Wow, what winds were strongly blowing from the south this Monday, March sixth. “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.” Let’s see if this holds true. Those who live to the north should appreciate we in the south are providing a runway for moisture that is being propelled rapidly in their direction, often bypassing us poor dry soils.

Wow, what winds were strongly blowing from the south this Monday, March sixth. “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.” Let’s see if this holds true. Those who live to the north should appreciate we in the south are providing a runway for moisture that is being propelled rapidly in their direction, often bypassing us poor dry soils.

The septic tank lateral line installers arrived this morning with several trucks, chainsaws, a tractor, one large load of gravel, perforated pipes, back hoe and three generations of men who were working together. Several trees were trimmed before the backhoe came punching through the arborvitae hedge. The giant moles churned up soil from the house to the street. I cringed to see so many pine tree roots severed, but this was the only place the lateral field could be. About 300 linear feet of pipe was distributed in 4 separate seventy foot lengths. The pipes were buried 36 inches deep. The terrain is now very uneven. It looks like a dirt bike course. Occasionally a whiff of something slightly odiferous drifts into the nostrils. Time will take care of the fumes, the waste disposal system is properly functioning and the field will soon be filled with native plants. I hope.

There could be several positive changes associated with the septic tank dilemma. The millions of lacebark elm seedlings may have been buried so deep, they won’t be able to sprout. There is a new freshly dug garden site now available. On the internet I found wildflower seeds sold by Johnston Seed Company in Enid. I ordered a pound of ‘Good as Gold’ native wildflower seeds. From High Country Gardens I splurged and took a risk on one Showy Milkweed plant (Asclepias speciosa) and directly from Amazon will be shipped Green Milkweed (Asclepias viridis) seeds. The green milkweed already grows in some areas at my house, and patches of Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) occupy two places. Well, one group should come back this spring, but the other was very close to the overflowing septic tank and may have gotten too much of a good thing. The Butterfly milkweed is not only visited by the Monarch, but also the Tussock moth and the milkweed bug. The true milkweed species is full of diversity. Many are drought tolerant and some grow as thick-leaved succulents; those that desire moisture and others that impersonate grapes and climb high as vines.

We could ponder the milkweed longer, but when I glanced outside during writing this piece, only billowing clouds of smoke could be seen. Jumping out of my chair, I grabbed a dust mask, for whatever reason, and darted out the door in search of the fire, hoping the dense woods behind my neighbor’s house weren’t burning. As I turned to walk down the north-south road, concerned neighbors drove rapidly south to locate the source. It turns out the fire broke out about 4:45 pm off the Interstate and was one mile south of my home. Five fire trucks, sheriff’s personnel and tribal police convened at the houses threated by the roaring blazes fed by powerful winds. The flames were soon under control, but my hair and clothes smelled like I had been sitting around a camp fire, without a marshmallow to show for it. Regardless of how much rain does fall, the vegetation is still crispy dry this time of year. Cigarettes, dragging chains and even catalytic converters can easily trigger a fire if the vehicle is parked on dead grass. Our son joined a group of guys and traveled to western Oklahoma to hunt pheasant. One man’s truck got stuck in mud, but it was surrounded by dead grass. During the attempt to get the truck out, the hot catalytic converter triggered a grass fire. That burned not only acres of land but incinerated his truck. There’s a lesson in here somewhere.

Enough excitement for the day…… except it wasn’t.

The episode on Grimm was titled ‘Tree People.’ We have followed Grimm from year to year through a friend’s relationships. He and his girlfriend loved watching Grimm, so we decided to watch one show to see what was so intriguing. It was entertaining and Grimm was added to our repertoire of TV shows to record and later see. Well, that relationship went south, and soon another girl came into his life. Grimm was dropped when they were married. But we continued to watch Grimm. The marriage lasted one year. We’re still watching Grimm, our friend has another girlfriend, but, alas, this is the final season, for Grimm. The Japanese Kinoshimobe, a humanoid tree, was getting ready to deal with yet another human trashing the environment when, thunder, crack and ping, ping, bang, thud was heard from outside. At 9:52 pm the rain began falling in torrents. It was filled with pea to grape sized hail; lots of hail. The new leaves on the trees were shredded and the hail floated in the water at the base of the porch as the 50 mph winds propelled the severe storms to the southeast. It was fast and furious. At my house fell over a half an inch of rain in 15 minutes. We were on the edge of the thunderstorm line that back-filled from Tulsa. The pulverized cedar and pine needles filled the air with an aromatic scent.

The next morning, March seventh, small mounds of hail still remained from last night’ barrage. The hail resembled small planets with hundreds of Saturns. Each icy stone was roundish with a clear ring surrounding an opaque white center. The lateral field had water standing in several ruts. Much work remains to be done to level the area and plant wildflower seeds. I was outside shoveling leftover gravel from the persimmon patch where it had been dumped during the lateral construction. A shadow passed on the ground. Looking up, I saw a Turkey Vulture circling over my head. That is just plain rude.