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Stories | Recipes | Events | People | Places | Things | Local News August 2018

Sand Mountain

www.smec.coop

ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE

Winning photos See the top images from our 2018 contest

SEC dilemma:

Bama’s quarterbacks, Auburn’s schedule


MANAGER/CEO

Mike Simpson CO-OP EDITOR

Diane B. Hale ALABAMA LIVING is delivered to some 420,000 Alabama families and businesses, which are members of 22 not-for-profit, consumer-owned, locally directed and taxpaying electric cooperatives. Subscriptions are $12 a year for individuals not subscribing through participating Alabama electric cooperatives. Alabama Living (USPS 029-920) is published monthly by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and at additional mailing office.

Sweet treats and more SweetCreek Farms, a barn-style market in Pike Road, isn’t just a place to stop for a delicious sandwich or pulled pork barbecue plate and ice cream. It’s what its owner calls an “agritourism destination,” with a petting zoo for children, handmade crafts and other wares from local artisans.

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VOL. 71 NO. 8 n AUGUST 2018

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POSTMASTER send forms 3579 to: Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, Alabama 36124-4014. ALABAMA RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION

AREA President Fred Braswell Editor Lenore Vickrey Managing Editor Allison Law Creative Director Mark Stephenson Art Director Danny Weston Advertising Director Jacob Johnson Graphic Designer/Ad Coordinator Brooke Echols Communications Coordinator Laura Stewart Graphic Designer Nalin Crocker

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NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE:

American MainStreet Publications 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181 www.AMP.coop www.alabamaliving.coop USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311

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Look for this logo to see more content online!

Get our FREE monthly email newsletter! Sign up at alabamaliving.coop Printed in America from American materials

Representatives share thoughts on experience.

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Dream job

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Corn fed

Award-winning photographer Billy Pope loves capturing the beauty and diversity of Alabama’s people and places.

Whether roasted, boiled, grilled or fried in an iron skillet, fresh corn is at its most delicious this time of year.

D E PA R T M E N T S

ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL OFFICES:

340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 For advertising, email: advertising@areapower.com For editorial inquiries, email: contact@alabamaliving.coop

Washington Youth Tour

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WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! ONLINE: www.alabamaliving.coop EMAIL: letters@alabamaliving.coop MAIL: Alabama Living 340 Technacenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117

In this issue: Page 11 Page 29

11 Spotlight 30 Gardens 29 Around Alabama 40 Outdoors 41 Fish & Game Forecast 34 Cook of the Month 46 Hardy Jackson’s Alabama ONLINE: alabamaliving.coop ON THE COVER: This photo of a rabbit

at Catman Trail in Orange Beach was taken by Dorie Parsons, and is one of the winners of this year’s Alabama Living photo contest. See more winners beginning on Page 12.

AUGUST 2018 3


Board of Trustees David Henderson Larry Godwin Randy L. Bailey Luke Freeman Roland Hendon Raymond C. Long Leo Bomian Danny Lacey Brad Gilbert 402 Main Street West P.O. Box 277 Rainsville, AL 35986 (256) 638-4957 fax www.smec.coop In case of power outages, you may call us 24 hours a day: Rainsville-PowellFyffe-Sylvania 256-638-2153 Bryant-Higdon-Flat RockHenagar-Ider-Pisgah 256-657-5137 Fort Payne 256-845-1511 Valley Head-Mentone 256-635-6344 Collinsville-Geraldine 256-659-2153 Section-Langston-Marshall Co. 1-877-843-2512

facebook.com/SMEC.coop

4 AUGUST 2018

Are your kids going home alone? Back to school is just around the corner for local kids. In a lot of households today both parents work and in some cases children are raised by a single parent. In both instances it means an adult will not be at home when children get off the school bus. They are coming into an empty house and are alone until parents get home from work. If this is the situation at your home, it could be helpful to go over some safety tips with your children. First of all, it is up to parents to decide whether a child is mature enough to be at home alone. No one knows the maturity level of their children better than parents. Children should be old enough to know who and how to call in case of an emergency or if they need help. Emergency contact telephone numbers should be placed on the refrigerator door or somewhere they can easily be located. There are several issues that should be considered and boundaries set together so

everyone knows what is acceptable and what isn’t. Something to consider is requiring a child to place a telephone call every day letting parents know they made it home and are locked safely inside. What about company? Should your children be allowed to have others over to play with no adult supervision? Also, are the children allowed to use the range top, oven or other appliances to make a snack? Can they go outside? Should they answer the telephone or the door if someone knocks or rings the bell? It might even be a good idea to create a code word that can be used only if a child is in trouble and needs help. These are just a few points to consider if this situation comes up at your home and your children are coming home to an empty house. Most people realize it is a tremendous responsibility for both parents and children and it should be handled seriously and with a great deal of maturity. www.alabamaliving.coop


DORM SAFETY: 101 AVOID ELECTRICAL OVERLOAD It’s the time of year when college campuses are preparing for students moving all of their worldly possessions into their home away from home - the dorm!

café

Safe Electricity urges everyone to make sure their college-bound students take precautions to prevent and protect themselves from campus-related fires and shocks. Do not overload your electrical outlets, power strips, or extension cords. Use power strips with an over-current protector that will shut off power automatically if there is too much current being drawn. Potentially older wiring in student housing and apartments may not be able to handle the increased electrical demand of today’s college student. If use of an appliance frequently causes power to trip off or if its power cord or the outlet feels hot, the appliance should be disconnected immediately and the condition reported to a resident assistant or housing manager. Visit SafeElectricity.org for a complete list of safety steps to prevent and reduce the risk of electrical fires.

In observance of Labor Day, SMEC will be closed on Monday, September 3. Alabama Living

AUGUST 2018 5


WASHINGTON YOUTH TOUR

High School seniors Molly Smith, Ider (above left), and Mallori Gorham, Pisgah, (above right) attended this year’s Washington Youth Tour, compliments of Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative. A total of 58 students and eight chaperones made up the Alabama delegation. Here’s what both girls thought about the experience: WHAT PART OF WASHINGTON YOUTH TOUR DID YOU ENJOY MOST? Molly: My favorite part of the trip was definitely touring all the monuments. Reading about historic monuments is fantastic, but it’s more impactful when you get to be a living, breathing part of them. Mallori: The scavenger hunt with our small groups was a 6  AUGUST 2018

great way for us to see Old Town Alexandria and have a lot of fun competing while doing it! WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO VISIT? Molly: My favorite place that I visited was either the Holocaust Museum or the Newseum. The Newseum exposed all the danger that journalists, reporters, and photographers go through to bring us honest and accurate news even when the rest of the world doesn’t want it to be heard. It also showed how news and media have changed over our history and how they have changed our history. The Holocaust Museum was a very sobering and emotional experience--especially with some events going on now that parallel the horrors of the Holocaust. Mallori: Mount Vernon

was beautiful and definitely my favorite place we visited. Seeing it in person put just reading about it in a whole new perspective. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE FUTURE STUDENTS COMPETING FOR MONTGOMERY AND WASHINGTON YOUTH TOUR? Molly: Be knowledgeable of the events going on around you. When you get in the position to ask congresswomen and congressmen questions, make sure you have some good ones that really open people’s eyes and make them think. Mallori: I would say to be themselves, be excited, and have a good understanding about how much their coop does for them and their community each day. www.alabamaliving.coop


| Sand Mountain Electric | ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD? Molly: This was an amazing trip and opportunity! If you’re in the position to run for our co-op representative on each trip you will meet new people. I encourage you to be present in the moment and you will enjoy the experience! Mallori: I would like to thank SMEC and AREA for giving me two trips of a lifetime, memories that I’ll never forget and some lifelong friends!

Recently the Alabama delegation consisting of 58 students and eight chaperones joined over 1,800 others touring the sites of our nation’s capital city during the Washington Youth Tour. Students are selected and sponsored by 18 rural electric co-ops from across our state. Co-op employees serve as chaperones for the tour and this year was the largest on record. Molly Smith and Mallori Gorham are photographed at some of the stops during the Washington Youth Tour.

Alabama Living

AUGUST 2018  7


RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES CROSSWORD Did you know the electricity you use in your home is generated using a variety of fuel sources? Some energy sources are nonrenewable (like coal and natural gas) and some are renewable (like solar and wind energy). Learn about renewable energy sources and complete the puzzle below. 2.

1. ACROSS: __________ energy uses heat from the earth. People can use the heat to warm buildings or to generate electricity.

5.

1.

3.

2. DOWN: __________ energy is produced through panels that convert sunlight into electricity. 3. DOWN: __________ is energy produced from moving water. The power plant is typically located on or near a water source. 4. ACROSS: __________ energy uses tall turbines with blades to collect kinetic energy.

4.

5. DOWN: __________ is organic material that comes from plants and animals; it contains stored energy from the sun and when burned, uses chemical energy that is released as heat.

1. ACROSS: GEOTHERMAL; 2. DOWN: SOLAR; 3. DOWN: HYDROPOWER; 4. ACROSS: WIND; 5. DOWN: BIOMASS.

ANSWER KEY:

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www.alabamaliving.coop


| Alabama Snapshots |

First Day of School

Honee’s first day of doggy daycare. She is a liver dalmation and the first deaf dog accepted to Whitesburg’s daycare program. SUBMITTED BY Patricia Davis, Lacey’s Spring.

e firefighter ly. Dad is a full-tim The Holmes Fami hools all 5 sc me ho m mo d ol an going to law scho ott, Jackilp Ph W. vid ED BY Da children. SUBMITT son’s Gap. d Bailey an y her Dadd ff o g in dropp t for her firs th 4 f o ay d Bgrade. SU Y B D E T IT M s, d o o W Tara ery. Montgom

Piercen ’s ten. SU 1st Day of Kin BMITT derga ED BY Section Holly S r. aint,

6 year old twins, Savannah and Shyann Daszczuk, on their first day of 1st grade. SUBMITTED BY Danielle Daszczuk, Deer Park.

