May 2, 2007 Edition

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Frankly speaking . . .

John Bland

Driving past the Days Inn and Suites in Pocahontas, Saturday night, we noticed the parking lot was overrun with vehicles, apparently racers and the families who were attending the Sports Car Club of America races at the Walnut Ridge airport on Saturday and Sunday.


Please come join local Kiwanis Club and WRHS Key Club members for our annual pancake breakfast this Saturday. Breakfast will be served from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Fireman's Hall, and most funds raised stay in Lawrence County to help worthwhile children and youth projects. Tickets are $4, and children age six and under eat free.


Stewart Park in Walnut Ridge is a buzz of activity on sunny spring evenings. A steady stream of walkers and bikers make the 1.8-mile trek around the park, while others enjoy the playground, pond, basketball and tennis courts and batting cages. All ball fields are in use on most evenings, with Little League, tee-ball and softball teams at practice or playing games.


Crepe myrtles that looked dead after the Easter weekend freeze are now beginning to show new leaves. In the hills of Randolph County on Saturday, many trees in wooded areas still looked dead and brown.

We saw brilliant little blue birds, red birds and yellow birds, probably finches, in the hills on the Eleven Point River. Then on Sunday, I saw a small flock of goldfinches in a Walnut Ridge backyard. I was told the beautiful little birds are just passing through on their way north for the summer and that they should be gone in a week or two.


Foresters Larry L. Morris and Jimmy Wallace of M & W Forestry and Wildlife Services in Cave City have shared their expertise and educated guesses on the recent April freeze. The following is information they shared with The TD. They state: It has been over 100 years since an event of this nature has occurred in North Arkansas.

The freeze did not and will not kill the trees. It only killed the new leaves and the new growth from this spring. The trees will leaf back out but will have reduced foliage, around half of the normal leaves.

This will also put trees into stress. This stress will be magnified if we have a dry summer. They recommend fertilizing one's lawn with a balanced 13-13-13 fertilizer to help keep the trees from further stress. Trees in the woods will require little or no attention.

The nut crop for annual bearing trees is gone for this year. Red oak acorns for this fall were already on trees, as their growth process takes two growing seasons. However, next year's red oak acorn crop is gone, as it was destroyed by the freeze. White oak acorns for this year are gone or heavily reduced. Next year's white oak acorn crop will come on, but due to lesser amounts of foliage, the crop will most likely be reduced.

To help offset the effects of the freeze, it will be beneficial to plant some good cool season food plots for wildlife. Feeding wildlife is expensive, but investing in food plots costs much less than feeding and provides a more reliable and nutritious food source.

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