Yep, it was an expedition alright; I had to walk nearly 200 feet from my truck! I’d been parked under a shade tree behind the local mall, while my wife walked around a bit, when the urge to answer nature’s call became strong enough that it seemed unwise to resist. Driving around the perimeter of the back lot, to get to the nearest burger joint, I noticed a mound of fairly fresh dirt and an eight-foot by 50 foot patch of bare ground from which the piled sod had been taken. It looked like they were getting ready to replace a storm sewer connection and had removed the sod before starting to dig ant deeper. So, on my way back from using the burger joint’s little room, I parked in the lot near where the soil disturbance was.
The Ohio River Valley was the home of Native Americans for many thousands of years, and they left a fair amount of sign here. I found several flint chips and one small arrowhead behind the current mall location many years ago when they were converting the former grass-strip airport into the current shopping mecca. The river was only a couple stone-throws away from the dirt pile and the bare patch, and it had obviously been rained on a few times, so I figured they would be worth checking out.
The pickings were pretty slim, though there WAS some sign of an earlier time. Those times were represented by the small pieces of crushed limestone, asphalt and brown beer-bottle glass that occasionally showed up in the sandy soil. There was nothing from any earlier eras, however. It was clear that a lone white-tailed deer had slaked his thirst at the little puddle of water at the lower end of the shallow excavation. I say “he” since most does are either traveling with their young or with other does at this time of year. The goose poop was plentiful, but old. I saw the resident flock grazing along a small stream on my way to and from the burger joint.
What I DID find was a half-dozen poke plants about five inches tall. Had I taken a trowel or digging stick with me, I’d have brought them home to replant for next year. Maybe I can make it back before they bulldoze the place level again. I want to start a poke patch, since they’re perennials. I may try planting some poke berries, but existing roots would be my preferred method. Not today though. I’ve got a few pursley plants that I need to stick in the ground this evening anyway. Plus I’ need to do a little more work on the frame for my chainsaw mill. © 2013-