Columbus Day, Halloween, and Veterans’ Day are barely by and here we are already picking out the right size turkey for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was hardly ever a very big family gathering as I was growing up, being that most of them were spent out at Deer Camp, enjoying the long weekend from school & such. Sometimes the ladies would fix the traditional Turkey & dressing with the traditional trimmings, but more times than not, we might have fried Venison, biscuits, gravy, and “Camp Potatoes”. That suited all us kids, as well as the Dads, being that we usually tired of the turkey soon after Christmas anyhow. I was never all that fond of sweet potatoes either. We didn’t have much problem with left-overs either, as I remember Charley French liked to wrap a cold biscuit around a piece of back-strap & put in his coat pocket for a mid-afternoon snack while sitting on his Stand.
Looks like we’ve finally had a couple of “soft” freezes down in the lower areas of our fair Valley of the Pecan, judging by some of the more tender plants as well as the leaves of most of the trees. I had been trying to protect Lady Z’s Plum tomato that we’d been nurturing in a plastic container all season, & it appears to have “bit the dust.” Some of the small grain patches show a little frost bite up on the plant tops, while some fields seem to have gotten by this freeze with minimal effect. I surely see a lot of deer grazing on the patches & down in the bottoms along the River and creeks. Looks like a lot of landowners are not requiring their hunters to harvest the recommended number of anterless deer. There are a lot of spike bucks in the deer population this season that one would do well to management harvest as well. The deer herds do seem to be in excellent body condition this year in spite of the dry summer. One factor that is aiding that at present is the heavy mast crop that we’ve had on all the Oaks & some of the seedling Pecans this season. Several reports from hunters & landowners are saying that the deer have been slow to visit supplemental feeders for the past month or so.
The pleasant afternoons have afforded folks an excellent opportunity to take time and clean up the yard, flower beds, and garden lately. Looks like it might be time to change the flower pots & beds to cool season plants like Pansies & such, as I saw Kay out watering Ms. Elsie’s wheel-barrow last week. She usually keeps the flowers there appropriate for the season. Lady Z also pulled her “soft plants” in under the protection of the front porch which is another good indicator. It would also be a good time to go ahead & pull up the dead plants out in the garden & put them in the compost pile as well as tilling the soil for “lay-by” over the winter season. However, if you like, one can still plant some “Cole” crops that do OK during the cooler season such as Greens, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Turnips, green onions, garlic, etc. I see some of the Greens in the Fall gardens that are about ready for picking all ready. Lady Z has made a couple of batches of Scalloped Egg plant Casserole the past two weeks, courtesy of VanGorp’s garden out on the Pecan Grove Rd. Daddy said her Eggplant casserole was worthy of Turkey stuffing. Might not be a bad idea.
We’ve also been visiting about several species of trees and shrubs for the yard & garden that seem to be well suited to our area. Seems like each week that we list those, a few more of the ones I like come to mind later on. River Cypress, Cedar Elm, and Weeping Willow are some that add an extra dimension in the landscape , as well as being rather rapid in growth. Some of the smaller trees or shrubs that can add some seasonal color are Redbud, Hawthorn, Golden Ball Lead tree, Texas Crabapple, and Yaupon. You may have to go on-line to find some of these or check with the County Agent’s office and they can supply you with a Nursery list.
While speaking of the Extension office, it is getting down to time to get your nut sample into the office for the County Pecan Show. You might want to go ahead and shell some new-crop nuts and fix up a few of your favorite Pecan recipes for the County Pecan Bake Show, as well. If you do well, you might even make some money at it this year.
Son, Will and yrs. Truly had a nice weekend visit over in Waco this past Sat.-Sun., as well as making it to the A&M-Baylor game in Floyd Casey Sat. afternoon. The Aggies looked good in warm-up drills and the Band handily won the half-time show. Other than that, it was mostly a Baptist blow-out. I did not see Bro. Sam nor Mike Thomas at the game, but surely will hear from them during the ensuing week. Anyhow, guess it’s time to get on down the road & tend to some stuff for the Mayor & me out around———————Harkeyville!!!!!!