The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

2007.08.07 Take a tour of my yard

Written by David Green.


By DAVID GREEN

Some friends stopped by for dinner one night last week and they wanted to look around the yard. These are people I generally see in the woods. That’s where we meet.

Since they’re the woodish type, I figured they can handle my yard OK. It’s far from manicured.

You start off with a member of the umbelliferae family right there in the front. It’s obviously a cousin to chervil and parsley and wild carrot. I was pretty sure it was sweet cicely. My friends were pretty sure it was water hemlock.

I’ve spent half an hour trying to figure it out tonight. Do the upper leaves have distinct blades? Are they pointed at the apex? Do the fresh leaves have a nauseous taste?

That last question could help identify the plant as poison hemlock. That’s what it looks like to me. Did someone slyly plant this stuff in our front garden hoping we would mistake it for parsley?

Maybe it is parsley, but maybe I would die like Socrates trying to make the determination. It was one of those items coming up that you aren’t really sure about, but it looks interesting, the tiny flowers are attractive, you let it grow.

There’s a lot more to see.

 Take a few steps south and you come to the milkweed. This isn’t the native stuff you find everywhere. It’s a more attractive garden variety, I suppose. It all depends on what you like. I find the flowers of common milkweed uncommonly beautiful.

OK, let’s round the corner of the house. What’s that down the row? Why it’s common milkweed. My wife has been so kind to allow me to grow a small patch in back, but this is a new volunteer, and this is why normal people don’t purposely grow plants such as milkweed and poke. Fortunately for the milkweed, I’m not normal.

Milkweed is the star attraction anyway, because one of my friends is pointing out how to look for monarch butterfly eggs on the bottom of milkweed leaves. We discovered that I’m rich in monarch eggs.

I’m wealthy in other respects, too. Walk into the back yard and discover that my lawn is actually a plantain research station. We’re growing lots of them, but not by choice. They just like it here and no Round-Up has stymied their growth.

I’ve spent two or three hours pulling them in recent weeks, but I don’t have enough free hours to get the job done. Besides, they’ve dropped their seed. They’ll be back. So I’ll pull a few dozen more next year. It’s a relaxing pastime.

There’s some tall weedy stuff on the way to the back. I don’t know what it is, but ants are very fond of it. The darn mulberry is coming back again, along with the dreaded Siberian elm. I see you can get rid of that stuff with a regular regimen of prescribed burning.

Next comes the red horsechestnut with all the broken branches. It was so heavy with fruit that branches have been snapping. Over alongside the back steps is where I once tossed a honeylocust pod. Now I have a small tree that I cut every so often. The thorns are real leg catchers.

Here, also, is my most impressive mullein. It’s now about 6-foot-6. Another “weed” my wife allows. She’s kind in that way.

Next to the garage is a waferash, a unique tree that grows along Bean Creek. Below is a patch of wilted sweet joe-pye, next to a volunteer redbud.

This is our former vegetable garden. It now has lamb’s quarters, a mint, ragweed and more milkweed. There’s another volunteer redbud along the fence.

Over in the far corner by the weather instrument shed, a lovely patch of Queen Anne’s lace is thriving. My wife hasn’t mentioned that. I don’t think she goes back there. We have motherwort and some nasty thistle that needs pulling.

There’s the walnut tree that arrived on its own. It shows beautiful, symmetrical growth, but it’s got to go. Perhaps this fall I’ll get out the saw.

Then comes our vegetable garden where a rabbit gnaws down the broccoli, the lamb’s quarter grows tall and purslane serves as a living mulch. We should be eating the stuff. It has everything from vitamin C to omega-3 fatty acids.

Well I guess that’s the bulk of my yard. There’s also my wife’s yard. That’s the nice one you see as you walk by, trying to ignore all the weeds that I grow.

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