A week or so ago, Rick Swank told me he was starting to look for Hen of the Woods mushrooms. Last week, right on queue, two of them appeared in my south yard a few feet apart. I harvested them and each one barely fit in a gallon zip lock bag.

I couldn’t get Rick on the phone so I stopped by his house and left one of the bags with his wife, Judy, who didn’t seem too excited to get it.

I located Brad True who was quite excited to get the other gallon bag. Mary was in the American Legion at Bingo and watched Roger Schiereck’s face light up when Brad told him he was going to get part of that big mushroom. He evidently thought it was good payback for all the morels he gave the Trues.

I’ve given lots of Hen of the Woods to Brad and Mary over the years. Brad sautés them in butter laced with garlic salt. That’s what they planned to have for supper Monday evening.

I’ve found Hen of the Woods growing on tree trunks. Once I found about 70 lbs. of them on tree roots on a creek bank. That was heavy to carry home in my turkey vest.

The best ones I’ve found come up around where an oak tree was cut down in my yard a few years ago.

The mushroom dinner was “weather permitting.” The weather radar was lit up like a Christmas tree from west of Tulsa to north of St. Joe headed north/northeast and into Missouri. We may not like the presents it has for us.

-Caddeaux is an orphan. You may remember Bella, Adrian’s street cat we gave a home to keep her roommate’s dog from killing her. She adapted to our house very well. Especially to Kimball, sleeping on her legs every night. She took naps with me.

Bella loved the outdoors and was anxious to go “outside” day or night in any weather even though Adrian had her declawed to keep her from damaging the apartment where they lived. Bella still “sharpened” her missing claws at our house.

Well, Wednesday evening, Bella didn’t come to the door at bedtime so we left the floodlight on for her all night. The next morning, Kimball looked all around the house. I started down our driveway in the pickup and found her. We guessed she had a scrap with some cat or varmint and tried to run home. There were no tracks around her. I figure at 12 years (84 in human years), she had a heart attack. We gave her a civil burial.

Caddeaux is a lot more clingy, wanting to be petted, without his “big sister” to pick on or to clean him up. He was asking to go outside at 3 a.m. Monday to look for her, I suppose.

– We got to help Davis celebrate the big 3 – 0 last Thursday evening. He grilled the hotdogs and brats. When he came up on the porch where Ben, Erica, Reese, Kimball and I were sitting, Reese did not take her eyes off him. Erica said that at two months, she decided she was “Daddy’s girl.” He brings her to the office on days Erica is at work.

– Adrian sent ultra sounds of Van and Snider at about the same stage, 20 some weeks. Kimball thinks Snider has a stronger chin. Looks like another cute baby to me. I guess we’ll find out in September, Lord willing. KL