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Mine Creek Revelations: Yeller Flaurs

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YES, I AM STILL HERE looking out my window on Main Street, and I am astonished to have learned something new this week.

One of the places I enjoy visiting on Facebook is Arkansas Flowers. Lots of great garden and landscape photographs. A few years ago I got rave reviews when I posted pictures of my Fabulous Fin Fence of Fame which was draped with some of the homemade metallic fishes. But that’s another story and I am sure you wouldn’t be interested.

This time I posted a picture of the little yellow wildflowers in my yard and in the adjacent vacant lot. There were jillions of them. Honest. I counted.

They’d open with the morning sun and disappear before noon. They all faced the east. How had I never observed them before?

At the Arkansas Flowers site I innocently asked if anyone could identify the flowers for me. I said I had never seen them before.

Whoa! Got a lot of responses — all polite and helpful, including some from local friends who also like Arkansas Flowers.

The flowers I admired were merely Dandelions, they said.

I thought Dandelions were white and frizzy. You could pick one and blow on it, and the Something Somethings would drift away on the wind. Seeds, I was told.

But those were white, and I was curious about the yellow flowers.

I learned that they are one and the same. Other names for the yellow ones include Mountain Dandelions, Dandelion Lion’s Tooth, Priest’s Crown, Swine’s Snout, and Taraxacum Officinale, according to one website.

When the yellow petals fall off, the weed develops into the white frizzy one. So, it is the same plant in different stages. This is what astounded me.

Articles about Dandelions claim they are useful as food and as a medicinal herb. I won’t eat ‘em. Or brew Dandelion tea.

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THE GOOD EARTH. Apparently I was premature in announcing the death of the Chinese Fir tree at the corner of Sunset and Seventh.

The tree now has lots of green growth and is visually rebounding well from my gloomy pronouncement.

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HOW DRY. On 10 of the 13 days between June 7 and June 20 there was measurable rainfall. Often accompanied by wind, lightning, thunder and — worse — hail. Roofers and insurance claims adjusters are swarming.

Normal rainfall for that 13-day period is 2.71 inches. We’ve had 5.39 inches, according to the National Weather Service. But our usual hot, dry summer is probably on its way, and I will be at the head of the Whine Parade when it finally gets hot and dry.

(I need to add here that this part of the column was written Tuesday morning and there had been no overnight rain — although we had a very red dawn. “Red in the morning, sailors take warning.”)

I’ve talked to some folks who live just a few blocks from me and they had practically zero hail on Tuesday when my house and neighborhood got pummeled. The next day we had dire threats but no hail here. However, my niece’s car windshield was crashed by BIG hailstones north of Arkadelphia.

I am so sympathetic with folks who were or are without electricity. SWEPCO and REA line crews are trying real hard to get everyone’s power restored. I see where the school fed dinner for the folks who were without electricity.

Electricity at my place flickered a few times after being  out for maybe a half hour Tuesday night. Am I still eligible for the school spaghetti?

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ANMAL CRACKERS. Got the perfect Father’s Day gift from daughter Julie who brought a bunch of stuff. Including some fruit fly traps.

I believe that fruit flies are more of a pest than houseflies.

I have plenty of both.

The fruit fly traps don’t really work all that good, but the liquid inside the traps is quite refreshing. Tastes kinda like almonds.

I have both kinds of flies at work, too.

I have learned to type one-handed whilst holding the fly swatter in the other. It took awhile to develop this skill. So far I have successfully swatted three house flies. The fruit flies escape through the slots in the face of the fly swatter, unfortunately.

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LOCK YOUR CARS. There’s been a wave of nighttime thefts from unlocked cars in Nashville. My daughter taught me well when she was in law enforcement. Lock your cars and lock your house doors when you are not at home.

It only takes one time to make you real sorry you didn’t.

This common sense advice is for BOTH rural and urban dwellers.

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WORD GAMES. Que familia: One and The Same. Dandelions?

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HE SAID: “Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don’t.” Pete Seeger, singer, song-writer

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SHE SAID:  “There’s a beauty to wisdom and experience that cannot be faked. It’s impossible to be mature without having lived.” Amy Grant, singer, song-writer

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SWEET DREAMS, Baby