Our sweet grandson Kyle’s first day of pre-school. His parents are PJ and Jamie Alexander. SUBMITTED BY Kathy Walker, Arab.

Kensley Robinson wi th her JoJo on her first day of Pre-K SUBMITTED BY Joey Robinson, Prattville.

Submit Your Images! October Theme: “Pumpkin Patch” Deadline for Oct: August 31

SUBMIT PHOTOS ONLINE: www.alabamaliving.coop/submit-photo/ or send color photos with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Photos, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 RULES: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at www.alabamaliving.coop and on our Facebook page. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. Alabama Living

AUGUST 2018 9


| News you can use | SOCIAL SECURITY

Social Security when you’re self-employed

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ost people who pay into Social Security work for an employer. Their employer deducts Social Security taxes from their paycheck, matches that contribution, sends taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and reports wages to Social Security. However, self-employed people must report their earnings and pay their Social Security taxes directly to the IRS. These taxes will help determine your eli-

Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by email at kylle.mckinney@ssa.gov.

gibility for benefits later. You’re self-employed if you operate a trade, business, or profession, either by yourself or as a partner. You report your earnings for Social Security purposes when you file your federal income tax return. If your net earnings are $400 or more in a year, you must report your earnings on Schedule SE, in addition to the other tax forms you must file. Net earnings for Social Security are your gross earnings from your trade or business, minus your allowable business deductions and depreciation. Some income doesn’t count for Social Security and shouldn’t be included in figuring

your net earnings. You can read more about self-employment, paying your Social Security taxes and figuring and reporting your net earnings at socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-0510022.pdf. Social Security has been a cornerstone of American security for more than 80 years. Your small business is another cornerstone in the foundation of our economy. Working together, we make this nation stronger. We’re here for you, securing today and tomorrow. Remember, the most convenient way to contact us anytime, anywhere is to visit socialsecurity.gov.

RURAL HEALTH

Education Center program seeks to improve rural health

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on Sparks was well aware of the vital importance of having local health care available in recruiting and keeping economic development and healthy growth when he was named director of the former Alabama Rural Development Office. One of his first actions was to meet with 20 prominent Alabama rural health stakeholders to identify what this new office could do to improve rural health care. There was unanimous agreement that the single greatest rural health need was to establish an Area Health Education Center (AHEC) program. Alabama was one of only a few states that did not have this valuable program that seeks to improve the supply, distribution, retention and quality of primary care and other health practitioners in medically underserved (especially rural) areas. With great assistance from officials at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, Alabama was awarded a federal AHEC grant and has established a statewide AHEC program. The central office is in Birmingham with regional offices in Brewton, Demopolis, Gadsden, Huntsville and Montgomery. According to the National AHECF Organization, most state AHECs provide the following services: Health Careers Recruitment and Preparation: AHECs attempt to expand the health care workforce, including maxiDale Quinney is the founder of Operation Save Rural Alabama, www. osral.net, and a past director of the Alabama Rural Health Association.

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mizing diversity and facilitating distribution, especially in underserved communities. AHECs offer health career camps, science enrichment programs, healthy lifestyle education programs, health careers curricula and programs for elementary, middle school, and high school students. These programs introduce students to a wide assortment of health career possibilities, guide them in goal setting and educational planning, and offer science courses to strengthen critical High school students attending MediCamp 2018, a thinking skills. program of the East Central Alabama AHEC, at Gadsden Health Professions Training: State Community College participate in a simulated AHECs provide community emergency rescue as part of their experience. placements, service learning regions and provide responses to those opportunities and clinical expeneeds. AHECs develop community health riences for medical, dental, physician assiseducation and health provider training tant, nursing, pharmacy and allied health programs in areas with diverse and understudents and residents in rural and urban served populations. underserved communities. Through interaction with patients in federally qualified Alabama’s young AHEC program has health centers, county health departments, not matured to the point of being able to offree health care clinics, and local practifer all of these valuable services yet. Fundtioner’s offices, students and residents can ing also poses a challenge because the fedobserve the economic and cultural barriers eral grant for establishing and maintaining to care and the needs of underserved and an AHEC program must be matched with ethnically diverse populations in a primary local funds. Encourage your local school care environment. counselors to fully utilize AHEC services. Health Professionals Support: AHECs Encourage church, civic, and other groups provide accredited continuing education to contact their regional AHEC about hostofferings and professional support for ing a presentation on this valuable rural health care professionals, especially those health program. practicing in underserved areas. More information: uab.edu/medicine/ Health and Community Development: ahec. AHECs evaluate the health needs of their www.alabamaliving.coop


August | Spotlight Garr named new AREA vice president The Alabama Rural Electric Association, which publishes Alabama Living, welcomed Matty Garr as vice president of statewide services July 1. The new department will be focused on directing many of the services AREA provides to its members. Garr was most recently director of organizational development at Central Alabama Electric Cooperative for two years. Garr will oversee and direct safety and loss control, regulatory compliance, education and training as well as mutual aid and other existing and future programs. He served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force and retired as a major and as vice dean of Academic Affairs at Squadron Officer College. Before coming to Central Alabama EC, he was supervisor for learning development and a business analyst at Tri-State G&T in Colorado. He and his wife, Kristina, live in Titus with their two sons – Gavyn, a senior at Wetumpka High School, and Brayden, a freshman at WHS.

‘When thunder roars, go indoors’ Lightning strikes the U.S. about 25 million times a year. Although most lightning occurs in the summer, people can be struck any time of year. Lightning kills an average of 47 people in the U.S. each year, and hundreds more are severely injured. Alabama recorded 15 fatalities from 2008 through 2017, including three in 2017 alone. There is no safe place outside when thunderstorms are in the area; rain shelters, small sheds and open vehicles are not safe. Many wait too long to get to a safe place. When going outside, plan ahead so you can get to a safe place quickly if a thunderstorm threatens. If the sky looks threatening or you hear thunder, get inside to a safe place immediately. Once inside, avoid contact with corded phones, electrical equipment, plumbing and windows and doors. Wait 30 minutes after the last lightning or thunder before going back outside. If someone is struck by lightning, he may need immediate attention. Lightning victims do not carry an electrical charge and are safe to touch. Call 911 and monitor the victim. (Information from the National Weather Service) Identify and place this Alabama landmark and you could win $25!

Whereville, AL

Winner is chosen at random from all correct entries. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Send your answer by August 8 with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative. The winner and answer will be announced in the September issue.

Submit by email: whereville@alabamaliving.coop, or by mail: Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. Contribute your own photo for an upcoming issue! Send a photo of an interesting or unusual landmark in Alabama, which must be accessible to the public. A reader whose photo is used will also win $25.

JULY’S ANSWER

The Rattlesnake Saloon, known as the “watering hole under the rock,” is undoubtedly one of the most unusual places in Alabama and has been featured in magazines (including the November 2014 Alabama Living) and on TV. The Colbert County land was farmed (and even used as a hog pen) for generations by the Foster family, which later created the Seven Springs Lodge for hunting and trail riding. The family decided the next step would be a companion saloon, which opened on Labor Day weekend in 2009. Guests from all 50 states and more than 30 countries have visited since. The saloon (which is family-friendly) is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, February through November, and Sundays for lunch April through September. Learn more at rattlesnakesaloon.net. (Photo submitted by Barbara Hill, Dixie EC.) The random guess winner is Sandra Bice, North Alabama EC.

This Month In

®

ALABAMA HISTORY Honoring Our People

August 30, 1984 Birmingham native Henry Hartsfield served as commander of the Space Shuttle Discovery as it launched on this date for the first time from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A U.S. Air Force pilot with more than 7,300 hours of flight time, Hartsfield joined NASA’s astronaut program in 1969 and logged a total of 483 hours in space aboard three different shuttles. He later served as an upper-level administrator for NASA, holding positions at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and NASA headquarters in Washington D.C. Hartsfield was inducted into the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame in 1983 and the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2006. http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-3654

Alabama Living

AUGUST 2018 11


Photo contest winners capture the essence of Alabama first place By Allison Law

Cute critters

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or Alabama Living’s first photo contest in 2017, we asked our readers to capture life in rural Alabama. That contest garnered more than 100 photos from all parts of Alabama, from the picturesque mountains of the northeast to the sugar white sands of the Gulf coast. The contest was, from our viewpoint, a great success. We knew that there were many talented amateur photographers all around Alabama, and we weren’t disappointed. We were able to share them with you in our July 2017 issue. For our second photo contest this year, we expanded our call for photos with four separate categories: Rural landscapes, Alabama landmarks, emotions and cute critters. The idea was to broaden the subject matter of the photos, and to get our readers to use some creativity in submitting their entries. Entries were limited to two photos per category, per photographer, and the contest was limited to amateur photographers only. We printed the call for entries in the March and April issues of the magazine. This year, our judge was Phil Scarsbrook, a professional photographer in central Alabama with nearly 40 years of experience. He also takes the group photos for our annual Montgomery Youth Tour. Scarsbrook did not know the identities of the photographers during the judging. Each first-place winner will receive $50. Enjoy this year’s winners, and keep an eye out for next year’s contest.

Cute critters (photo on the cover)

First place winner: Dorie Parsons, Baldwin EMC Judge’s remarks: “Whether this is a pet rabbit or wild rabbit, the photograph gives the illusion of wild. Nice use of a shallow depth of focus to pull attention to the subject. Also having the rabbit look into the open space to the right makes for a more interesting composition.”

