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Just Outside My Door 05/17/12

May 23, 2012
By ELAINE G. COLE - CORRESPONDENT ( , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

We had some cold, windy days last week and intermittent rain. On Friday we had a light frost on the south side of our lawn. It began to warm up later in the day, and we had bright sunshine all day. Later in the day the wind began to die down so I knew that spring had returned. I like to take a walk around the yard and the meadow before I begin to write so I can see what's new, but I didn't on that day. Nevertheless, I had been outside in between showers and had seen my Stars of Bethlehem were all in bloom just outside my door.

I love seeing those delicate little flowers that are interspersed around the daffodils in the bed by the side door. They bring a special beauty making the bed come alive with flowers again. Although the Daffodils have ceased blooming, their green leaves emphasize the beauty of the white flowers.

Now that the majority of the yellow daffodils in the meadows are merely material for bird nests or seeding more of their kind, the mustard plants adorn the meadows with their sunny yellow blooms where the fields are not already plowed. I've seen some of those fields have already been planted with oats while others have not been fitted yet because the rain left the fields too wet. Hopefully the farmers will soon be able to get back to their spring tasks and folks can mow their yards again.

My Mountain Ash is also in bloom though there are less flowers than it usually has. Probably some of the buds were frozen. I hope there will be sufficient berries for the birds later.

I'm thankful that it is warming up because I'm anxious to get outside to weed the flowerbeds and borders. Even though not all the perennials are completely up, the weeds are doing very well.

With all the rain we've had lately, the water in the creeks have been continually rising and some days it's overflowing the banks. Even if I don't take a jaunt down there, I can easily hear its springtime voice. I really enjoy it as it rushes speedily over the rocks. Our creek is a tributary of French Creek making it rich with history.

French Creek was formed from Clymer, April 23, 1829. Its name came from the stream that watered the town. In the early days the French used it in their military expeditions. It contains 21,832 acres. The surface of it is hilly, broken up by the valleys of French Creek and its Tributaries. The main stream enters Clymer on the north line, on lot 24 and runs southwesterly leaving the town and state on lot 58, one-half miles northeast. Its zigzag course often is an annoyance to the inhabitants in some areas of it because of its height when the water rises. These cuts valleys in two three ridges. Two of them run almost east and west and the other runs north and south.

Most of the creeks sides are tillable and work well to graze cattle, but some places are steep and the soil varies from heavy clay to a gravelly loam. The hilltops are usually wet having been under laid by stiff, hard clay causing an oxide of iron. The flat of Beaver Meadow got its name because beaver often used the creek as a home. At one time there were many balsam, fir or pine along the edges creating islands.

The water from French Creek flows in a southerly course which also made another beaver meadow. That was adapted to dairying because of its cool nights and heavy dews making better grass conditions. The creek has three tributaries which bring the creek to Sherman and other areas. That is why we have a portion of French Creek on our land. Sometimes when I go down our woodland trail and sit by the water, I think about those yesteryears when Indians camped there as they traveled from one place or another. It would have made a good campsite for it escapes most of the wind and provides water to drink.

When our sons were young they built a cabin just past the hillside along the creek. They furnished it and often slept there over night in warm weather. Prior to building the cabin, our eldest son, along with Kim and Jimmy Babcock, built a bridge over the creek so they could get over the water to the other side. After Kim was married, he and his wife Gayle slept down there one winter night, keeping warm with the stove the kids made out of some kind of metal. I would have liked to spend a night by the creek listening to the creek's voice, but not alone and Bill didn't like the idea.

Two of the boys grew up and moved into new homes where they had cleared the land in front of their woods to build their houses. They are almost across the road from each other and both near the same creek that ran through our land. Our middle son purchased a log cabin by a woods and later added on to it. He made a waterfall from the creek behind his house. Years later when I was asked why they all wanted to live in or near the woods, I said they grew up in the woods.

Although our daughters didn't spend a lot of time camping or playing in the woods they went with me to the woodland when they were youngsters and both of them still enjoy planting and working in their gardens, walking and the youngest enjoys hiking with her husband as much as our sons did. I'm extremely pleased that they all became acquainted and learned to like the many things that God created for us to enjoy outside there are so many things to enjoy there.



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