March 2 – Leap day was a lovely one in Champion. Skies were blue. The ferocious winds of the previous days finally abated and gardeners were out getting ready to get things done. Some over-did it and paid the price they know so well. There was a great turn-out for the Skyline Archery tournament. There were 166 students from all over the area participating. It is a quiet and orderly sport with very specific rules and protocols. Like musicians, these archers see that concentration, adherence to technique, and practice all add up to success.
Champions are expecting to have daffodils blooming by Monday afternoon. Sunday night’s exciting electrical storm and deluge has encouraged those first early ones and by the end of a sunshine filled week there will be great swaths of yellow along roadsides.
The public group on Facebook called Missouri Morel Mushroom Hunting has many great photographs and good information. An answer to a newcomer’s question about when the ‘season’ is in Missouri was the suggestion that the last week in March is a good time to start looking seriously. Another tidbit of information: “When the buds on an elm tree gets as big as a squirrel’s ear you will have shrooms.” A local person says when night time temperatures are 52 degrees two nights in a row, they will be popping up. Dandelions have been appearing occasionally all through our mild winter. Champion, Rich Heffern, shares information that dandelions are not weeds, but are from the same family as sunflowers. They are very rich in vitamins K and A. A dandelion seed can travel up to 5 miles before it lands. Every part of the dandelion is edible. Up until 1800s, dandelions were seen as extremely beneficial. People would remove grass to plant dandelions. Times change and now a person can find dandelion seeds in seed catalogue and online.
Skyline students enjoying birthdays this week are kindergarteners, Lotus Winter and RyAnne Harvey, celebrating on the 1st and 3rd. Fifth grader and archer, Rylee Sartor,will have her party on the 6th. Skyline teacher, Mrs. Barker, shares her birthday on the 3rd with a prominent musician of the Backyard Bluegrass persuasion. Mrs. Barker’s big family will throw her a party and find all kinds of ways to express love and appreciation for her. As for the musician, the song goes: “One night he was out with a bunch of young people, making music, as he does now and then, but he was surprised when one of them young fellers said, ‘Boy, that Old Man plays a mean mandolin!’ Where, where is he tonight?” Linda, whose birthday is on the 5th, taught us much about gardening with her many years at the Plant Place. She will be celebrated by her bridge friends at their big game on Saturday. Your friends and families are wishing you happy days, so enjoy them!
Champion friend, Kaitlyn McConnell of Ozarks Alive, is currently in Puerto Rico. She has been helping with the hurricane recovery program there and enjoying the beautiful beaches. She walked 30 minutes down a dirt road to find a remote beach. She said, ”As I walked the road, I heard the many creatures hiding in the vegetation. I was yet just another in the grand scheme of things. After I reached the beach, I sat and simply looked at the turquoise waves. I was reminded of what truly a miracle it is that each of us are here and how blessed by God we are to experience life.”
Come down to the wide, wild banks of Auld Fox Creek to ponder important matters including the imminent arrival of Spring–Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!