Honorable mentions Here are the judge’s choices for honorable mentions, which could be from any category. The quotes were submitted by the photographers with their entries. Beach Chorus: Dorie Parsons, Baldwin EMC “I took this shot of some very opinionated gulls at Orange Beach.”

Boll Weevil monument: Kathryn Tipton, South Alabama EC “I think this photo is special because it’s the only monument in the world dedicated to a pest.” 12  AUGUST 2018

www.alabamaliving.coop


first place Alabama landmarks

Alabama landmarks First place winner: Rebekah Calhoun, Coosa Valley EC Judge’s remarks: “I have seen variations of this shot (of the staircase in the Alabama Capitol building) before, however, this one is particularly well executed. The leading lines of the handrail pull your eyes into the composition and keep them there.”

Honorable mentions Cranes at Wheeler: Susanlynn Allen, North Alabama EC “Photographed at Wheeler Wildlife Refuge during the annual migration of the Sandhill Cranes. It is an amazing adventure to watch the cranes fly into the refuge and land and to think about their migration habits of returning each year.”

Alabama Living

Cross on lake: Kathryn Tipton, South Alabama EC “(This photo, taken at the Vineyard Christian Retreat) is a constant reminder of the one who died for our sins.” AUGUST 2018  13


first place Emotions

“We have backyard chickens and wanted a few more, so we bought six new chicks this year. Coleman (McCuiston’s son) liked to bring them in the house when they were little to play with them. He set the chick on his shoulder to be like a pirate, but was laughing because the chick kept pecking at the freckle on his face.”

Emotions First place winner: Jennifer McCuiston, Cullman EC Judge’s remarks: “Very cute photo catching the spontaneity of the moment and the child’s natural reaction.”

Honorable mentions Fishing on Wheeler Lake: William Porter, North Alabama EC “I was taking photos of the pelican migration (at Joe Wheeler Dam), perhaps on their way back to Canada. The sun was setting low on the horizon, giving a warm glow on the birds. When I looked over my shoulder I saw a peaceful scene of Alabamians enjoying their leisure time.” Fox squirrel: Donna Marcella, Cullman EC “I took this photo in our back yard beside our pecan tree. With three pecan trees in our yard this fox squirrel is a frequent visitor. We recognize this particular squirrel by the white on its face and look forward to each visit.” 14  AUGUST 2018

www.alabamaliving.coop


first place Rural landscapes

“The picture of the road is from our house to the barn of our cattle ranch, Triple M Ranch in Double Springs, which we drive every day. … It was just so beautiful out that I stopped and took this picture. We love living in the country!”

Rural landscapes First place winner: Caroline Mann, Double Springs Judge’s remarks: “Beautiful image. Could easily been in the emotions category. Makes me want to travel up the road to see what’s beyond the rise.”

Honorable mentions Shrimp boats: Jeff Hosterman, Baldwin EMC “The tremendous historical legacy of this small, diverse Alabama town (Bayou La Batre), with its shrimping and shipbuilding industries on a local, state and national level.”

Raccoons ready to fight: Dorie Parsons, Baldwin EMC “These young raccoons on Catman Trail in Orange Beach seem to be having a disagreement over breakfast.” Alabama Living

AUGUST 2018  15


ILLUSTRATION BY NALIN CROCKER

Bama’s quarterbacks and Auburn’s schedule By Brad Bradford

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uotations from Paul William “Bear” Bryant adorn the walls of the only restaurant in Leighton, Alabama. Same with mancaves in Scratch Ankle and corporate board rooms in Hoover. His most famous quote is: “I ain’t never been nothing but a winner.” While poor mouthing his team’s chances against VPI or Mississippi Southern, he often referred to “injury luck” and “schedule luck.” In 2017, Auburn and Alabama experienced both kinds of luck. Auburn’s Gus Malzahn did an exceptional job of recovering from earlier losses against Clemson and LSU to defeat both playoff teams in Georgia and Alabama in a two-week stretch to win the SEC West. 16 AUGUST 2018

Unfortunately, a rested Georgia team beat a five-win Georgia Tech team (that just lost to Duke by 23 points) on the same day that the Tigers had to come from behind to beat Bama (schedule luck). Running back Kerryon Johnson was injured (injury luck) and Auburn was never in the SEC championship game. They then played a good undefeated and motivated Central Florida team in the same Atlanta stadium in the Peach Bowl to give them their fourth loss of the season. The Tide’s lead man, Nick Saban, did the BEST coaching job of his career. Injuries to the linebacking crew were almost a joke. Any othwww.alabamaliving.coop


er team that did not have Bama’s depth and five-star athletes would have lost at least three games. The Crimson Tide had some late “schedule luck” when Ohio State lost to Iowa by 31 points; No. 5 Wisconsin lost to Ohio State; then Auburn was dominated by Georgia in the SEC championship. The committee had no choice but to put one-loss Bama in the playoff at No. 4, facing Clemson in New Orleans. Schedule luck put them closer to campus in the Sugar Bowl. The rest is history.

Best jobs in the SEC

After last year, athletic directors made head coach changes in six of the 14 schools: Arkansas, Florida, LSU (kept interim for now), Mississippi State (moved to Florida), Ole Miss (kept interim), Tennessee, and Texas A&M. There are only three head coaches in the SEC (Saban, Malzahn and Stoops) who have been at their school for at least five years. In Power 5 schools, only 35 percent have the same coach after five years. Changes now happen quickly. Loyalty has gone out the window. Five factors determine the appeal for a particular job opening: 1. Recruiting base 2. Facilities 3. Tradition/fan/administration support 4. Quality of local high school football 5. Scheduling Using these factors, the top jobs, in order: 1. Alabama. 2. Georgia. 3. LSU. 4. Texas A&M. 5. Florida. 6. Auburn. 7. Tennessee. 8. South Carolina. 9. Ole Miss. 10. Mississippi State. 11. Missouri. 12. Arkansas. 13. Kentucky. 14. Vanderbilt.

Dumb NCAA rule change

If a college hires a high school coach in any capacity, that college is prohibited from recruiting that high school for two years. Twenty-one percent of college head coaches coached at the high school level. Urban Meyer, Tommy Tuberville, Gus Malzahn, David Cutcliffe, Chad Morris, Chip Kelly, Jeremy Pruitt and Bill Clark were all high school coaches at one time. The rule was meant to prevent “package deals,” such as hiring a top quarterback’s high school coach to get him to come to your school. In Alabama, Josh Niblett at Hoover, Steve Mask at St. Paul’s and Terry Curtis at UMS Wright would make excellent college coaches, but no program is going to quit recruiting those schools for two years.

Smart NCAA rule change

Starting this fall, a player can play in four games and still keep his redshirt for that year. If a player is going to quit or transfer, it is usually in the first year while he is being redshirted. He can now play because of injuries, blowouts or needed depth in four games and still have four years of eligibility. For once, the NCAA got it right. (Don’t forget: Jalen Hurts still has a redshirt year. If he loses the starting QB job, this rule could help him and the Crimson Tide.)

Alabama prediction

Every school in the country would love to have the Tide’s quarterback problem: Jalen Hurts, who has a 26-2 record and two national championship Alabama Living

appearances, or Tua Tagovailoa who led Bama in a second half comeback against Georgia to win the National Championship. This year’s offense will be the most complete in years (four offensive linemen return, four deep at running back, three freshmen wide receivers who can fly). The defense will be led by Mack Wilson’s four interceptions, Raekwon Davis at defensive line and five-star athlete and linebacker Dylan Moses. Regular season record: 12-0. Possible losses: Mississippi State and Auburn, but both are at home.

Auburn prediction

Jarrett Stidham at quarterback lived up to his expectations last year. He will only get better. The problem is rebuilding an offensive line. The idea that Auburn is a pass-happy, gadget offense is a misconception. They are a power running team. Malzahn does a super job finding mismatches and putting the defense on their heels. As long as Kevin Steele is running the defense, the Tigers will be in all the games. Their two-deep front seven is as good as anyone in the conference. Derrick Brown at defensive tackle will be a first-round pick. Leading tackler Deshaun Davis returns at linebacker and senior Dontavius Russell will command double teams at nose guard. Regular season record: 9-3. Possible losses: Washington, Mississippi State, LSU, Georgia and Alabama.

Iron Bowl, playoff predictions

Last year was the first time in Nick Saban’s Bama career that Auburn dominated and won 26-14. That was in Jordan-Hare Stadium. This year, the Tigers must visit Bryant-Denny in Tuscaloosa after playing in Athens against Georgia. Alabama 31-Auburn 7. SEC West: 1. Alabama. 2. Mississippi State. 3. Auburn. 4. Texas A&M. 5. LSU. 6. Arkansas. 7. Ole Miss. (Sleeper: Mississippi State) SEC East: 1. Georgia. 2. South Carolina. 3. Florida. 4. Missouri. 5. Tennessee 6. Kentucky 7. Vanderbilt (Sleeper: Missouri) Playoff possibilities: Alabama, Georgia; Clemson, Miami; Ohio State, Wisconsin; Oklahoma and Washington. Auburn is a long shot due to their schedule. (They play three of these eight teams listed, all on the road.) Orange Bowl playoff game: Clemson beats Ohio State. Cotton Bowl playoff game: Alabama beats Miami.

National Championship Game

For the fourth time in four years, Alabama will face Clemson in a playoff game. Bama leads this series 2-1. This is what college football is all about. In 1972, Jim Croce released a song: “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim.” The lyrics just changed: You don’t tug on Superman’s cape … You don’t spit in the wind … You don’t pull the mask off that ole Lone Ranger … and you don’t bet against the Tide. Alabama 28-Clemson 14.

