A fortuitous fizzle

Scottish Highland Bull Calf

Mr. "Yet Unnamed," a Scottish Highland calf on Jimmy Michaels farm in Grant County, Arkansas is our friendly local symbol of spring. He does not care that the jonquils which line his pasture are on the downhill slide to anonymity pending their reappearance next spring.

Thumbing its nose at a tsunami, radiation threats, a bloodthirsty raving maniac in Libya, and talking news heads, spring in the Delta is charging in like Jeb Stuart’s cavalry. It may be one of the few remaining commotions not influenced or guided by polls. The season is in full swing and marches on whether we notice or not. Critters are waking up, blooms are announcing their presence, new creatures are being born and hatched, and a scorched earth policy is enacted to be the lesser of two evils. And it is in our back yards.

scottish highland calf

See more calf pictures at Corndancer dot- com

Before we continue this epistle, may I suggest that you take a look at the Corndancer Photo of the Week page where it all started. You will see more of the calf-of-the-week, a young Scottish Highland bull calf on Jimmy Michael’s farm. We’ll wait here.

I had a lead for a new story and photo series which fizzled so being in the neighborhood, I checked out Jimmy Michael’s pasture for the calves he predicted earlier this year when he and I first met. He had spoken the truth. Considering the outcome, the whole thing was a fortuitous fizzle.

Last Saturday, while returning home from my mother’s now former residence, I passed through a “controlled burn,” in Calhoun County, Arkansas south of Hampton. Why a controlled burn? Well, the theory is that we as humans are doing a far better job of preventing forest fires than we should. Fire is a natural component of forest life. If there is not an occasional small fire which consumes debris and forest detritus, the trash accumulates and becomes a giant fuel heap and when the fire does occur, it gets out of control and consumes everything. So, with a controlled-burn, we lose a little to keep from losing it all.

controlled-burn fire

This looks ominous, but it is a controlled burn, which cleans accumulated trash from a forest, hopefully to reduce the probability of a larger, more destructive fire.

To crown the week, the moon was closer to mother earth than it has been for the last twenty years. To put things in perspective, gasoline was about $1.15 a gallon then and we griped. I was fortunate enough to be in a location which was not overcast and got a good look at and shots of the brilliant moon.  Thank you Almighty!

moon reflection over lake langhofer

The moon reflects on the waters of Lake Langhofer at Pine Bluff, Arkansas. A fresh breeze rippled the surface giving a shimmering appearance to the reflection.

Putting things in perspective, and if you thought the lead of this story was a bit calloused, you may want to consider this: As decent God-fearing individuals, we have a certain empathy for victims of the tsunami and the aforementioned raving idiot. As a balm to soothe this gloom and doom of those concerns, our higher power gives us calves, fires, and moons as relief from the aforementioned bummer conditions. Who are we to argue with such knowing magnanimity? Carpe diem.


scottish highland cow

See more pictures in our gallery

See our Weekly Grist gallery with more pictures, not published elsewhere. See more calves and cows, another moon, and another look at the fire. Lo-fat, high fiber, you can show it to your momma and you will not be tested on it.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind



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