Monday, July 25, 2011

Beginnings, Heat, and Drought


It seems as though we missed a blog this week. It’s not Joe’s fault, it was my turn to write, I was out of town and hadn’t left him anything to put up. I was at football camp. Yes, it seems as though summer is almost over for me. You see, with the exception of Joe, who was a high school quarterback (Yes, I know it is hard to believe that Joe was a football player at one time, don’t tell him I told you, but his team sucked.), the rest of us guys here at Briary River are or were high school football coaches. Summer passing league camp brings the end of summer break, as it comes right before the start of football season. Practice will start Friday.

Bernie and I coach at the same high school, a small Class A school here in the Pee Dee area of South Carolina. We went 12-1 last year, dropping the game one short of the state championship game. Our defense only allowed 47 points last season. We have given up fewer points than any other team in the state, in all classifications, for the past two seasons, we only allowed 53 points the season before. Both seasons we lost in the lower state championship game. We will be returning starters to 17 of 22 positions. We are ranked #2 in Class A at the time. Needless to say the people in the community expect a lot of us this year. That’s a lot of pressure for the coaches, who have to depend on 15 to 17 year old kids to come through for them on Friday night.

So, if you hear a lot more about football than you would like between now and football season, please understand, just like duck hunting, football is a passion for me, just like duck hunting, but unlike duck hunting it is also a big part of my livelihood.

All afternoon I have been trying to clear my head to write a blog, and other than football I couldn’t figure out what to write about. I got on the tractor and began bush hogging one of my food plots for deer hunting. I keep out and about, working in the yard, working the dogs and such. I knew it has been hot and dry, I mean, the trees around my yard have been shedding like it was fall. There has been very little rainfall here, less than I can remember in my 39 years. I didn’t realize just how hot and dry it was though until I got back on my farm. My oak trees are dying. At first I thought it was just the smaller trees, then I noticed that larger trees were dying as well. I hope that they are just going dormant, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t make it out of this.

I love getting on the tractor. I know it is not what I do for a living, I guess that makes a difference. I can really think when I’m on the tractor, see things I usually wouldn’t, enjoy nature and clear my head. Skeeter, my Daddy’s Jack Russell Terrier followed me around the field chasing the rats as they ran in front of the tractor. I kept looking hoping to see a deer get out of the tall grass, it’s really not all that unusual for me to see them working that field, but I didn’t see one this afternoon.

One time I looked up and a flock of ten to fifteen resident mallards was flying overhead. Oh, I saw some woodies too, but the mallards caught my eye. I knew that Joe and Coach would like to hear about them. It seems we have more every year. We started getting them five or six years ago. The guys who work the duck impoundments around us would raise several hundred a year. They would almost always kill most of them, but every year a few would escape the slaughter. Now it would seem that these escapees are in the swamps around us raising youngsters. In the larger scope of things I don’t know if this is good or not, but I really enjoy the variety they bring, and the opportunity to kill an extra bird or two over the wood duck limit.

Well, I guess that’s all I have on my mind right now. I will keep you updated on how the football team is doing. Pray for rain. We need it badly, and if we get the rain we can take the heat, we are used to the heat, besides, duck season will be here soon enough, hopefully we will get some cooler weather then.

Until then we are just going to keep moving along, The Briary River Way.


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