Brad Bradford is a former football staff member at Alabama and Louisville. He is married to former Auburn cheerleader Susan Moseley Swink. Brad can be

reached at Brad@coachbradfinancial.com. AUGUST 2018 17


| Alabama People |

Billy Pope

Dream job Billy Pope has been creating images for 25 years. He has photographed governors, generals, entertainers, natural disasters, and for international mission organizations. During the past 15 years, his role as art director and staff photographer for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has been a dream job that brings together his talents as an artist and his love for the outdoors. His work has been awarded regional and national awards. Some of his photos have been published in Alabama Living. Pope lives in Pike Road, Alabama, with his wife and two daughters. – Lenore Vickrey

are like different brushes an artist uses on their canvas. Each camera or combination of camera and lens produces a desired result to convey a story. For wildlife and most nature photography I would say a DSLR would give you a better chance of achieving the desired result. Smartphones have produced some great scenic images; but, using a DSLR camera with the right lens, the same scene has more depth to the image. Ultimately, the goal is to capture an image that both pleases yourself and preserves the memory for future generations.

How did you become interested in photography? I never really set out to be a photographer. I have always studied art and design and enjoyed creating images, be it with a brush, pencil or camera. My first job was as an illustrator for the Department of the Air Force. In that role, I was given the opportunity to fill in for our staff photographer on occasion. Those experiences really intrigued me—telling stories one frame at a time. Having to be aware of what was going on around me and anticipating the important moments pushed me to continue to hone a craft I never really knew I would love.

What’s one piece of advice for folks who want to shoot photos of nature and/or animals? The one piece of advice I would give people who want to photograph wildlife and nature is, “You must be present to win!” Things in nature never happen the same way twice. No two sunsets or sunrises are the same. You can’t tell that Eastern Wild Turkey to go back and gobble again. Along with being present, you also need to learn your subject and its habits, much like a hunter who spends months learning the habits of that trophy buck. Where does the sun rise over the mountain? What’s the best bird seed to attract a certain species to my feeder? It’s a never-ending learning process that will provide you with a greater appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors.

Were you trained professionally, or are you self-taught? I was never trained professionally in photography. I studied graphic design which I feel translates into my photography. I guess I was self-taught. The biggest influences were editors and photographers sharing their knowledge and being honest with me, as well as giving me the opportunity to grow as a storyteller. What is your favorite place in Alabama to shoot photos and why? Alabama has a very diverse landscape and with this diversity the opportunities are endless for photography. I enjoy capturing the fall color in Little River Canyon, the spring bloom of the Cahaba Lilies on the Cahaba River, and there is something special about the sun setting on the bayou in Bayou la Batre. It’s not just the beauty of the locations, it’s the uniqueness of the people in the these “out of the way” places. The deep love the people I meet have for the natural history of our state is part of the fabric that makes up our culture. I have been blessed to be able to capture those places, people and stories and share them with everyone to enjoy.

Follow Billy at: www.billypope.com billypopephoto on Instagram

What’s better – a 35mm DSLR or a smartphone camera? I read somewhere, “The best camera is the one you have with you.” I find that to be very true. The world we live in is the most photographed in history. Smartphone camera technology has advanced to a point that, in some cases, it is hard to tell the difference in a smartphone photo versus a photo shot with a DSLR camera. They all have their role in today’s story. Cameras and lenses 18 AUGUST 2018

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| Worth the drive |

Find sweet treats and much more at SweetCreek Farms By Lori M. Quiller The Farm-to-Table Salad features fresh tomatoes and cucumbers as well as fresh seasonal fruit, feta cheese and craisins.

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f you’ve traveled U.S. Highway 231 a few miles south of Montgomery in Pike Road, you’re probably familiar with SweetCreek Farms. The sight and smell of the wood smokers in front of the market beckon passing motorists who can stop and stretch and enjoy some tasty barbecue dishes, including pulled pork sliders and pecan-smoked barbecue sandwiches. But the café offers other fresh sandwiches, including a Cuban (pulled pork, ham, Wickles pickles and provolone cheese), chicken salad and grilled pimento cheese. There’s a selection of salads and a soup of the day, plus camp stew and such specials as smoked chicken and St. Louis-style ribs. And it wouldn’t be “sweet” without dessert. Enjoy some homemade cookies, ice cream or a big serving of peach cobbler at one of the special craftsman tables made from reclaimed wood, or on the porch in one of the rocking chairs. But SweetCreek, which is served by Dixie Electric Cooperative, is more than a restaurant. The barn-style market offers a bounty of fresh picked, Alabama-grown fruits and vegetables as well as a host of handmade crafts and other goodies from local artisans, such as woodworkings, soaps, lotions  and  ironworks. And it has both entertainment and education for the little ones.

Go with us as we visit SweetCreek Farms at alabamaliving.coop!

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“We consider SweetCreek an agritourism destination,” says owner Reed Ingram. “When families stop here, they can come into the restaurant for a homemade ice cream cone, then go outside and see the goats, chickens, rabbits and peacocks in the petting zoo. Certain times of the year kids can go out into the field, and we’ll have a hayride set up to tour our crops. “We want people to know we grow these products here in Alabama, and the closer they are to you, the better they are for you. This is a fun place, and we want them to enjoy themselves while they’re here. They can relax and watch the windmill turn, smell what’s on the smoker and take a minute to slow down.” Ingram and his wife Karen opened SweetCreek Farms in March 2016 in part to address the need for fresh, healthy food in the area, but to also show support for Alabama’s food growers. “I wanted to make the farm and the table come together in the  produce  we sell and also by bringing the farm to the table in our restaurant as well. I think we have been compromising our products in Alabama because we have great farmers but just not enough farmers. Our farmers are getting older and the industry is changing. Our younger generation isn’t growing up and saying ‘When I grow up, I want to be a farmer,’” Ingram added.

Ingram also sells plants and, even if you don’t have a green thumb yourself, he and his staff can help you start your own backyard garden. “Just one acre can create a lot of produce. We sell plants and encourage them how to grow their own produce. We don’t have classes, but when someone buys something from us, we offer advice by telling them how to keep it healthy for the best yield,” Ingram says. SweetCreek Farms has grown in the past couple of years from 10 employees to 70, and Ingram insists that teamwork is the fabric that holds everything together. Most of the employees who work at the farm are experiencing their first job, so Ingram celebrates that with them by taking their photo when he hands them their first paycheck. “Everyone here works together really well,” Ingram says. “All of the kids learn how to grow  produce, they get on a lawn mower and mow grass, pull weeds, help plant crops, and help harvest. I feel like God has put us here for a reason, to not only be a mentor to these kids but also teach them a work ethic and about one of Alabama’s greatest industries.” SweetCreek Farms

85 Meriwether Rd, Pike Road, AL 36064 334-280-3276 Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday Online: Search for “SweetCreek Farm Market” on Facebook and Instagram

Pike Road

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Alabama Living

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Skunks can ‘reek’ havoc, but there are ways to avoid them By Richard Bauman

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kunks aren’t ferocious, but they can be dangerous, and it’s the rare person who wants to meet up with one. They are notorious, of course, for the overpowering, stomach-turning odorous mercaptan they produce, which you definitely want to avoid. And it’s reasonably easy to avoid being sprayed if you encounter a skunk. Skunks are nocturnal, and you’re most likely to encounter one at dusk or at night. They don’t go around looking for animals or humans to spray, and often use an elaborate warning ritual before letting go with a blast of mercaptan. They will: • stand still • stamp their front feet • hiss and shake their head from side to side • raise their tail straight up By the time the skunk raises its tail, if you haven’t backed off, you probably won’t escape unscathed. North America is home to two types of skunks — the striped skunk, and the spotted skunk. And both call Alabama home. Striped skunks are the larger of the two (about the size of a house cat), with black fur and one or more white stripes running from head to tail. Spotted skunks are smaller, but no less potent, are reddish colored with random “body bands” of white fur that give them their spotted appearance. Spotted and striped skunks spray mercaptan from musk glands at the base of their tails. After going through its warning ritual, the striped skunk quickly turns around, arches its back and blasts some mercaptan at its target. Spotted skunks use a “handstand” method of spraying. They stand on their front paws, hold their hind legs in the air, and with tail arched shoots a stream at their target. The spotted skunk can hold its handstand for five seconds, which is plenty of time to aim and spray. Whether mercaptan is from a spotted or striped skunk matters little. Both are yellowish in color, and need to be washed off promptly, or the stench will last for days on skin, hair and clothes of humans, and on the fur and skin of animals.

