xt7jh98zct60_21 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/mets.xml https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/2015ms086.dao.xml Bevins, Martha 0.05 Cubic Feet 55 items archival material 2015ms086 English University of Kentucky The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.  Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Martha Bevins letters to Tom McCarthy Radio broadcasting. Agriculture -- Kentucky. Birds Women air pilots. 1957 May 10 text 1957 May 10 2016 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/2015ms086/Box_ms_42/Folder_1/Item_21/1957_5_10_Bevins_Audubon_Woodpecker_p1.pdf 1957 May 10 1957 1957 May 10 section false xt7jh98zct60_21 xt7jh98zct60 rage ,
Morning View Kentucky”
10 May 1957

Hello Mr. McCarthy,

Each spring as the weeds push up through the chshiony leaf

mold of the tree patch, they find me waiting with well sharpened ,
hoe, an inexplicable Waste of time in the eyes of my neighbors

who understandihoeing tobacco patches or gardens or even flower

beds on occasion, but whose activities have never included weeding

a woodlot. I will never wholly exterminate the weeds, of course, new
seeds from surrounding areas constantly arriving by bird, animal,

or breeZe. But I have almost entirely eradicated several noxious
species I particularly dislike, one the creeping, cling Stick—tight,
the other a ccQBSe-leaved bnute whose name I do not know. I am sorry

I do not like poke greens, for I am sure at least a million of them
have fallen before my hoe. I can only bring complete destruction to
‘infantile plants, the massive roots of the older ones being impervious
to anything less than assault with an ax. I am testing the theory
that, if I keep hacking down their sprouts, even those vast root
systems will eventually succumb through lack of foliage.

Whenever I find an attractive oak or hickory seedling, I respectfully

. clear a large spot around it so that when, later in the season, I
swish through the frail annual weeds with a grass whip, I will not
behead it. Having cleared so carefully around the seedling, I usually
cannot find it again.

My weeding amid the trees last week Was erratic in the extreme.
Occasionally I hoed steadily in one area dor many minutes. At other
times I might only destroy two or three weeds before suddenly
departing for another section of the tree patch.

, acutally the hoeing was of secondary importance. The Audubon
Woodpecker was here and it Was the best Way to follow him about and
watch him. I am noisy with my birds, greeting them as they pass, and
calling them with a goodly belloW, as though they were dogs, when
I put out their food. The first few times I called the birds, after
moving here, cows in distant pastures, on other ridges, stirred and
responded. Were I to creep silently through the woods to watch the
Audubon, the first litmouse or Blue Jay who saw me would Spread the
alarm that I was stalking an enemy, and in a few minutes the entire
tree patch would erupt in excited turmoil. Observation would be

This spring the fiudubon was unusually accomodating. He remained eight
days. After the third day it Was no longer necessary to follow him,

for his activities centered about the feeder near the house and he
seldom left the trees in its vicinity. To my delight, he learned
quickly and became as prompt in sweeping down to the pile of raw
peanuts as were the Woodpeckers who make this their permanent residence.

 r, ' ’
~. ’1' ‘ -2- ,

He fed placidly While I stood only a few feet from him, giving me
every opportunity to study his mannerisms and glory in his
striking color -- the great had hood covering head and neck, the
midnight blue and absolute White patterning his body and wings.
Finally, one afternoon strong winds blew from the South and the
Audubon fed late that evening, returning for more and more peanuts
in the soft twilight..1hen he flew away into the darkness,
leaving as he had arrived, by night. Nothing this spring can
offer will rival those few days of close association with this
vanishing bird. .
The pond is particularly satisfactory right now. Though Blue
"inged Teal and Baldpates and Wood Ducks and other Water birds
who pause briefly with the bulky domestic Maitards have all flown
NorthWard, there remains, a sooty midge in the midst of the big,
gaudy fellows, a solitary coot. He‘chugs about the pond with
them, a dingy little tug in a convoy of Queen Marys. He comes
as eonfidently for his share of grain as do the domestic ducks.
Along the margins and through the shallows stalk the incessantly
fmshing Little Green Herons, shifting indignantly to other sectors ‘
of the pond whenever the ducks churn to near and frighten the
fish. Hence, like the source of Tennyson's Brook, the pond at

, present is a haunt of Coot and Hern -- poetry no longer abstract,
but in the flesh, so to speak.
Incidentally, it‘is Safe to plant even the most fragile flowers and
vegetables new. The little frogs in the pond have frozen down for
the third time. ‘ v
First in fine New York hills, and later through New England, I was
often told that danger of spring frost has not pased until all '
the little frogs in all the ponds have come up and Sung and been
frozen down three times. When they sing again after the third
freeze, it is the all clear signal, and they are up for the summer.

V Whereupon tomatoes and gladioli and similar Sissies may venture
Outdoors with impunity. Folklore it may be, but I find it a more
adequate planting guide than the averaged frostsfree date of the
weather people.

' ,bfi/rtwt’