A Break From Politics


My wife and I planted 600 Balsam Fir Christmas trees this in part of a two acre field this spring and now they need to be string trimmed around. I was doing just that the other day when I noticed a big clump of red oak leaves growing off of a stump. Not having a saw I thought, why not knock a few leaves off the nuisance for now?

If you haven't almost hit a full grown wild turkey with a string trimmer you are really missing out on one heck of an experience - for both of us I imagine.

The female turkey was on eggs and had hunkered down the whole time I was working around the single clump of oak, but hitting the leaves just over her head was too much and up she came. One second I was concentrating on string trimming, the next I had some large object with a three foot wing span three feet from my face.

Now we have a compromise. I stay away from the nest and the turkey will not scare the life out of me again.

Another interesting thing about my balsam fir tree farming is that I only lost about 5% - of the seedlings so far. But of the oak and maple stakes I cut and hammered into the ground to mark the rows about 75% are now growing leaves. NH may not have a lot of soil between the rocks but boy is it fertile.

While out in Iowa for a Stihl Timbersports event two weeks ago I got a few hours off during the day. Being on the banks of the Mississippi I took the opportunity to do something I have not done since I was a kid in Pa. - hunt for arrowheads.

In Pa. I grew up down the road from a cluster of neighbors who were very dedicated arrowhead hunters. They had everything imaginable; axes, grinding stones, tomahawks, darts, drills, spear points, knives, even some broken banner stones. One guy, Yak Longaker, had five gallon buckets filled with broken parts of arrowheads I would have given my eye teeth to have found. So I have seen hundreds of pounds of artifacts over the years.

In Iowa I picked two corn fields in which to hunt. They were located on the banks of a small river that emptied into the Mississippi. I had some friends drop me off there for four hours. I found jasper, also called chert, pieces in the upper field but almost nothing in the larger lower field until I got to two small humps in the back of the field along the tree line away from the river.

I found six or seven pieces of broken arrow heads amongst a large deposit of broken red jasper the plow had stirred and rain exposed.

Then I stumbled upon a chert hand ax that I think other local hunters had passed by because it was so old and large.

By old I mean at least 10,000 years old. This hand ax is a prehistoric tool like the type found in Africa and Europe going back at least a million and a half years. Simply put it is not an Indian artifact but a caveman tool. You can find pictures of similar hand axes on the internet. I have a picture posted of my ax on this site. Hand axes have a sharpened edge going almost all the way around to ax for cutting and smashing wood or bone, digging roots, or for protection. This was the only sophisticated tool man carried for a long time.

If I never come across another artifact I will be happy with this find.