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Elizabeth Woodworth: Never have understood the appeal of rhubarb

By Elizabeth Woodworth
Contributing writer
updated: 5/9/2019 7:14 PM

Morel season peaks in Appalachia, but is just beginning in the North. Bass move to the shallows. Cabbage butterflies visit the developing cabbage sets. When blackberries set fruit, then the earliest field corn starts to tassel. If you hear spring crickets sing, go find leafhoppers in the garden. Mother's Day, May 12. Lunar perigee on the 13th is likely to strengthen the cold front due in May's second week. Be ready to protect tender plantings from frost. When the first elderberries bloom, bean leaf beetles and alfalfa weevils assault the fiend and garden. (Countryside)

I remember when high school boys detasseled corn. They would stand on a designated corner, the farmer or his hired hand would drive around picking them up for a hot itchy day in corn fields. There are several seed companies around Lincoln with lots of seed plots. But I have never seen anyone detasseling there. Is it a thing of the past? Am sure that trying to get today's kids in a cornfield is like trying to get them to deflower tobacco or work in an orchard. I don't know anything about spring crickets. I have only heard of Spring Peepers. In the evenings Dad used to take us toward Herod to listen to them in the ditches and creeks along the road. It did mean spring.

The dogwood trees have been lovely this spring. There are so many around town that it is a pleasure to take a different way going and coming just to see. I really like the graceful arches of spirea. When I was a kid, it was known as Bridal Wreath. I see where it got that name. The bushes by the video store and the school office are especially pretty this year. The winds of last week, brought the maple seed helicopters flying everywhere. Going to be a lot of small trees in gutters this summers.

May 12, Mother's Day. If you plan to eat out, better make reservations. The Bayou Grill in New Harmony once told us that reservations were always necessary for Mother's Day. Father's Day, nah. That was the way of the world, mothers are the more important, or at least kids think that moms like to eat out, while dads would just as soon grill at home. Have a pleasant day for mom. Breakfast in bed, thought I have never seen the joy of eating in bed, unless it's a midnight snack like cheese and crackers eaten from a napkin. Then dinner out, no cooking for mom or dishes to wash. Then an afternoon doing nothing, a nap, a book, a movie on TV, a long hot bath, just her, with dad and the kids out. We kids always had a flower for Mother's Day, usually a red rose from the garden. Dad used to get mom a gardenia corsage. That was in the day when corsages were delivered Sunday morning in time for wearing to church. I remember one year he forgot. He denuded his gardenia plant so she would have them to wear to church. Remember when I ordered her one and it came on Saturday. It just wasn't right.

The first fly of the season has appeared, big as a horsefly, loud as a 747, and stalking lights. Where does something that size hide all winter?

Eldorado Garden Club plant sale is on the 22nd. Save some of your garden money!

Monday May 13, 1:15 p.m. at the Villa of Holly Brook dining room, there's an arthritis exercise class led by Tammy McGuire and sponsored by the Saline County Homemakers. Learn how to stay flexible, gain strength and keep your balance through exercise that can be done sitting in a chair. Wear comfortable clothing. There is no age limit. There is no fee. Please join us for a class that just might change your ability to get around.

It's getting close to rhubarb season. I have never grown any. It's something that I don't like, a strawberry-rhubarb pie is a waste of perfectly good strawberries in my opinion. Sister likes it, then she also likes Peeps. I know lots of things can be done with rhubarb -- stewed, jams, cookies, etc., but a waste of time. Found these fun facts about rhubarb -- aside from the funny spelling. Rhubarb is technically a vegetable, not a fruit. Am not fond of veggies, so that may be my aversion to it. Although it looks like it's a related to celery, it's not. It is part of the buckwheat family. Three guesses and I would have been wrong. Seem to remember that buckwheat is a grain, how is rhubarb related to that? The stalks are edible, but the leaves are poisonous. Don't eat them! I did know this, but since I don't have them in the garden, never really thought about it. It explains why rhubarb in the market is only stalks.

"I never address boys without thinking, among them may be a boy who will sit in this White House." (From a speech to the BSA by President Calvin Coolidge).

• Elizabeth Woodworth lives in Harrisburg.