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De-skunking products are available or make your own

Pet stores, sporting goods stores and even Walmart sell de-skunking products. The goto home remedy for de-skunking humans and animals was Skunks in Alabama don’t look for animals or humans to spray, and usually use an elaborate warning ritual before discovered by chemist Paul releasing a potent blast of mercaptan. Krebaum. It chemically neutralPHOTO BY GEOFFREY KUCHERA/DREAMSTIME.COM izes the skunk odor, but it must be made up fresh. • use insecticides to control grubs and It’s a mixture of: lawn pests one quart 3 percent hydrogen peroxide • reduce potential food sources such as ¼ cup of baking soda fallen fruit and spilled seed from bird 1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing detergent feeders • remove food placed outdoors for pets If your pet gets skunked, the Humane by nightfall Society of the United States recommends: • install fencing that extends below • Keep the pet outdoors ground at least twelve inches around • Mix up the hydrogen peroxide solubuildings and seal your foundation. tion, or use a commercially available product If a skunk has already made a home • Clean vigorously and rinse thoroughly under your house or elsewhere, proceed • Shampoo your pet with caution. It is probably best to hire a • Use the solution to get rid of any merwildlife removal specialist. These experts captan you might have accidentally can remove resident critters, and “skunk gotten on you or your clothes. proof ” areas favored by skunks. According to the Professional Wildlife Keep skunks from moving in Removal website, skunk repellent prodAccording to experts at the University ucts you spray or sprinkle about your of California Integrated Pest Management property aren’t effective. “Wildlife exProgram, and the Alabama Cooperaperts insist that habitat modification and tive Extension System’s Wildlife Damage removal are the only effective ways of Management Program, skunks are attractpreventing skunks. Several repellent subed to places where they can readily find stances are available ... (but) Most do not food, water, and shelter. They will live in keep away skunks.” burrows, but they are also like: Skunks are usually considered unwel• old buildings come, but skunks do their part to con• hollow trees trol other pests. They eat grasshoppers, • spaces under porches, decks, and crickets, mice, salamanders, tobacco and crawl spaces under houses tomato worms, snakes, small birds and • wood piles even small rabbits. There’s no other animal quite like a To prevent skunks from moving in on skunk. The potent odor it produces is your property, make it unattractive to unique. Once you’ve had a nose full of it, them: you never forget it. • remove piles of wood or junk from the On the other hand, there’s no reason to area ever become the target of a skunk’s spray. • stack firewood tightly, and at least 18 If you encounter a skunk, give it a lot of inches above the ground room. Don’t make threatening moves to• seal garbage cans and secure pet food ward it, and you probably will never need bins a peroxide and baking soda bath. www.alabamaliving.coop


Teens and distracted driving:

Adults must be role models for young drivers By Donna Bayless and Sharon Winter would I say to his parents? How could I live with that? By helping teenagers get in touch with those emotions, we can help them make better decisions when they drive. We fear that we, as adults, have unknowingly taught our children that you start the ignition, buckle the seatbelt, put the car in gear, and pick up the phone, in that order. Because it’s not just teens on their phones. We adults are addicted to our phones. Is this the behavior we want our young teen drivers to imitate?

Parents must set the example

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ave you ever followed a car that was weaving all over the road and thought, “I bet that person has been drinking?” Maybe you pulled up next to them at a red light and realized, instead, they were on their phone. We know we shouldn’t drive when drinking. Why do we think it’s OK to drive when we’re on our phone? Maybe because our phones are our lifeline to the outside world. Think of them this way: Our phones are a movie theater, mailbox, library, sports arena, newspaper, GPS, weather guy, calendar and a huge party with all our friends and acquaintances rolled into one tiny little box. Now, it’s one thing if you miss some dialogue from tonight’s episode of “This is Us” because you’re texting your best friend your plans for the weekend. You can always rewind the DVR, right? But what if you take that need to look at your phone every five minutes into the car with you and you miss a stop sign? Or the car in front of you that stopped suddenly to avoid hitting the black lab that darted into the road? You can’t hit rewind on a car crash.

Driving = freedom

For most teens, getting their driver licenses equates to freedom. Jackson, a junior at Hewitt Trussville High School, says he loves having a car and a license because it means he can drive to visit his girlfriend, friends, and even to see his grandparents across town. We met Jackson because we teach safe driving to both corporate audiences and at a defensive driving school we operate in Franklin, Tennessee. Most teenagers that we talk to never want to be responsible for hurting someone, either physically or emotionally. When we’ve talked about the aftermath of a potential crash, where they would be at fault, teenagers consistently go back to the emotion of the event. How would that make my grandmother feel if I was responsible for a crash that hurt someone else? Or my parents? Or my friends? What would my life be like if I killed my best friend? What Alabama law restricts the youngest drivers from using any handheld communication device. The state law also restricts all drivers from texting and driving. Alabama Living

So, what can parents do? Parents must set the precedent for safe driving. If a dad thinks nothing of going 90 mph down the interstate, then his daughter will think that’s OK, too. If a mom decides to send a quick text from the car, then the son will never see a problem with using his phone when he drives. Parents must be the first ones to draw the line on distracted driving and put their phones on Do Not Disturb. Only then, will they be able to encourage their kids to hang up and drive. Secondly, and critically important, parents must not expect their teenagers to answer their phone when they’re driving. This is the number one complaint we hear from teens about their parents: “My mom gets mad at me if I don’t pick up the phone or if I don’t immediately respond to a text. Even when I’m driving.” We suggest you develop a family agreement that there is never an expectation that teens answer a phone call or text when they’re driving. And lastly, when we learned to drive in the 1980s, our biggest obstacle was learning how to use the clutch when starting from a stop — especially on a hill. We never had to worry about missing a phone call from parents or boyfriends because we were driving our cool cars. Oh, the freedom! Which brings us to a lost skill set and maybe a great opportunity for parents. Get your teens a standard transmission vehicle. Both hands are busy driving and perhaps there will be more focus on the road. Research shows it takes around 21 days to make a habit. Your family could make a conscious decision to put the phone out of reach for three weeks when driving. The pull of the ping of a notification or the ring of a phone is powerful, and it takes strong willpower not to give in. So, turn on the Do Not Disturb. Use it only for GPS, letting the verbal directions guide you. And then when you get to where you’re going, call back those people who love you and want you home tonight. Or even the client or boss who counts on you to be there for them every day. In other words, call back when you can focus on them and not when you are focused on driving. Be focused. Be safe. Sharon Winter and Donna Bayless are founders of RightLane, a training company based in Brentwood, Tenn., that offers seminars on safe driving nationwide. RightLane also operates a defensive driving school in Franklin, Tenn.

The Hands-Free Georgia Act took effect July 1. The law requires drivers to use hands-free technology when using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. AUGUST 2018  27


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August | Around Alabama

17-19

Photo courtesy of the Montgomery Dragon Boat Race.

M o n t g o m e r y, Buckmaster’s Expo. The area’s biggest hunting show features more than 300 exhibitors, the Buckmasters Top Bow Indoor Championship, Young Bucks activities, deer scoring, hunter education courses, Dock Dogs, Saturday night concert and more. Montgomery Convention Center, 201 Tallapoosa St. buckmasters.com

More than 60 teams will compete in the Montgomery Dragon Boat Race on August 25.

Month of August, Theodore, Enjoy discounted admissions to Bellingrath Gardens and Home during August. For admission information, visit bellingrath.org.

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Northeast Alabama, World’s Longest Yard Sale. The sale begins in Gadsden at Noccalula Falls Park and continues up the Lookout Mountain Parkway toward Chattanooga. The sale is free, takes place in all weather, and vendors are set up in yards, churches or anywhere there is open space along the route. 127yardsale.com

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Athens, Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days. Antique tractors and engines, arts and crafts, live entertainment, fast crank competition and other events. Join the Parade of Power, a tractor ride to Elkmont from Piney Chapel. 20147 Elkton Rd. visitathensal.com

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Fairhope, The Weeks Bay Foundation hosts the 6th Annual Pelican Paddle, a canoe, kayak and paddle board race on Weeks Bay. The 3.5-mile race is open to all ages and skill levels, with a seven-mile pro option for the serious paddlers and a non-competitive eco-tour of Weeks Bay, including a guided paddle to a Bald Eagle nest. For race divisions and more information, email Diana Brewer,

diana@weeksbay.org. Tomsmeire Weeks Bay Resource Center, 11525 US Highway 98.

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Montgomery, Alabama Farm and Land Expo at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa, 201 Tallapoosa St. Connect with companies and researchers to learn about new farm technology and products. Featuring tractors, mowers, livestock equipment, landscaping and lenders. 1-5 p.m. mjohns@alfafarmers.org

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Albertville, Main Street Music Festival. Music acts are High Valley, Clay Walker, Dirt Circus, Drivin’ N Cryin’ and Tyler Farr. Entertainment, food and vendors and a children’s inflatable water park. Free. Mainstreetmusicfestival.com

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Cullman, Fourth Annual Fairview High School Band Car and Tractor Show. Live music, food trucks and vendors. Visit the Facebook page for more information. 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Randall Shedd Fairview Town Park, 605 Wesley Ave. North.

bit at the Montgomery Zoo, 2301 Coliseum Parkway. Meet animals up close and learn about them in their natural habitats. Event for children ages 4-10. Advanced reservations requrired. For admission costs and more information, visit montgomeryzoo.com. 334-625-4900

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Opelika, Futral Artifact Show. Multiple vendors with Indian artifacts. Display cases, pipes, bowls, spears, arrowheads, clothing, jewelry and more. Flint knapping demo, raffle and refreshments. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Futralshow.com

17-18

Ozark, South Alabama Pro Rodeo Classic. Bull riding, team roping, barrel racing and other events, entertainment and vendors. Dale County Ag-Plex Arena, Highway 123. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the rodeo begins at 8 p.m. For advanced tickets and more information, call 334-774-9448.

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Dothan, Wiregrass Museum of Art’s Annual Yard Party for Art. Music and art festival held on the lawn of the museum. Features live music, interactive art installations, yard games and food trucks. Pre-sale tickets are $15, $20 day of the event. Gates open at 6 p.m. 18 and older. Wiregrassmuseum.org

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Montgomery, Meet some of the magical animals featured in movies like Harry Potter and The Hob-

Millbrook, Gator Tails at Lanark, 3050 Lanark Road. Learn more about one of the swamp’s top predators. Meet Lanark’s baby alligator and make an alligator craft. Admission $5. Alabamawilldlife.org

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Priceville, Cruise In Car Show, 520 Highway 67 South. 5-9 p.m. Cruise into Veteran’s Park for the annual car show. Featuring entertainment, free children’s area, food vendors and fireworks. For more information, call 256-355-5476, ext. 102.

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Talladega, The Afternoon of Praise at the Ritz Theatre will feature singers and musicians along with Christian musician Richard Kingsmore directing the choir. Features Christian classics and Southern Gospel favorites to raise funds for The Red Door Kitchen. Performance times are 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Admission is $20. Tickets may be purchased at the Ritz Theatre, 115 Court Square North, 256-315-0000. Ritztalladega.com

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Fyffe, Fyffe UFO Days, Hot air balloons, antique cars and tractors, food, arts and crafts vendors and live entertainment featuring Bucky Covington, Brandon Elder and other artists. For more information, visit Fyffe UFO Days on Facebook.

