Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Manure Manipulation

The Surgeon General of the Tallahatchie Free State has determined that harvesting manure in a high wind is hazardous to one's self esteem.

The Confederate Concrete that passes for soil here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere is conducive only for the growing of loblolly pine trees and kudzu.   The Colonel is convinced that when human-kind gets around to terra-forming Mars, loblolly pines and kudzu will probably be the only thing that will grow there initially.  Scrape the scraggly weeds off the ground around here and in the right light you would think you were looking at the red-tinted barren landscape pictures beamed back Earthside from Spirit and Opportunity.

For the LSU grads who might stumble upon this blog while searching for uglier clothing to wear to a football game, allow the Colonel to explain that last sentence with a minimum of polysyllabic words.  

We launched a rocket.  It had a little rover on it.  No, not a dog.  A robot.  The rover's name was Spirit.  It landed on Mars.  It took pictures.  It sent those pictures back to Earth.  Mars is red, not purple and yellow.

That's right folks, LSU fans are indeed from another planet, but not Mars.

As he was saying, before he digressed and wasted even more of the valuable rod and cone time of the five of you who regularly waste valuable rod and cone time perusing posts hereon, the Colonel, if he intends to grow anything other than loblolly pines and kudzu in the Confederate Concrete that passes for soil here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere, must amend the Confederate Concrete that passes for soil with extra organic material. 

The Colonel's compost bins serve the soil amendment need, but require amendment themselves.  The Colonel thought that table scraps would suffice.  He was wrong.  Between children and chickens, nary a scrap escapes ingestion.

Fortunately, eggs aren't the only thing that proceedeth from the nether region of a Rock Island Red.  Prodigious amounts of fertilizer proceedeth as well.  Still, until the Colonel can grow his chicken herd appreciably, the amount of fertilizer that proceedeth, exceedeth not, yea, even approacheth not, the compost pile amendment requirements to turn leafy matter into compost with which to amend the Confederate Concrete that passes for soil here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere.

A neighbor has a cow flock.  One cow will process considerably more fertilizer than a whole herd of chickens.  So, with long-handled shovel in hand, and his rusty red pick-up truck--Semper Fillit--strapped to his backside, the Colonel proceeded to pasture yesterday morning, before the rain started. 

From previous experience, the Colonel has discovered the indisputable scientific principle that cow manure is infinitely more scoopable before a rain, than after one.  Unfortunately, the Colonel's previous manure harvesting experience was limited to the issue of moisture content.  He had no experience with regard to climatic conditions involving high rates of regional atmosphere exchange.

Blissfully happy in the knowledge that he had timed his manure harvest at a time at which cow patty moisture content was low, the Colonel began to rapidly scoop and sling manure into Semper Fillit's beckoning bed.   The term "ignorance is bliss" describes a time-constrained concept.  Bliss is not the word with which the Colonel would describe the effects of ignoring wind direction when shoveling and slinging dried cow manure.  

Unless bliss means covered in powdered cow manure.   

If so, the picture in the margin alongside the dictionary definition of the word bliss is of the Colonel standing with shovel in hand, looking around to see if anyone other than Bessy just saw the you-know-what hit the fan.   
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