Over the Shoulders

chickens-1The wind must have decided to turn around and make a trip back north today with the strong southerly accompanied by rain. A bit too cold for my taste, but what can we expect since still in the turbulent month of April. It’s certainly a good time to show houses when it’s raining like this as it gives buyers an idea of what they may have in store for them when finding moisture in basements they’ve been viewing. In the four showings I had today, two of them had seepage on basement floors. The last one was a definite case of chronic water issues. We’ll soon be hearing the buzzing of lawn mowers with the grass getting a good start with this soaking. Every time I see people spreading weed killer on their lawns I bristle a little in knowing that a bit more physical effort on the owners’ part by cutting out their dandelions and wild clovers would keep them from propagating. I remember once long ago seeing an elderly man out in his nearly perfect lawn carefully removing any weeds he found growing. He would spend hours out there until he’d gone over his entire lawn. What was interesting about his labors was that he seemed to be totally absorbed in his work and appeared to be completely happy with his menial task. He always wore a wide brimmed straw hat to keep the sun off his face while working in his slow and methodical fashion. I dare say I’ve not seen anyone for years out in their yards hand picking select weeds from their lawns. I’ve seen some of the old hand tools that were created to dig out single weed plants without damaging the grass. I’m not sure if they even sell those in the hardware stores anymore.

In reading another recent news clip today about the Avian Bird Flu that’s hit the Midwest has caused me to become a bit more concerned about its long term effects on the poultry industry. The interesting twist on this particular virus is that it’s been hitting the large facilities where they have caged turkeys and chickens, but for some reason it hasn’t yet affected the free range birds. The scientists working on it thus far haven’t yet discovered how it is being transmitted to the flocks. Thousands upon thousands of chickens and turkeys have been destroyed already in hopes to contain the spread. Once upon a time long ago I studied what would now be considered a primitive form of genetics. The one thought I had during the time when gene splicing was discovered and placed into use was that perhaps some of the core resistance of the original plants were being compromised and opening up a door for greater susceptibility to future diseases. I do hope that it’s not the case with what’s been happening in these recent decades. I’ll never forget the affects on our population from the Asiatic Flu that swept across America a number of years ago. That was one time I became exceptionally ill along with millions of other people. We all understand the concept of cause and effect—because of this or that, there begins the chain reaction of effect. My take on much of the hybridization that’s been going on is that there is too much emphasis on the outcomes of tampering with gene pools and not keeping a closer watch for possible future causes. I know we all want to feed the world and have perfect and bountiful lives, but we must also take care to ensure that there’s equal weight given by independent eyes of watchers who pay special attention to what’s going on with experiments over the shoulders of others.

Joe Chodur

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