The Pine Straw Thieves and Tailgating Title Holders – Garden & Gun
I love pine straw, for just about anything that needs mulch. Is it true that there is a shortage?
Pine straw’s divine storage power and tawny gold palette have made it a must-have for well-landscaped gardens, especially in areas not blessed with the bounty of southern pines. Hard to rake it in the Rockies, you know? But, like whiskey or any graceful Southern produce, pine straw can be tricky, given the shortage you astutely notice (largely due to a lack of manpower during containment) . Before you throw a few rakes in the pickup and head out into the woods to pick up a DIY ball or three, let’s take a look at what we might call the Flannery O’Connor side of the Southern Police Blotter. . Legally, pine straw – aka “brown gold” – is only slightly less regarded than gold itself. Theft in North Carolina has counted as a Class H felony for the past two decades. In Alabama, the crime is a Class C felony, just a cut below the theft of cattle and pigs. Back in Tar Heel state, where pine straw is an estimated $ 35 million a year business, authorities have estimated that 10 percent of what is supplied to stores is stolen straw. Its value on the black market has made it the go-to product for what gifted Mrs. O’Connor would call “flim-flam” men. Even before the shortage, police in Alabama and Georgia reported this scam: There’s a knock on the door. Some landscapers are ‘in the neighborhood’, they just finished a job, and they have a few extra bales of long leaves, the better. Would you like them to spread? Of course you would. Halfway they gave up, they might need a little more than expected. Thousands of dollars later, you stare at the door wondering what just happened.
We notice a lot of billfish tournaments in the Gulf of Mexico. When is the bite really there?
Short answer: the bite is never really extinct. Gulf fishing remains the country’s best blue water fishing secret. Upcoming, the Texas Billfish Classic in Freeport, August 10-14; the Old Salt LOOP Billfish tournament (now in its 50th year) August 17-21 in Treasure Island, Florida; and the Mobile Big Game Fishing Club Labor Day Invitational, in Orange Beach, Alabama, September 2-6. Billfish are pelagic predators at the top, but they are distinguished by their solitary status and fantastic musculature, allowing them to feed on rips and canyon. walls to great depths. The bounty of the Gulf’s billfish is produced by its tectonics – the expansion of the seabed that began 180 million years ago – which has created a network of food-rich depressions and canyons, enjoyed by the ‘species, to the gulf side of our continental shelf. The mouth of the Mississippi weaves a gigantic thriving rip in the blue waters off Venice, Louisiana, and the oil rigs scattered from Mobile to Corpus Christi, Texas, serve as reefs and feeding grounds for the marlin and the sailboat. The blue marlin and the breathtaking sails use the gulf as fertile ground, the greatest compliment nature can give to any piece of the planet.
You can surely rate the best Southern hatchback experiences. Athens? Nashville? Tuscaloosa?
I’d like to see you try. Say, in a home game in Oxford against Mississippi State, you witness the gracious grove scene, relax with your fried chicken and deliciously stuffed eggs, and you’re moved to say, “You were all there. to Tuscaloosa when they play Auburn? These people really know how to put a gap. Bottom tailing is not only discouraged for safety or etiquette reasons. Century-old football rivalries, our endlessly hospitable people and their finest indoor / outdoor cuisine make Southern customs the ultimate in this country. Talk about a party: For Tennessee games, the tailgate can be a parcel shelf. Hundreds of so-called Navy Flight Captains moor their yachts in rafts ten deep on the docks in Knoxville, just downstream from Neyland Stadium. In Baton Rouge, the LSU campus is becoming a food fair: forget about the grill, opt for the crayfish stew. For what it’s worth, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey rates Oxford and Baton Rouge as having the “best” tailgate experiences in the country. God knows what his security guards are up against when he’s in Georgia among the “Dawgs” or Colombia with the enraged Gamecock boosters in their foam rooster headgear.