After Rains, Mud Turtle Flees Flooding

Published 11:43 am Thursday, May 25, 2017

How much did it rain Monday night? So much that even a big mud turtle was seeking higher ground on Tuesday as I drove along U.S. 158. Measuring about a foot across, the snapper was trying to cross the road but eventually gave it up because of heavy traffic.

Some measured as much as five inches of rain.

The Yadkin River monitoring station at Yadkin College on US 64 between Davie and Davidson counties had projected the river would rise to 19 feet on Tuesday evening — classified as “minor” flooding by the National Weather Service’s standards.

For that mud turtle, however, it was major.

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Down on the farm, I’ve got the weeds on the run at last after a five year project to stamp them out.

With some success, the thistles, burdock, pokeberry, dog fennel, cedars, curly dock, milkweed, pigweed and even buttercups are greatly reduced.

With my hoe and backpack sprayer, I have been a one-man army against the hordes of weeds.

Some play golf. Some go fishing. I dig weeds on weekends.

Keeps me out of trouble. It’s cheap. And I never run out of something to do.

So far, Elizabeth hasn’t had me committed, but more than once on hot summer days I’ve wondered about my sanity. Motorists on Spillman Road have occasionally stopped to ask about my health.

The main enemies now are briars and a bush that threatens to take over the pastures. Based on my unscientific research with Google, the bush is called coralberry. The common name is “Devil’s Shoe String,” and Farmington must be the epicenter of its existence.

I feel like I’m literally fighting Satan. I have cut back the bushes to the ground only to invigorate their growth. The bush shoots out runners that are two feet long or so that attach to the soil and spread the bush further and further — sort of a leap-frog means of spreading.

It’s not an unpleasant bush. It has pretty pink berries in fall. But it is taking over, adding two feet in every direction since early spring. Roundup kills it — along with everything else — but that is my only weapon.

The Devil has me laced up so far.

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Under the category of What I’ve Learned Lately: After the fall of Germany in World War II, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower issued a decree that the front line soldiers who fought in the European Theater would not be transferred to fight in the Pacific.

Also, from the Twitter feed @RealTimeWWII, I’ve learned some German troops fighting on the eastern front reversed course after the surrender and tried to fighting their way west to surrender to Americans, not to the Soviet army for fear of cruelty.

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Anybody else weary of the fussing in Washington?

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From the bombing in Britain this week: The bomber was the son of Libyan refugees. Britain took them in, gave them sanctuary, and their son repays that debt by strapping on a suicide vest and blowing himself up outside a concert heavily attended by children. At last count, 22 were killed and 119 injured.

– Dwight Sparks