Country Matters

This is the last post from the involuntary vacation series. Our final coffee stop was at a pretty little hill country town named La Grange, settled by Czech immigrants in 1850. We were so enamored with its charming town square that we made a second trip two months later. One this first visit, I nosed around the town square looking at the historical markers and town public notices. This notice, below, about intended treatment of Boll weevil insect in the cotton fields fascinated me. By chance, I had been reading about the recent Texas wines in the Panhandle region.  One of the wine growers’ major problems is that chemicals used to treat the cotton can drift and kill the vines.

I recently read this review, in red, by the Chalk Report of a winery in Loop, a remote area in north west Texas.  ‘Texas Wine wins Double Gold at San Francisco International Wine Competition’ Climate change is affecting wine growing here, as it is in the rest of the world.  There are some wineries just north of us but now the Panhandle area is producing some of the best medal winners.  Cool nights, hot days and low humidity create a good environment for growth.  Tempranillo and Bordeaux seem to suit this climate region. On a nostalgic segue, in Scotland we eagerly awaited the new Beaujolais Bordeaux every year – a bright, vibrant new pressing.  Bordeaux is called Claret.  I know you think that Scots just drink whisky and eat haggis but our wine drinking is an elegant legacy of the “Auld Alliance” between Scotland and France. 

Courtesy of Zeesstof on Flickr

My husband took this fabulous photo of a Red Brangus bull with egret friend in Port Aransas.  If you read the lost cattle notice beneath it, you can see someone has lost a Red Brangus bull.  How??  It’s not like losing your tabby cat.  They weigh up to 3000 lbs. and are worth between $7000 and $16,000.  When we lived on a farm in Scotland, the drunk neighbor did not adequately fence in his bullocks.  They all ran straight down our drive and galloped through the open door into the glass sunporch – talk about bulls in a China shop!  I know it’s not PC but I had to smack their bottoms with a broom to get them out of the house – I swear they laughed at me.  Then I chased them back home and woke up the sozzled farmer (perhaps he had found some Beaujolais Bordeaux?).  I had a few choice words for him…

Ah, I miss some aspects of living a truly rural life.

53 thoughts on “Country Matters

  1. It must have been someone with a hell of a lot of big red bulls to not notice that one had gone for a walk. On holiday in Switzerland another walker was in the Silberhorn Hotel 25 years ago when a cow walked into reception. After she told us guests staying asked about it. The receptionist had not been born when it happened but had heard about the story in the course of her employment.

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  2. I went shopping late on Saturday and took the shortcut through Nerston farm roads to my house. Good job I hadn’t been drinking as I came face to face with a bill that escaped onto the road.
    Stand off in the dark🤣 he retired to the side of the road and let me past. Think I might shop in the daylight🤣
    Loving your pictures and stories.

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    • Now, if it was me, I would have tried to take him home…🐂 We once got stuck in a very slow moving herd of bison in Colorado…I was in taurine heaven. Nana used to visit a farmer from Cambuslang who brought his produce to the edge of Rutherglen. Still see her plucking a chicken in the bathroom! Thank you, Anne. 💟

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  3. I miss some aspects of living a truly rural life, too. Rural communities offer you a better connection to nature. Because there are fewer homes, properties, and businesses around, there are typically more intact natural elements in these regions. You might have access to a lake, river, or pond, enjoy forests and trails for hiking, or even be near designated hunting areas if that’s what floats your boat. Have a lovely day 🙂 Aiva xx

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  4. To be honest, I know nothing about the boll weevils and the economic devastation they can cause, but what I do know is that it’s not right to place economic health over the health of the ecosystem. If grape vines and bee hives are at risk of dying because we are trying to get rid of a pest, we are doing something wrong. Rachel Carson would have lots to say about this.
    It might be time to rethink the whole cotton industry. It needs to much water and so many chemicals that it might no longer be sustainable. We know how detrimental monocultures area yet continue to practice agriculture in old and destructive ways. Just thinking about all the missing monarchs makes me want to cry. It’s only when we learn that everybody’s health and well-being is connected, humans’ included, will we make the right decisions.
    (Sorry for the rant).

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  5. That is one fine looking bull. I love the bird “cow riders” they are part of my quest to get as many as I can find.
    I had a neighbour who has inadequate fencing for his Black Angus bull. I often rang and told him to come and get it out of my garden. One cold night, he came over to get the bull with his daughter, I told him I sent it down the hill into the bush. In reality I pushed the bull up the hill onto our dead end road. Took great delight to imagine them wandering about in the bush looking for that bloody bull. I then sat back on the verandah and commenced to get sozzled 😂😂

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  6. That story at the end was so funny. So funny that bulls came for your home. If there had been a few more they could have charged right through and you probably would have an even harder time chasing them away. It is not something you’d even dream about. It must have been a smidge exciting but also I guess you hope something like that never happens again 😄

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    • I am so glad it made you laugh, Mabel! They did attempt to come into the kitchen but the door was a bit narrow. It was a tad surprising but the farm was surrounded by cattle. They didn’t scare me but I was irritated at my neighbor! Still much more terrified of moths…
      PS Would love it to happen again!

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      • Oh my, the bulls tried to make it into the kitchen. Glad for you that they weren’t angry and charging through the narrow door and made a hole in the wall or the equivalent 😄 If it happens again, you have to video it and share it with us. Teddy can herd them out of the way.

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