Monday, April 30, 2012


Shortly after I moved down here, the farrier came over to do my horses’ feet.  Using her big file as a pointer, she pointed at my lower legs.  “You’re getting eaten up by chiggers” she said.

And I was.  My lower legs were covered in a number of tiny red pustules, the origin of which I had no idea. And she was right.

I was born and raised in the South and had long heard of chiggers.  But I really never knew what they were other than teeny little “bugs” that would bite you and make you itch.  My mom used to tell my brother and I not to drag down Spanish moss out of the trees and play in it or we’d “get chiggers”. After years of not getting bitten by anything, we continued to do so.
Well, there isn’t any Spanish moss in Kentucky, at least not that I have seen so far.  And Momma was right about this. They itch and hurt like the dickens.  I’d walk along and let my foot/leg move against the other one to get in a little more scratching time.  It was the kind of itch that you would wake yourself up at night, scratching. 

Everyone had a remedy, the most popular one involves nail polish, in the belief that there is a living insect and you can smother it.  Not according to Wikipedia:

What did help was to prevent them. So although I wear shorts non stop in the warmer months down here, I keep my legs sprayed with bug deterrent when I have to go through the pasture or woods.  I prefer to wear shorts because I can feel if a tick gets on me and I can’t do that if I’m wearing jeans.  I also try to get into the shower right after wandering the fields and hills and scrub my legs as they seem to take a bit of time to get settled in to biting me.  I’ve not gotten them sitting in the grass but maybe it’s because it gets so warm in the yard and it’s hard for them to live there. They seem to prefer longer grass.

My farrier was right. She’s a very wise person.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dogwood Winter

This is something I'd never heard of before.  There are a number of different kinds of "winter" down here.  This refers to a cold snap during the time of another occurrence, such as the dogwoods blooming.  This can happen with the Redbud trees, locust trees, etc.  There is a Whipoorwill winter and a Lindsey-Woolsey winter.  It is written about quite well here:
So I will let you all read this.  He does a great job of explaining it all!
Right now my peonies and iris and roses are all blooming.  We are going to be a bit cooler tomorrow, in the 60s.  Not really a winter but last week we had three nights of frost.  The locusts are blooming so I guess this is a Locust Winter!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Nekkid Ladies!

Yep, that's right.  We say "nekkid" down here, just like it sounds. And we have them here in Kentucky. A lot of them!
But, this is the Bible belt and I need for you to get your minds out of the gutter.
THIS is a nekkid lady:

The reason they call them a nekkid lady (and spelling it that way here ensures that I'm not violating some kind of internet porn law :) is that they grow the leaves up in the spring, then it just dies back.  In August or September, they grow up again, just a stalk, with a lovely flower on the end of it.  I saw these last summer and thought "what in the heck is that?" and tried to stop and get a photo but the traffic on the narrow roads didn't allow me to pull off and get a shot of them and I couldn't find any in town.  I forgot about it until a friend mentioned them a couple of days ago.  Oh, is that what they are?
Here is some more information on them:
I had thought at first that these were some kind of thing bought at a craft fair, just a pretty thing to stick out in your garden.  A stick with a flower on it!  :)

I promise to be better about working on the blog, I still have so many subjects to cover and more all the time present themselves to me.  This is such a fascinating place and we are still in love with it and charmed by everyone who lives here!  I did have a rather rotten cold and kidding season occurred and the last of the babies are just getting ready to go in the next couple of weeks, I hope.  The weather has been just awesome and we have huge rose bushes now that are just loaded, in spite of the three frosts we have had.