Sunday, June 25, 2006


There are things a man has to do.

When there is a dead animal on the porch...The man must deal with it. Duty requires that the carcass be carried honorably past whichever proud yard pet has reverted to instinct and provided the family kill. Long practice at disposal teaches a man to find a spot for deposit far enough away from the house that if unearthed by forest beasties, no psychic trauma will occur. Large rocks well placed aid in psychic trauma prevention, as an incompetent installation of the childhood family cat can testify.

Bat removal...Man work. Did you know that you can catch them with a towel? Garden gloves are a plus. Works on flying squirrels too, though they are much harder to corner. I never would have thought that. Flying squirrels will use a 5'10 man as a launch tower if nothing else is handy.

Dog puke...Man work.

Butchering the latest kill of the new hunter in the house...Man work. As a side note, practical jokes with grey squirrel heads are not widely appreciated.

But there are satisfying things a man has to do in the country as well. Fire wood is one of those. Can't really say why it's enjoyable and maybe it's more the admiration of a stack of split wood rather than the process.

Right now in late June, it's blackberry season. A man must gather several gallons of blackberries and present them to the wife. This is a satisfying chore if ever there was one.
As a matter of fact, satisfying and filling at the same time. The bucket doesn't seem to get full very fast until the man gets full, then it goes pretty fast.

The Summer rain has come at the perfect time this year and the crop is astonishing. so are the puncture wounds from the astonishing number of thorns one must navigate to get that really fat ripe berry before the june bugs do. did you know that June bugs and red paper wasps sound nearly the same when coming out of a blackberry bush? Green Junebugs are scarab beetles. Edgar Allen Poe wrote a story about one, and the nocturnal variety was considered food and medicine by some American Indian tribes. I would need to be fairly hungry to eat a Junebug...particularly while there are blackberries ripening on the driveway.

Right now, there's some man work to be done out on the grill. But I'm actually not very hungry at the moment.



1 comment:

  1. Bob A sent this to me..I'm sharing:

    In a past life, growing up in the blackberry capital of the world in noreasTX, a small child's (6 or 7) first paying job was picking berries in the blackberry patch. The receptacle used was called a lug, a wooden box about 12" X 18" X 6" divided into 3 equal compartments called cells. Each cell held about a gallon, I suppose, and paid $.25 or a total of $.75 per lug. For some reason, there is no cents key on a keyboard. I may have made 75 cents before I gave out. Some of the grown folks would make 4 or 5 dollars a day.......good money in 1952. Humble and Brazos were two of the varieties.

    And yes, it was the blackberry capital of the world. I have old family film, now on video and needing to be on DVD, to prove it.......they had a parade and everything. Even shows the black high school band, probably 15 strong, in left over uniforms from the white high school. Separate but equal, they said.

    Blackberries run $4.99/pint now at the grocery store and since I remember them at $.25/gallon, I won't buy them.