Tidbits - June 8, 2017

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



FIGHTING THE WEEDS

  I have been known on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter locally for my cloud pictures that feature reflections in our pond.
  Those photos have been not taken lately, because the beautiful reflective pond surface is now covered with bright green duckweed.
  Up until a few months ago, I had never heard of duckweed.
  Duckweed is transported to your pond by, guess what, ducks!
  Ducks and herons also bring the parrots feather weed, which our pond has, too.
  I had take pictures of the parrot’s feather sent them to my horticulturist cousin Kevin Parris, and he made the identification.
  Gordon Bowdler, who retired form the Saluda County Soil and Water Conservation Service, knew what the duckweed was.
  We knew what it was, but how do we get rid of it.
  My brother Jamie and I both did research on the internet.
  I finally did what every Gamecock fan should do in this situation. I called the Clemson Extension Service.
  Extension agent Travis Mitchell, a Carolina graduate who is working on his Master’s at Clemson, said the herbicide Reward was recommended for killing duckweed.
  So, I searched for Reward on Amazon, and along with it costing as much was liquid gold, I was also told I needed a surfactant. I didn’t know what surfactant was, but it cost $13.
  Meanwhile, Jamie ordered another duckweed killing product and he didn’t order a surfactant, because he read dishwashing soap would do as good a job.
  A surfactant makes the herbicide stick to weeds in the water. So, Jamie’s additive is a $2 product sitting by his kitchen sink, and mine cost $13.
  I thought the ideal situation would be for me to do half the pond with my product and Jamie do half with his, just to see which one worked better.
  We never could get that coordinated.
  I read that spraying early in the morning was the way to go, so the sun could hit it all day.
  Around 8:30 Saturday morning, I set out to kill the duckweed.
  I mixed my six ounces of Reward and four teaspoons of surfactant in my two gallons of water sprayer, and hauled it to the pond.
  I started in the middle of the dam, and realized this project was going to take a long, long time. The spray reached a maximum of 8-feet.
  The spray ran out halfway down the house side of the pond.
  So, I walked back to the shop and mixed my six ounces of Reward and four teaspoons of surfactant in my two gallons of water sprayer, and hauled it back to the pond.
  I made it about a third of the way on the other side of the pond.
  So, I walked back to the shop and mixed my six ounces of Reward and four teaspoons of surfactant in my two gallons of water sprayer, and hauled it back to the pond.
  I decided to start back on the dam. As I was about to cross the spillway, a water snake crossed my path and I screamed really loud. That’s the third snake I’ve seen in three weeks!
  I was hoping this batch would take me to where I left off on the other side.
  No such luck.   So, I walked back to the shop and mixed my six ounces of Reward and four teaspoons of surfactant in my two gallons of water sprayer, and hauled it back to the pond.
  This time I was looking out for the snake.
  When I finally finished in an hour and a half, and three trips back to the shop, I was worn out.
  I was amazed to see the Reward was already working.
  I later walked down to pond to check the progress. The reward had killed an 6-8 foot strip of duckweed and parrot’s feather all around the pond. Unfortunately, this is a one acre pond and the spraying barely made a dent.
  I’m going to have to get some waders and/or a kayak to get a majority of the aggravating stuff.
  The flooding rain we had a few weeks ago sent a great deal of the duckweed down the creek and into our minnow ponds. We could actually see a large amount of the surface of a pond.
  Within a few days, the pond was pillow to post green again.
  One solution on the websites is grass carp. I know we have two left in the pond. Daddy put the fish in the pond, and he’s been dead since 1998. These are old fish and I guess they, like me, are fat enough.
  Two is definitely not enough for grass carps, but it is plenty enough of ducks, because that is how many I see on our pond most every morning.
  Two little ducks did this. The websites said duck eat duckweed, too. I need thousands, then, not two!

CONTRACTOR

  For years, I blamed raccoons for tearing up my bird feeders, but I’m beginning to believe squirrels are equally to blame.
  One of my ancient feeders was destroyed beyond repair last week.
  It was so rotten, nails could be inserted with your thumb.
  My Gamecock feeder, my sister Elizabeth gave me for my birthday was also torn apart. I think the squirrel jumped on it, or a raccoon pulled it from the ground.
  This one wasn’t rotten. The screws had been pulled and were no good, but there was plenty of good wood to drive nails.
  I didn’t drive one nail into the base. I drove tthree in both sides.
  As I hung the feeder back up and started to insert the clear plastic sides, I noticed something was wrong. The plastic went all the way to the top of the base.
  It was then I realized I had installed the base upside down. The recessed portion that allowed the feed to seep under the glass for the birds to eat was now facing the ground.
  With three nails in each side, I had no choice but to leave the plastic sides out, and pour feed on the floor.
  It reminded me of my Daddy’s famous kitchen cabinet.
  He measured the shelves from top to bottom for one side, and bottom to top on the other.
  When he got through, and installed the cabinet over the sink, the shelves were running down hill.
  Until we remodeled the kitchen, those shelves remained that way for years.

YOU’RE KIDDING

    I have never thought Kathy Griffin was very funny.
  She always tried to be a Joan Rivers knock-off, but never made it to that level.
  Last week, in an attempt to be funny, she was photographed holding a mock bloody, decapitated  head of President Trump.
  There are few times liberals and conservatives agree on anything, but this tasteless act by Griffin was universally panned as deplorable.
  Because of this, she started losing jobs.
  A few days later, she appeared on TV, accompanied by her attorney, accusing the Trump family of trying to reuin her career.
 Huh? Did she try to turn herself into the victim?
  She tried, but it didn’t work.