Archive: » 2021 » September

No Joy in Killing a Hog, But It’s Necessary

Until Sunday night, I had gone my entire life — 66 years and one month — without killing any type of creature with a firearm. I half-heartedly took a few shots during a quail hunt about 20 years ago, joined by three other fellows all firing away at a lone quail darting about the Deep East Texas sky. The quail escaped unharmed. We decided to start shooting skeet instead, with largely similar results. Most the clay pigeons broke upon hitting the ground, not as a result of our shotgun blasts. Back in the 1980s, I took my little brother Gregg deer hunting on some acreage we were leasing in San Augustine....

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Endless Salad & A Kitty at Olive Garden

We assembled at the Olive Garden to celebrate Colton’s birthday. He’s our daughter Abbie’s boyfriend, a hard worker and good guy. Since it was his birthday, he got to choose the restaurant, so the Olive Garden it was. As we were diving into the famous endless salad, my Beautiful Mystery Companion noticed a tiger-striped kitten outside our window amidst the shrubbery. It was clearly a stray, a tiny thing with big ears and white-mitten paws. She gave me that look. Oh boy, I thought. Here we go. Another rescue animal in her sights. Sure enough, after the leftovers were packed and the bill...

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Getting Past the Dog Days

The first day of autumn arrives on Sept. 22, just a dozen days from now. In East Texas, that doesn’t mean much, since temperatures still hover in the 90s and will continue to do so for days ahead, according to the weather app on my phone. The dog days linger, while we search for a sign – any sign – of a break in the heat. It does feel a bit cooler in the morning lately, perhaps a harbinger of autumn. Our daughter Abbie for the second year decorated her apartment with fall-themed items in late August, in the vain hope this would spur up arrival of the actual season. It hasn’t worked yet,...

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Hogs Going Wild on Our Farm

The damage in our front yard was immediately apparent Monday morning: several yards of grass trampled and rooted through, leaving a mess. It was along the drainage ditch by the driveway, which is still too wet to mow. I’m beginning to think there is a spring that has sprung back to life because of the spring rains. At first, I thought the damage was caused by armadillos, but it was too much. I had just mowed the previous afternoon, so I knew the damage was fresh. Feral hogs apparently weren’t content to hang out in the woods near Glade and Wicher creeks, which run through the south and east...

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