The Tip of the Gooseberg


Thousands of geese object to my presence by taking to the air. They are south of Sherrill AR.

Thousands of geese object to my presence by taking to the air. They are south of Sherrill AR.

We’re taking a look at Snow Geese in Arkansas. The story started on Corndancer Dot Com’s picture of the week page. If you want to check out the beginnings of this tale, a very cool thing to do, click here. The numbers of geese here in the midsouth are staggering. This is probably a medium sized flock. The larger ones can go upwards to hundreds of thousands of geese.

Geese, unlike ducks, prefer sloppy, muddy locations, with an apparent preference for soybean fields. I say this, having observed a lot of geese so located. If there is scientific evidence to the contrary, I stand corrected.

Geese in and above a "buckshot" field near Sherrill AR.

Mostly snow and blue geese in and above a "buckshot" field near Sherrill AR.

The dreaded Delta ooze

This particular field was composed of “buckshot” or “gumbo,” two terms used to describe the most onery dirt on the planet. When this dark umber soil is dry, it is as hard as a brick. When it is wet, it is a gooey, slimey, sticky mess, the  nature of which one would expect to encounter in the worst, over the top,  “ooze” horror flick. When you walk on wet buckshot, your size 12s become size 32 extra wides after a few steps. That is if you manage to lift your feet from the sticky mess. You also become taller. I need this condition like Andy Rooney needs more eyebrows.

I say all this, because if you expect to shoot the geese in a rise and/or in the air, you must walk toward them. Otherwise they will, for the most part, sit and look at you and continue to honk, eat and defecate, not necessarily in that order.

As I walked to get the above shot, I missed the biggest part of the “rise,” because the gumbo soil was trying to eat my left shoe. I was trying to extricate by lower extremity with one hand and shoot with the other, else I would have wound up face down in the slime. To make matters worse, the geese had been there before me, if you get my drift.

I managed to slog out of the field, then removed my now 10 pound each shoes, and pitch them in the bed of the truck. I drove home in my sock feet. It took two applications of quarters at a car wash to get the shoes clean. The car wash drain may never be the same.

The mystery barn. Why the diagonal cut walls. Stay tuned. I know a guy who lives nearby. I'll find out.

The mystery barn. Why the diagonal cut walls? I know a guy who lives nearby. I'll find out.

The Mystery Barn

On the way home, I encountered this barn. I’ve driven by it at least a jillion times. In a former life, my livelihood required that I be in the neighborhood frequently. It finally dawned on me that the door is awkwardly shaped, or the walls are cut diagonally, or perhaps all of the above. Inquiring minds, at least this one, want to know why. As luck would have it, a friend of mine lives close by. Certainly, surely, he can explain. Stay tuned next week.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey

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