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Field Notes

By Dave Curry

Fresh green leaf lettuce mixed with a little bit of chopped Romaine and green onion is the start of a good salad. Add in some green peppers and ripe tomato, all straight out of the garden, and you have some good eating ahead. This was dinner last Saturday and the only thing unusual about this is that the calendar said – October 19th.

Normally, by mid-October most gardens have been put to rest for the winter and given the next six months off. This layoff can be encouraged if not totally caused by frost and cold weather. This year many gardeners are still finding a few tasty green things out there. Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and even a little spinach are to be expected along with winter squash and pumpkins, but the more delicate lettuces and peppers are an unexpected surprise.

A couple of light frosts have occurred in Arbovale but the killer frost is late this year. This procrastination could be blamed on global warming, an error in the Gregorian calendar, or maybe the earth spinning off of its axis, but one thing is for certain – there will be a killer frost sooner or later, and big money will be on sooner. Time to get after the apples and walnuts.

NRAO Special Hunt results

The NRAO recently completed its Special Two-Day Antlerless Hunt on Saturday, October 19.

Permitted hunters submitted applications earlier in the summer and then names were drawn for the lottery. Certain areas of the observatory were set aside for different weapons and only bows, muzzle loaders or shotguns were allowed.

Participation was light this year and that may be because of the government shutdown. Some hunters were probably unsure if the hunt would go on or not.

Thirty-five to 40 hunters took to their designated areas each morning at 6 a.m. A few NRAO personnel helped by driving hunters into more isolated areas where private cars and trucks were not allowed. A total of 13 antlerless deer were checked in on Friday and six more were counted on Saturday for a total harvest of 19.

Department of Natural Resources personnel were there both days to facilitate the check-in for successful hunters. They also checked out and recorded weight, age, presence or absence of parasites, and general condition of the deer.

Removing those 19 from the herd may help to control the population and keep the herd healthy and happy. A special thanks to a young hunter from Mingo County who helped this writer drag a large doe the last 100 yards and load her in the truck.

Dave Curry is a telescope operator at the NRAO and can be contacted at dave

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