"Chores Await"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, April 22, 2017

Is it time to dig in? What does that question bring to mind? Clean up the yard of all the winters' debris? Maybe the question makes you think of your garden and digging out the tools — shovel, rake, and even the mower.

The first ugly chore may be getting rid of the leaves that fermented under the snow and slush.

You'll need to gather them along with the twigs and stray branches that fell in the yard and haul them away. Although last winter took its time arriving, and many looked forward to an early spring, that hope died among more than one snowstorm.

Spring finally has arrived (it did, right?). Everyone is hoping for nice weather to follow. Critters are sure looking forward to not having to dig too deep for a meal. They soon will begin to enjoy the great smell of the pine trees in the woods as they warm up. Blossoms are popping out on the apple trees — yum, yum. Deer who have made paths through the wheat and corn fields are on the lookout for the fruit trees. Fresh clover should begin to fill some fields and the small animals will enjoy that treat.

Speaking of all the critters getting out and about, let's get back to my question about digging and starting to work on your garden. Stand by, though, and consider carefully how to protect what you plant if you expect a possible harvest. The rabbits, squirrels and deer will visit daily for handouts.

Just as a plant puts out a sprout, they will spot it and gobble it down. They really love the carrots because they put up big, stalky leaves that make a nice meal. Be cautious also while working outside on the nice, sunny days. Have a cold drink at hand and wear sun protection, even though it's not into the high heat days, suntan lotion is necessary.

Some of your perennial flowers may begin to poke out — tulips, lilacs and irises — and the bees will visit looking for nectar along with lots of insects that have survived the winter months. Songbirds, like robins will be rooting around for grubs and they will provide musical accompaniment while you toil in the yard and garden.

So spring has arrived and settled in, but don't think after you make a start at outside chores you can relax. There will be bushes and trees to trim. That grass soon will need cutting, and remember, weeds will grow right along with the grass. While you have been working outside, your spouse may have noticed the windows are really dirty. They will need washing and the screens will need to be put in.

Now you have to put the push on because the fishing season is getting underway, and you know early season is the best because the fish are hungry also.

Man — or woman — does not need to labor at chores every day. Fishing is allowed because it too contributes to the family larder in a very pleasurable way.

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