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Montgomery, Montgomery Dragon Boat Race and Festival. Over 60 teams competing for the Grand Championship Dragon Boat Race trophy. Features local exhibitors and artists, food vendors and live music. Proceeds benefit local non-profits. Montgomerydragonboat.com

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Russellville, Franklin County Watermelon Festival, 103 North Jackson Ave. Live entertainment, bike ride, 5K race, tractor, truck and car show, food and craft vendors. Free. Franklincountychamber.org

To place an event, e-mail events@alabamaliving.coop. or visit www.alabamaliving.coop. You can also mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; Each submission must include a contact name and phone number. Deadline is two months prior to issue date. We regret that we cannot publish every event due to space limitations.

Alabama Living

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Mobile, Enjoy sampling dishes from some of the area’s top chefs as they compete in the 20th Annual Chef Challenge-A Challenge to End Hunger. Features complimentary beer and wine, silent auction and entertainment by Roman Street. Proceeds help provide hunger-relief programs and services to those in need. Guests must be 21 and over. $75. 1630 South Broad Street. Feedingthegulfcoast.org

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| Gardens |

Beautiful, hardy, adaptable and local: Ten native plants that feel like home

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ative plants, those denizens of Alabama’s natural terrain, are increasingly popular choices for Alabama’s cultivated landscapes. And well they should be, because they are as necessary to our wellbeing as they are beautiful to our eyes. Alabama is home to some 4,000 different species of native plants, 28 of which grow only in our state, and we are ranked fifth in the nation for plant biodiversity. While some of these plants are endangered and protected, many are readily available for use in our gardens. So many, in fact, that it may be hard to choose which ones to plant. To get some advice on making those selections, I turned to John Manion, curator of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Kaul Wildflower Garden. As curator, Manion tends the largest collection of native plants in the state — about 900 at last count — but he also tends to the education of others by sharing his knowledge as often as possible, and sharing it with delightful and compelling enthusiasm. Manion’s enthusiasm stems from several factors, chief among them the roles native plants play in our ecosystem. “Until a few decades ago, the image of native plants was sort of kumbaya and peasant shirts,” Manion says. “But they have really come to the fore now as people have begun to understand that native plants are essential to our survival.” According to Manion, the book Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Doug Tallamy, which eloquently explains humankind’s interconnectedness with native plants and the other animals they support, was a major catalyst for this growing appreciation of native plants. It doesn’t hurt their popularity, though, that native plants can also make the hard work of gardening easier. Manion noted Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@gmail.com.

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Passionflower vines can provide stunning blooms and a sense of place to our home landscapes. The purple passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), commonly known as the maypop, suggested by Kaul Wildflower Garden curator John Manion, is native to Alabama. It is among a number of passionflower species readily available in a variety of colors, such as this red one, at garden centers in the state. Passionflowers are magnets for butterflies and can be grown on trellises or other structures, but also look fabulous climbing up a tree or scrambling across rocks and stones.

that this doesn’t mean natives are easier to establish than other plants, but once they are established, natives requires less attention because they tend to be drought and pest tolerant and longer lived, among many other fine attributes. “They have evolved here over thousands of years, so they are well adapted to Alabama’s growing conditions,” Manion explained. “Natives just know what to do.” But natives have another huge plus for Manion — they feel like home. “These plants are part of where we are,” he says. “I have nothing against other plants, but I personally want plants that feel and look like I am in Alabama.” So how can you begin to surround yourself with plants that feel like home? Start with a few native plants that are as adaptable as they are beautiful, for which Manion offered suggestions. He actually offered

lots of suggestions, and sang the praises of each, but in this limited space here are simply the names (common and scientific) of 10 plants he adores, all of which tolerate a variety of growing conditions, are easy to find in retail outlets and, best of all, are gorgeous. In the groundcover category, Manion recommended green-and-gold (Chrysogonum virginianum), pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia) and yellowroot (Xanthorhiza simplicissima). If you’re interested in flowering perennials, try an herbaceous native such as lanceleafed coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolate), Stokes aster (Stokesia laevis) and ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata). Looking for a native vine? Manion suggested coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirus), passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) and climbing hydrangea (Decumaria barbara). Ferns, such as the Christmas (Polystichum acrostichoides) and southern shield (Thelypteris kunthii) ferns, and grasses, such as woodoats (Chasmanthium sessiliflorum), are also great choices for a variety of uses and environments. The Kaul Wildflower Garden, which has more than six acres of native plants to wander among. Or if you’re interested in growing your knowledge of native plants, consider signing up for Manion’s Certificate in Native Plant Studies program. You can learn more at bbgardens.org.

AUGUST TIPS  Clean up vegetable garden beds, removing spent plants.  Plant seeds of cool-season flowers such as snapdragons, dianthus, pansies, calendulas.  Plant fall vegetables, such as cabbage, collards and broccoli.  Continue to mow and water lawns as needed.  Begin planning fall and winter garden building projects, such as cold frames, arbors and the like.  Trim up any fall mums you saved from last year to reuse this year.

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| Consumer Wise |

Understanding appliance energy use By Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen

Q:

Several of my appliances are getting old and will need to be replaced soon. Will the appliance choices I make have much impact on my energy bill?

A:

Your energy use varies month to month, so it can be difficult to see how much difference an appliance purchase makes. It’s best to view the purchase over the lifetime of the equipment. Think about the up-front cost and the lifetime energy cost. In a Consumer Reports test, the most efficient refrigerator used $68/year less electricity than the least efficient model. Multiply that difference over a decade or two, and the lifetime energy savings could be greater than the up-front cost. All it takes to get the best appliance for your needs is some initial research. Appliance energy use is usually less, on average, than home heating and cooling bills, but can be several hundred dollars each year. Your appliance use depends on factors like the model, how often you use it, the settings you use for its particular function and even the time of day it is most used. Over the last few decades, new appliances became more energy efficient, driven partly by minimum government standards. These standards, created by the U.S. Department of Energy, save consumers over $60 billion each year. Appliances are required to include an Energy Guide label that shows estimated energy use and operating cost per year. These labels help you compare different models and calculate the initial cost against the long-term savings. Some appliances will also have an ENERGY STAR label. This indicates the appliance is substantially more efficient than the minimum standard. Your greatest energy savings opportunities can come from replacing an old appliance with an ENERPatrick Keegan writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. Write to energytips@collaborativeefficiency. com for more information.

32  AUGUST 2018

GY STAR-rated appliance. Removing a refrigerator that’s 20 years old and replacing it with a new ENERGY STAR model can lower the monthly electricity cost by 75 percent, from $16.50 to less than $4. In some cases, the configuration of the appliance can also make a substantial difference. For example, a side-by-side refrigerator/freezer uses about 70 percent more energy than other configurations, with all the most efficient models having the refrigerator stacked on top of the freezer. All 36 of the most efficient clothes washers of 2018 were frontloading models. Consider how much you use the appliance. The more you use the appliance the greater your savings will be from choosing a more efficient model. If you use the appliance less or have a small household, you may get by with a smaller refrigerator or freezer, which will save you money. How you operate appliances can also make a difference. Here are some easy ways to save:

To maximize energy savings when using your stovetop, be sure to match the size of the pot to the burner.

Stove/Oven • Use the correct size of burner to fit the pan. • Use smaller appliances like a microwave or slow cooker instead of the oven when possible.

All the most efficient 2018 models of washers and dryers were front-loading.

A new ENERGY STAR fridge/freezer can use 70 percent less energy than a model that’s 10+ years old. Models with the fridge stacked over the freezer are also 2/3 more efficient than side-by-side models. PHOTOS SOURCE: PIXABAY, CREATIVE COMMONS

Refrigerator/Freezer: • Set your refrigerator at 35 to 38 degrees and your freezer at 0 degrees. • Make sure there is adequate air flow between the wall and the back of the unit. • Keep the refrigerator relatively full when possible. • Replace the seals around the doors if they appear to be leaking air. • Defrost the refrigerator and freezer regularly.

Dishwasher • Use the most energy-efficient and shortest setting that gets your dishes clean. • Air dry rather than using the heated dry function. • Wait to run a load until the dishwasher is full. Make the most out of your appliance energy use with a little research before buying a new model and a few easy adjustments to the way you use them. This column was co-written by Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen of Collaborative Efficiency. For more information on saving energy on your appliances, please visit: www.collaborativeefficiency.com/energytips. www.alabamaliving.coop


Alabama Living

AUGUST 2018  33


| Alabama Recipes |

Corn Fed

Fill up on the South’s favorite grain this summer while it’s fresh. BY JENNIFER KORNEGAY Food/Photography BY BROOKE ECHOLS

Ruby Menefee, age 6, enjoys an ear of corn on a hot summer day.

