Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Monkey

Today Buckman and I are going to try something different.  We are releasing two blogs together on the same subject at the same time.  We are doing this to give you both sides of the situation.  Let us know what you think.


There is a Monkey and I Have Felt Him

I have always heard of the monkey that will get you if you work too hard in the heat.  But I grew up working in the tobacco fields in the middle of summer and never saw him.  I know several guys who have but not me I'm too tuff.  WRONG, maybe in my younger days but not any more.  He had his chain around my neck and was beating me in the head with a cinder block.

Well since Buckman and myself had Memorial day off we decided it would be a great time to plant the pond.  Of course everyone else suddenly had plans as soon as I mentioned planting (funny, they were all free up to that point).  I had to attend a birthday party that morning and my Father in law was cooking ribs for lunch so that put us getting a late start.  This is where it starts to get interesting.

Like I said I was not able to get there until about 3:30-4:00 pm.  Buckman was in the fish pond trying to reduce the silver fish population one fish at a time since that pond is way over stocked(fun problem to have).  After I got there he came out and we decided to go ahead and plant it, and we would go fishing after.  This was one of the bad ideas.  There were several on this day.

If you are not from the South then let me explain this for you.  It gets HOT down here.  I know you are saying well I am from the Midwest or the Southwest and  it gets hot here to. Well it’s a different kind of hot.  I used to work landscaping with a guy from North Dakota and when he first got here he thought he could handle the heat too.  Second day on the job he was asking me to carry him to the hospital because he thought he was dying. What we have is humidity.  Factor that in with the heat and it can be a deadly combo. 

Now I knew it was going to be hot so I dressed accordingly.  I had on an Under Armor shirt, and a pair of thin soccer shorts(and no I don’t play soccer but they are some comfortable shorts) and a boony hat.  The only waders I have are 5 mill or way to big in the boot so I decided forget that I would just put on my snake boots and let them get wet.  Besides the water would feel good.  Well this was another bad idea. 

When I first got out there it was fine the mud was only a few inches deep and the grass made it a lot more stable.  We started slinging seed with no problems.  Then I hit the deep stuff, up to my knee.  And forget the idea of the cool water feeling good.  The water and mud were hot as well. 

So here I am trying to pull myself through knee deep hot puff mud in the heat of the day, having just ate ribs, butter beans, rice, okra, and corn on the cob a couple of hours earlier.  Another bad idea.  The first bucket full went easy enough.  Then I headed back to Buckman to get more seed.  I got that load and headed back out again.  When I reached the spot I was going to sew I started getting really hot.  Not a minuet later I started feel like I was going to puke.

My first thought was that I probably should not have eaten that food.  Then it downed on me what was happening.  Heat exhaustion, next up heat stroke, and I was not about to go there.  I sat down on the nearest tree that I could find but it was no help.  I was having trouble breathing because the under armor shirt was restricting my ability to breath(I think it is time for a bigger shirt).  I pulled the shirt off and my hat, I had to breath and loose as much heat as possible.  Even my sun glasses felt hot on my face so I pulled them off too.  None of this helped.  I got up and and hurried to the nearest shade before I passed out.  When I got there it was not much help either.  The heat from the pond canceled out any aid the shade might have given me. 

I was lusting for water.  I even thought about drinking the water from the pond before my rational mind kicked in and said that was a bad idea.  The only thing I could think of was to go to the truck and the water faucet.  On my way out Buckman said that I should sit down and rest.  Well I made it out of the pond and into the woods when I realized that it was much cooler there.  I found a tree to rest on before going to the truck.  Buckman kept calling out to me to make sure that I was ok, and I decided that I would just stay there. 

After about ten minuets I began to cool off.  I started feeling better again and I was no longer seeing spots.  However Buckman was just finishing up the planting and we walked out together.  Its odd but I think the waders is what helped him.  They insulated him from the heat of the mud and water. 

In the end the pond was planted, and hopefully will provide a good crop of rice for the ducks.  Next year we are planting earlier in the year and earlier in the day.  And I am getting into shape.  This inside job is making me soft.





I Saw the Monkey

Joe and I have been accused of a lot of things through the years, but being intelligent is not one of them. We finally got around to planting rice in the duck pond…in the middle of a hot afternoon. No, we couldn’t plant the pond in the early evening after it starts to cool down, no, that’s prime fishing time, and we intended to go fishing.

So, at 3:30 in the afternoon I find myself wearing neoprene waist waders, slogging through knee deep pluff mud lugging a bucket of rice seeds and a 12 ga. shotgun because I’m mortified of snakes.

I trudge on with the bucket and Joe slings seeds. We hit a spot where I get stuck in the mud. Joe carried the bucket on and continued to sling seeds. I fight my way out of the mud that tried to contain me. I looked at the mud flats at Joe who had continued on. I realize that by the time I make it back to Joe the seeds will be out. So I turn and try to make my way back to the bag of seeds through the knee deep pluff mud.

I make it back to the seeds and climb on top of a downed log so I don’t sink. I look back across the pond and I saw the monkey coming. I stopped what I was doing and got my wind back while Joe finished slinging the seeds from the bucket and made his way back to the bag himself.

When Joe got back to me, I split the seeds that were left. I kept the bucket and tossed Joe the bag. Joe headed back into the pluff mud ahead of us and I headed to the unseeded area to the left. Much to my surprise there was a hard bottom in the shallow water. I told Joe to head back in my direction when he finished where he was seeding. I saw Joe working his way down a trough of water towards me slinging seeds, I continued to sling seeds as well. By the time I got to the bottom of the bucket I expect Joe to be back with the bag of seeds, but Joe is nowhere to be found.

I looked back to where Joe had been, the bag of seeds is there, but Joe had made his way to a log at the edge of the pond. There he was, sitting on the log. It seems that the monkey I had seen coming across the pond had snuck up on Joe and jumped on his back.

I finished slinging the seeds while Joe was cooling off in the shade. He had overheated and was feeling nauseous. If he hadn’t stopped and cooled down when he had may have had a heat stroke.

We may not be that intelligent, but we learn from our mistakes. We will plant the pond the first of May next year instead of the end of May. If time slips away from us like it did this year, we will plant early in the morning or late in the evening when it’s cooler. That’s learning, the Briary River Way.


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