High Temperature: 79F Low Temperature: 51F Sunrise: 7:12 am Sunset: 7:26 pm Humidity: 45% Wind: ene 6 mph Chance of Rain: 10%
Living in the sticks, I've become not exactly comfortable, but at least accustomed to the rougher side of life: the scorpions that appear in the middle of the kitchen floor; the dirt, leaves, and dog hair; spiders, pgymy rattler snakes, blister beetles, and random animal bones in the pasture. Take cow manure, for instance. By all metrics, it's unpleasant. Squishy, a bit smelly, messy, an unattractive brownish-green. But over time, I've come to appreciate this bovine byproduct. In fact, we've been known to collect the stuff in a wheelbarrow and transfer it to our garden beds. With aging, it transforms itself into rich earth.
An intriguing thing about cow patties is that they appear to be a kind of ecosystem. Of course there are the flies and other insects that tunnel in and do whatever it is they do with the fresh dung. Small periwinkle butterflies hover over the patties, touching down lightly before flying up again. Crows use their beaks to poke the patties apart looking for goodness knows what. And then there are the mushrooms. It is the most amazing thing! Nearly each and every patty eventually sprouts one or more mushrooms in its midst. Usually they are of a tall, cream-colored variety, but there is also a delicate 'shroom of the lightest shade of gray. Do the spores find the manure or does the manure come fortified with its own spores?