"How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
So shall thy poverty come as a marauder, and thy want as an armed man."
There’s something about August that makes me feel like a sluggard. I guess it’s the hot, humid weather and the easy availability of climate-controlled environments. I have to reread the words from Proverbs to get myself motivated and out-of-range of indoor air conditioning so I can complete the slow, steamy work to be done this time of year.
As a reward after the work, I find a smooth canoe ride down the Tallapoosa River or a late-evening fish in a farm pond makes the work worthwhile. As the wise words in Proverbs indicate, avoiding the temptation of sluggishness and getting some work done helps keep poverty away. This August, use these tips to enjoy your work or play during the Dog Days.
Landing a canoe against the shore in fast moving currents is easier when approaching tail first. Decide on the downstream spot you intend to land on well in advance. Turn the back or stern of the canoe in the direction of the bank you want to reach. Back paddle until the stern of the canoe touches the shore. Next, allow the current to push the front or bow of the canoe parallel to the shore. Stabilize the craft with a paddle while one person at a time gets out onto the bank. Attempting to land nose first can capsize the vessel in swift waters when the side of the canoe swings around in the strong current.
Protect Your Eyes
Shooting glasses are useful for more than protection during shooting sports. The yellow lenses improve visibility while driving a car, truck or ATV during low light conditions. The glasses also offer substantial protection from flying debris while mowing food plots or pastures.
Stop Guessing the Grazing
Exclusion cages have long been used in food plots to determine how much forage is being eaten by wildlife. Typically, the forage inside the cage will be the highest because the wildlife can’t graze inside the rolled hoop of wire. The same technique can be used for determining grazing amounts for livestock.
A handy method for creating an exclusion cage for livestock involves rolling a round bale hay ring into the pasture. Wrap the hay ring with hog wire or field fence to prevent small livestock from entering through the bar supports. The hay ring provides a large, easy to view picture of grazing amounts in your pasture. When the forage outside the ring is considerably lower than the amount inside, it may be time to rotate the livestock to a different field for foraging. This technique makes great use of hay rings normally unused during the summer months. This method takes the guesswork out of figuring out how fast livestock are grazing the forage down.
Dried pumpkin seeds make good trail food. Indians and explorers would parch the pumpkin seeds near a fire to give a roasted flavor. They keep well and provide plenty of nourishment.
Grease be Gone
If you walk around the rear of your vehicle and get grease smeared across the leg of your new pants from the trailer ball, shampoo can be scrubbed into the spot to remove the grease. Scrub the area with shampoo, then wash as normal.
Small brushpiles to be burned on your property can quickly get out of hand, especially during the hot, dry days of August. Wind speed and direction can change in seconds creating a dangerous situation. Chemical sprayers attached to an ATV or loaded into the back of a side-by-side like a Yamaha Rhino can be a lifesaver when you have to burn small brush piles in remote areas of your land. Simply fill the sprayer tank with water and make sure your 12-volt battery is charged, and have plenty of water on hand in case dry matter burns outside of the brush pile. Your local Co-op can provide you with a high quality Ag Spray sprayer with a pump and trigger nozzle that will deliver a stream of water up to 40 feet. Sometimes, this is all you need to get a small brush pile under control.
Always get a burn permit from your local fire department and verify legalities of your area even when burning small brush piles in remote, rural areas. Also, check the weather forecast and wind speed before burning, and let your neighbors know before you burn in case they have medical reasons for being sensitive to smoke.
Bye Bye Bugs
ThermaCELL, manufacturer of the only portable, butane-operated, area mosquito repellents, has introduced an outdoor lantern providing ambient light as well as keeping mosquitoes and flying pests away in a 15 x 15 foot comfort zone. Each repellent mat provides up to four hours of protection and each butane cartridge provides up to 12 hours of operation. The lantern features eight LED lights powered by four AA batteries. Price ranges around 30 bucks.
For the hunter, it is time to stock up on ThermaCELL for those early season bow hunts. The new product dedicated to hunters is the new ThermaCELL Earth Scent mosquito repellent and cover scent system. The unit operates on a single butane cartridge which heats a mat releasing allethrin, an insect repellent that is a synthetic copy of a natural insecticide found in chrysanthemum flowers. Each butane cartridge operates the unit for 12 hours. For more information on these and other products from ThermaCELL, visit them online at www.thermacell.com or call 1-8-NO-SKEETERS (866-753-3837).
This August, don’t fall victim to the ways of the sluggard. Equip yourself in safety and comfort while you do your work, and you can help keep poverty away.
John Howle is a freelance writer from Heflin.