S

outhern summers are synonymous with an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies, and while its arrival may not be as celebrated as that of popular produce like tomatoes or peaches, corn is an undeniable staple down here. This reliable standard is at its peak right now, and summer is when we enjoy it in its purest state, sometimes only hours or days off the stalk and mere minutes after shucking frees it from its husk and slippery silk. It may be basic, but hot corn on the cob, slick with melted butter and a sprinkling of salt is an essential element of a backyard, lakefront or beachside cookout. But you can do so much more with fresh corn. Cut off the kernels and cook over high heat with some bacon grease in cast iron to create fried corn. Stir some cream in with the little niblets of sunshine, and you’ve got creamed corn, a rich addition to a veggie plate. Toss them raw with a little mayo (and/or sour cream), sliced

34 AUGUST 2018

scallions, salt and pepper, plus herbs and seasonings of your choice for a cold corn salad. You can even add it to your dessert menu. Sweet corn makes a deliciously light and natural-tasting ice cream. And corn is not relegated to a single season. It’s important in the Southern kitchen year-round in the forms of cornmeal and grits, and advances in both freezing and canning mean that you can get pretty decent raw corn anytime you want. All this use of and access to corn is a good thing because it contains some valuable nutrients. Corn is high in fiber and rich in vitamins A, B and C and also adds to your iron intake. You likely already have some tasty uses for corn, but check out this month’s reader-submitted recipes for a few new ways to incorporate even more of it into your eating itinerary.

www.alabamaliving.coop


Corn Fiesta 3 1 2 ½ 2 10 1 1 2 1

ears sweet corn (bi-color works great) chayote squash, peeled large zucchini squash, do not peel pint grape tomatoes cloves garlic mini sweet peppers, cored to remove seeds small green bell pepper, cored small eggplant, peeled large carrots, peeled medium sweet onion, peeled Olive oil Fine sea salt and black pepper

Slice all vegetables except corn, tomatoes and garlic into oneinch pieces. Toss all with oil, salt and pepper and place in sheet pan. Rub corn and tomatoes with oil and scatter tomatoes, placing corn in center of tray. Chop garlic into ¼-inch pieces and place under veggies. Roast at 375 degrees for 45 minutes until veggie edges are browning and they are tender crisp. Butter corn when cooked. Cool slightly and scrape corn off cob. Chop veggies into ¼-inch pieces and toss with corn. Laura Hardy, Wiregrass EC

Cook of the Month: Laura Hardy, Wiregrass EC Laura Hardy has been making this colorful, flavorful fresh corn dish for years but finally gave it a name when she decided to submit it to the magazine. “Every time I make it, it just looks like a party,” she says. And, the first time she made it, she was searching for a side to go with homemade chimichangas. “I had all these vegetables from my garden and had family coming over for dinner and needed a side dish, so I just cut everything up, roasted it, and it smelled so amazing,” she says. Now, she pairs it with all kinds of entrees like barbecue, grilled meats and fish. And she keeps making it because it’s tasty, but also because it usually yields leftovers than can be easily transformed into a whole new dish. “You can use it as a filling to stuff anything or spoon it into wonton wrappers to make eggrolls,” she says. Laura also sometimes embellishes it with a ranch drizzle made from one cup sour cream, a half cup of bottled ranch dressing with a pinch or two of cumin and cayenne pepper. She also loves how well it highlights corn. “This dish lets it stand out while complementing the other ingredients,” she says.

Alabama Living

AUGUST 2018 35


Easy Corn Fritters

Mama's Creamed Corn

3 eggs, separated 12⁄3 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears of corn) ¼ cup flour ½ teaspoon salt 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper ¼ cup vegetable oil

10 1 ½ ¼ 2 2 1 ¼ 2

Beat egg whites in a glass or metal bowl until stiff peaks form. Stir together corn, egg yolks, flour, salt and cayenne pepper in a large bowl, then fold in egg whites. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches of 4, drop 2 tablespoons corn mixture per fritter into oil without crowding skillet. Cook until golden brown on underside, about 2 minutes. Gently flip fritters over and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 2-3 minutes more. Easy Corn Fritters

Eva Wright North Alabama EC

Send us your recipes for a chance to win! August's prize pack winner is Cindy S. Coan of Franklin EC!

Themes October: Pumpkin | Aug 8 and November: Nuts | Sept 8 Deadlines December: Party Foods | Oct 8

Coming up in September...BBQ!

3 ways to submit: Online: alabamaliving.coop Email: recipes@alabamaliving.coop Mail: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

Cook of the Month winners will receive $50, and may win “Cook of the Month” only once per calendar year. One gift basket winner will be drawn monthly at random and each name will be entered only once. Items in basket may vary each month. To be eligible, submissions must include a name, phone number, mailing address and co-op name. Alabama Living reserves the right to reprint recipes in our other publications.

36 AUGUST 2018

cobs of corn (we like Silver King) cup heavy cream cup milk cup parmesan cheese tablespoons flour tablespoons butter teaspoon salt teaspoon white (or black) pepper tablespoons sugar

Scrape corn cobs down and put in a large pot with heavy cream, butter, salt, white pepper and sugar. In a small bowl, blend the milk and flour. Stir the two mixtures together and cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese. Glenda Weigel Baldwin EMC

Mexican Corn 6 1 ¼ ¼ 3 3 1 1

ears of corn red bell pepper cup crumbled queso fresco cheese cup fresh cilantro, chopped Vegetable oil tablespoon mayonnaise tablespoon sour cream tablespoon lime juice teaspoon chili power Dash of cayenne pepper Salt and pepper

Preheat grill to direct high heat. Brush corn with vegetable oil. Put corn and bell pepper on the grill, turning every 3 minutes until slightly charred on all sides. Cool and chop bell pepper and cut corn off the cob. In a medium bowl, combine corn kernels, bell pepper, mayo, sour cream, lime juice, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Garnish with queso fresco and chopped cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste. Kirk Vantrease Cullman EC Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen-tested by a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe. www.alabamaliving.coop


Corn on the Cob with Basil and Butter

Corn on the Cob with Basil & Butter ¼ 2 ½ ¼ ¼ 4

cup (½ stick) butter, melted tablespoons basil teaspoon kosher salt teaspoon pepper teaspoon garlic powder ears corn

Heat oven to 350-400 degrees. Place ears on individual pieces of tin foil large enough to wrap around the ear. Stir together ingredients and pour over corncobs. Bake for about 20 minutes. Memory Bush South Alabama EC

Corn Pudding 4 ½ 1⁄3 2 11⁄3 3 2

large eggs, beaten teaspoon salt cup sugar tablespoons flour cups milk tablespoons butter cups white or yellow corn (fresh or frozen)

Mix flour, salt and sugar with corn; add beaten eggs. Stir in milk and butter. Be sure eggs are mixed well with other ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until you have a good, firm custard-look to your dish. Annie Fossett North Alabama EC Alabama Living

Scalloped Corn

Easy Corn and Tomato Relish

2 cups fresh corn kernels Dash of pepper 3 tablespoons melted butter ½ teaspoon dry mustard 1 egg 2 tablespoons diced pimento ½ cup milk ½ cup cracker crumbs ½ teaspoon salt ¼ cup buttered cracker crumbs

3 1 1 1 1

Combine corn, pimento, butter, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Beat egg slightly and add in milk and cracker crumbs. Combine egg mixture to corn mixture. Mix well and put in buttered shallow baking dish. Top with buttered cracker crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Serves 6.

ears corn large tomato, peeled and chopped teaspoon olive oil jalapeño teaspoon salt

Cut the kernels off the fresh corn. Peel and chop tomato. Finely chop jalapeño (seeds removed) to measure 1 tablespoon. Add olive oil to a pan over medium heat, and add corn kernels. Cook until lightly browned. Lower heat and add tomato, salt and jalapeño. Cook for about 3 minutes. Turn off heat. Serve at room temperature. Will store in the fridge for two days. Shari Lowery Pioneer EC

LaCretia Bevel North Alabama EC

Pro Tip Removing corn from the cob can be a mess. Have a bundt pan? Put it to work to contain the mess. No pan, no problem. Place a small bowl with a good flat bottom upside down in a larger bowl. Place your shucked ear of corn, flat side down, on top of the small bowl’s bottom. Carefully run a sharp knife down two to three rows of the corn, getting close to the cob, and cut the corn kernels off. They’ll just fall down the sides of the small bowl and be collected in the larger bowl. Repeat until you’ve cut the corn off of all sides. AUGUST 2018 37


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| Marketplace |

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Alabama Living

AUGUST 2018 39


| Outdoors |

Fishing for bass in the grass? Throw a frog! Rigged with the hook inserted into the plastic, a buzzing frog like this Stanley Ribbit works well for tempting largemouth bass in extremely weedy areas. PHOTOS BY JOHN N. FELSHER

