Skip to main content

FIELD NOTES: Working on deadline

I love a good documentary, especially one that details a scientist or researcher attempting to prove a weird or controversial theory. In 1972, I convinced my father, who was somewhat less of a documentary enthusiast, to take me to see “The Voyage of the Ra” at the theater in Port  Clinton. The film followed the adventures of Thor Heyerdahl, who believed that ancient Egyptian traders had crossed the Atlantic Ocean in papyrus reed boats. He succeeded in sailing such a craft from Morocco to Barbados on his second attempt, proving that such trade was feasible. The excitement in the film was generated mainly by the genuine possibility that the boats, especially the first iteration, would break apart and sink on the open ocean. Not all quests are inherently as dramatic, however, and one of the annoyances of the genre is the application of an arbitrary deadline to build suspense.

“Dr. Johnson may be only inches away from unearthing a Sumerian tomb that, if he is correct, will rewrite the history of civilization. But his flight is scheduled to leave Bagdad tomorrow morning. Will he make the discovery in time?”  

One never knows for sure how they will react in a given situation, but I’d like to believe that if I  am on the verge of a discovery that could change humanity, I’d probably pay the airline change fees and keep digging.  

It’s a little like that with fall yard work. There is about a three-week window in September during which the annual ritual of dethatching, aerating, overseeding, and fertilizing must take place. Cool-weather grasses like the tall fescue that makes up my lawn will not germinate at temperatures much above 80 degrees, so overseeding before mid-month here in the Carolinas is a waste of time and effort. Conversely, new grass needs four to six weeks of root growth before the leaves fall so that raking, blowing, and bagging do not rip it all up. 

In a typical year, I would start prepping my lawn the week after Labor Day to put the seed down by the 20th. But due to my travels this September, I had to condense the work that I would generally have completed over three weeks down to three days. That’s a tall task, and I would probably have been willing to cheat by a few days if the weather had cooperated. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, depending on how you want to look at it), this week’s weather turned cool and rainy after Monday, so three days was all I had. 

Keeping my lawn looking good is important to me for several reasons, not the least of which being I’m the author of a book that is nominally about lawn care. While “Ben and the Art of Lawnmower Maintenance” has more to do with my relationship with my father than with Toros or tall fescue, there is an entire chapter on fall lawn maintenance, and it’s always a good idea to practice what you preach. 


Popular posts from this blog

FIELD NOTES: Pro hockey coming to Wadesboro

Woody Sports Entertainment announced today that Wadesboro, N.C., has been approved as the newest franchise in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). The team, which will be known as the Anson Loggers – a nod to the region’s forestry and wood products industry – will begin play for the 2022-23 season at the new Peaches ’n Cream Ice Arena in Wadesboro. The SPHL currently has teams in 11 cities across the South and Midwest, including the Marksmen in nearby Fayetteville. “We’re especially excited to see how that rivalry develops, seeing that the cities are less than two hours apart,” said Loggers General Manager Bulge Davenport.  The Anson County team will play at Peaches ’n Cream Ice Arena, formerly the Wadesboro Walmart Supercenter. “When the building became available last year, we thought, hey, that’s about the size of an ice rink, and the rest was history,” said Davenport. The arena is named for the nearby roadside attraction which signed a multi-year naming rights deal report


I  Site selection consultants, when asked about the most critical factor determining where a business locates, invariably say, "workforce." While this is undoubtedly true at some level, I think most local developers would point out that during the initial search, product, not workforce, is more typically the crucial factor. If a community does not have the site or building a company requires, they will never have the opportunity to promote the quality of their workforce. A building or site is the ante that allows communities to get into the game, and without one, workforce, airports, highways, railroads, and universities are little more than words on a marketing flier. Rural communities across North Carolina are especially aware of the impact of available buildings and sites on their ability to compete for jobs and investment. Metro areas often have private-sector developers competing for the right to put up speculative buildings, or at the very least, willing to partner with

Economic Development in Anson County Just Took a Huge Step Forward

Yesterday, Governor Roy Cooper signed the North Carolina budget into law. This was important for every resident of the state, as we have been operating without a budget since 2018. Teachers and government employees will receive much-needed raises, the personal income tax rate will drop, and a slew of necessary infrastructure projects will finally be funded. A strong argument can be made, however, that no county benefitted more, in relative terms, from the signing of this budget than Anson.  As noted in our post last week, AnsonEDP worked with Representative Brody and Senator McInnis to include two critical line items in the budget. One provides $4 million toward the construction of a sewer line extension connecting the new Atlantic Gateway Logistics Park to the existing pump station at Hailey's Ferry Road and making upgrades to that station to handle the increased flow. This sewer line, which we anticipate will be finished by the end of 2022, will allow for a more diverse mix of te