still later comes the grouse, quail and waterfowl seasons, plus the fall season for wild turkey.
Reach G. SAM PIATT at [email protected] or (606) 932-3619.