E

ven on the hottest summer days, Rich in protein, frogs create prime forfrog hits a patch of open water, let it sink many giant largemouth bass stay in age for largemouth bass in most Alabama a few seconds like a stunned or injured extremely shallow water if they can waters. The bucket-mouthed predators amphibian before pulling it back to the find cooling, well-oxygenated cover. routinely hunt in the thickest weeds or lily surface and resuming the retrieve. Bass In many Alabama lakes, grass grows pads they can find. Usually rigged without frequently slurp frogs as they sink. extremely thick and matted by late suma weight, soft-plastic frogs look like natuWork floating frogs more like tradimer. Lunker largemouths often burrow ral prey as they skitter across dense salads. tional topwater baits. Anglers can make into the thickest vegetation they can find. Bass see these lures silhouetted against the a steady retrieve, pausing occasionally, Thick weeds block the broiling sun and sky and slobber to attack them. or use the “hop and pop” method. Toss a provide shade, which drops water tem“Frogs are one of the primary forage floating frog to a good spot and let it sit peratures. Also, aquatic grasses give bass species for bass,” says Lonnie Stanley, a on the surface until the concentric rings a much needed oxygen boost. In addifive-time Bassmaster Classic veteran and dissipate. Then, pop it vigorously. The tion, the grass attracts not only bass, but legendary lure designer. “If a bass could commotion simulates a live frog jumping sunfish, minnows, frogs and across the surface. Let the frog many other creatures that sit idle again for a few seconds largemouths love to eat. before popping it again. When faced with impene“Throwing a frog is a tretrable vegetation mats, some mendous way to fish grass anglers fish around the edges throughout the year,” says with various lures. They catch Shaw Grigsby, a professional fish, but many of the biggest bass fisherman. “A buzzing bass lurk under the thickfrog is like a buzzbait that you est growth where most lures can throw anywhere in the cannot reach. But buzzing a middle of the thickest vegetafrog across the grass tops can tion. It comes through cover provoke adrenaline-pumping like a four-wheel drive truck. strikes. Sometimes, giant bass It’s a very simple bait to use, erupt through the vegetation, but it’s a bait that can produce engulfing the bait, weeds and really big fish. Bass come out A bass fights for freedom after hitting a frog worked through lily pads. everything else with explosive from under the lily pads or strikes on top. grass beds to eat it. When a “Nothing is more exciting than a big order its food off a menu, it would probbig bass explodes on a frog, there’s nothfish blowing up on a topwater bait – exably pick crawfish first, frogs second and ing more exciting.” cept two big bass blowing up on a topwashad or bream third. Frogs give bass plenAnglers can entice bass in any Alabama ter bait,” says Jake Davis with Mid-South ty of protein.” lakes, ponds or with thick vegetation and Bass Guide Service who fishes Lake GunSome frogs float and some sink. Some big fish. Some better lakes for buzzing tersville. come with upturned hooks that glide over a frog include Guntersville, Pickwick, “When grass gets too thick, I go to a the grass tops. With others, anglers insert Wheeler, Jordan, Logan Martin, Lay and frog. In many places on Lake Guntersville, the hook points into the plastic bodies to Eufaula. Frogs can also entice bass in the weeds get so thick that it’s impossible to make them weedless. Anglers can fish eiweedy backwaters of many Alabama rivers get any other bait through it. Bass will eat ther type with a steady buzzing retrieve and the marshy flats of the Mobile-Tensaw about anything that moves over the grass over the grass mats. The kicking legs and Delta. In the brackish parts of the Motops.” feet create a sputtering commotion on bile-Tensaw Delta, anglers might tangle the surface where most other lures would with a few tackle-busting redfish who also quickly snag. want to gulp down a succulent frog. John N. Felsher lives in Semmes, Ala. Toss a sinking frog to thick cover. Hold This month, when even the air seems to Contact him through Facebook. the rod tip high and crank the reel just fast sweat, catch the buzz. Work a frog across enough to make the legs kick. When the the thickest cover around and hold on!

40  AUGUST 2018

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Tables indicate peak fish and game feeding and migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour before and an hour after. Minor peaks, half-hour before and after. Adjusted for daylight savings time. Minor

AM Major

AUG. 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

09:52 10:52 ---01:22 02:37 03:37 04:22 --12:52 01:22 01:52 08:22 09:07 10:07

03:52 04:52 06:07 07:37 08:52 09:37 10:22 11:07 11:37 05:07 05:37 06:22 06:52 07:37 02:37 03:07 03:52

10:07 04:22 12:52 03:37 08:37 10:07 10:52 11:22 11:52 07:07 07:22 07:52 08:07 08:22 08:52 02:52 03:22

03:52 10:37 11:22 12:07 05:07 05:37 06:07 06:22 06:52 12:07 12:37 01:07 01:22 01:52 02:22 09:07 09:37

SEP.

11:37 ---02:22 03:37 04:37 --01:07 01:52 08:52 09:37 10:52 ----02:07 03:22 04:22 05:07 --07:07 07:37 08:22 09:22 10:22 11:52

04:52 05:52 07:22 08:37 09:52 10:52 11:37 05:37 06:22 07:07 07:52 02:22 03:07 03:52 04:52 06:07 07:52 08:52 09:52 10:37 11:07 11:37 05:37 06:22 12:52 01:22 01:52 02:37 03:22 04:07

04:07 01:52 12:37 09:52 10:37 11:22 11:52 06:52 07:22 07:52 08:07 02:37 03:07 03:37 12:37 03:52 11:52 10:22 10:52 11:07 11:37 12:07 06:37 06:52 01:07 01:37 02:07 02:37 03:07 04:07

10:07 10:52 03:52 04:37 05:22 05:52 06:22 12:22 12:52 01:37 02:07 08:37 09:07 09:22 09:52 10:22 04:37 05:07 05:22 05:37 05:52 06:22 12:07 12:37 07:07 07:22 07:52 08:07 08:37 09:07

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Alabama Living

PM Minor Major

AUGUST 2018 41


42  AUGUST 2018

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AUGUST 2018 43


| Our Sources Say |

TVA’s mission of service continues

Representatives from Nucor Decatur and TVA Industrial Marketing join forces to help the Circle Ranch with projects and clean-up activities around the ranch facility.

E

ighty-five years ago, the Tennessee Valley Authority was formed with a mission of service to the people of the Valley. That mission continues today, with TVA focusing on energy, the environment, and economic development to make life better for the people who live in this beautiful part of the country. TVA and our employees have had several unique opportunities recently to put that mission of service into action around the state.

Welcome to the Valley, Facebook!

On Thursday, June 14, Facebook announced plans to invest $750 million to build a data center in Huntsville, Alabama. Once construction is complete, the data center will employ around 100 people. TVA President & CEO Bill Johnson joined Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and other community leaders to welcome Facebook to the Valley. “TVA appreciates the determined effort among many state and local partners who helped out-recruit, out-prepare and out-train the competition to win this important project for the people of North Alabama,” Johnson said. “The success of our efforts proves that when everyone works together to cultivate the Valley’s assets, business and industry will come, making life better for us all.”

Making communities better

TVA also had an opportunity to partner with Nucor Decatur to support the Danville community and the Circle Ranch, which provides homes for foster families who provide short-term, longterm, respite, and emergency care to children who are in need of

a safe place to live due to not having a parent who is willing or able to care for them. TVA and Nucor employees converged on the Circle Ranch on Thursday, June 28, to landscape, paint, weed eat, and do some minor carpentry work. (pictured) “It was a rewarding day to work side-by-side with our customer to help the community provide for children who need a place to feel safe and loved,” said Mary Jane Owens, manager, TVA direct serve customers. “Simply by volunteering a few hours of a day, you can have a huge impact with just a small investment of your time.”

Highlighting partnerships

TVA had another opportunity to highlight its partnerships in the Valley during a tour with congressional staffers that included lunch with leaders on Redstone Arsenal as well as tour stops at the FBI, Space and Missile Defense Command, Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Systems Simulation, Software and Integration Directorate and the Marshall Space Flight Center. Redstone Arsenal is one of six federal installations that receives electricity directly from TVA. “It is important that congressional staff members understand TVA’s mission, and that often means understanding the different companies and facilities we serve,” said Lauren Vandiver, TVA government relations. In the end, TVA is honored to be here to serve our communities and the Valley in a variety of ways…and we look forward to serving for many more years.

Kevin Chandler is general manager, Alabama District Customer Service, for the Tennessee Valley Authority.

www.alabamaliving.coop


CALL FOR ENTRIES

10

Alabama Rural Electric Association’s

th

Quilt Competition Our 2019 theme is:

Alabama’s Bicentennial

Mail, or E-mail form below for your entry package. Deadline to submit quilt square is January 25, 2019.

Name: ________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________ City, State Zip: __________________________________________ Mail to: Linda Partin AREA E-mail: ________________________________________________ 340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 Phone: ________________________________________________ Cooperative: ___________________________________________ or Phone: 334-215-2732 E-mail: lpartin@areapower.com (The electric cooperative name on front of this Alabama Living.) Alabama Living AUGUST 2018 45


| Hardy Jackson's Alabama |

My cousin Benny and the snake: Or, yes, we can all get along I

f you pay any attention to the news today, you are getting a belly full of stories of how divided we are. It is as if everyone is bound and determine to take the “united” out of United States. Well, friends, I am here to offer you a ray of hope. My cousin Benny. Now Benny doesn’t talk politics much. He once observed, “I’m not what you call a liberal,” but that was as far as he went. Benny spent his life in law enforcement, and he tends to see issues in that context. Break the law and you go down. Not much gray area there. If you have an urge to go someplace you shouldn’t, and want to come out alive, take Benny. Well over six feet tall and carrying 250-plus pounds, he is much a man. Curly blond hair going gray, matching mustache and goatee, he has an affinity for black t-shirts embossed with slogans like “kill ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out” and “careful, contents under pressure.” Like me, he is getting up in years, but in his younger days, when he got home from work, he’d go out riding on his bicycle. Helped him unwind. Now Benny likes snakes. Well, actually, he likes to kill snakes, skin them, and cure the hides. Don’t ask why, just keep up with me. Harvey H. (Hardy) Jackson is Professor Emeritus at Jacksonville State University and a regular contributor to Alabama Living. He can be reached at hjackson@cableone.net.

46  AUGUST 2018

One day, late summer, Benny was pedaling along when he saw a rattlesnake in the road. Naturally Benny took out his derringer (if Benny has on clothes he has a gun) and shoots at the snake. He misses. So, he tries to run over it. The snake takes this none too kindly and bites the tire, hangs a fang, and is caught fast. Picture the scene (visuals are important here). A massive man who looks like a fugitive from rednecks-R-us rolling a bike back and forth over a snake with its fangs hung on the tire. Up drives this black couple. They see the situation and the man, like any good Southerner would, asks Benny, “You need any help?” “Got a gun?” Benny asked. (Not a dumb question, down in Dixie. ‘Course he does.) The black man pulls out a .40-caliber automatic, hands it to good ‘ol boy personified, who takes it and shoots the snake -- a head shot. Impressed, the black man asks the white man if he’d like a drink. ‘Course he would. Snake killing is hot work. So, the black man reaches in his cooler, and pulls out a “Big Orange” for each of them. Then the black man, the black woman, and the white man kick back, cool off, and talk about snakes and guns and stuff. Now that, dear hearts, is how to get along. Find a common ground, celebrate, enjoy. We need more of that. www.alabamaliving.coop


August 2018 Sand Mountain  
August 2018 Sand Mountain