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For Mom
We’ll print the winners of the Kentucky Living poetry contest in July, but Mother’s Day month seems a good time to use the following poem to show off a sample of the kind of entries we have received.

Homespun Dreams
Soft, little bits of homespun
stitched with loving care—
rainbowed hues of green and blue,
red and golden squares.
Bright woven blocks—they whispered
of Mother’s tender touch;
they sheltered us in winter
and warmed us with her love.
Safe beneath their layers,
we snuggled down to sleep—
and thanked God for our blessings
while wrapped in homespun dreams.
Tammy Dee Rogers
Leitchfield

Dulcimer days
The Yellowbanks Dulcimer Society will hold the 14th annual dulcimer festival at English Park in Owensboro June 4 and 5. The event offers free concerts and workshops, including a children’s beginning mountain dulcimer workshop. For details phone (270) 684-1631 or e-mail oboro69@bellsouth.net.

Bike hikes
Quiet Road Tours is a new bicycling touring company that is offering guided trips centered on the small roads and byways of Kentucky and Ohio. The trips are priced starting at $39. Trip itineraries range from easy to hard and include day trips in Carroll County, overnights to Frankfort and Kincaid Lake State Park, and multi-day trips to Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Cumberland Falls, and Land Between the Lakes. For details, phone (859) 431-1300 or log on to www.quietroadtours.com.

College scholarships
Women in Rural Electrification (Kentucky W.I.R.E.) is taking applications for $1,000 scholarships. The scholarships are open to any eligible student whose family is served by a Kentucky electric cooperative and has at least 60 hours of credits at a Kentucky college or university by the start of the fall term. W.I.R.E. will award up to three scholarships. The deadline for application is June 15, 2004. For an application form, go to www.kaec.org/info/archive04/wire04app.htm, or call your local electric cooperative or the Kentucky Living office.

Walking for March of Dimes
WalkAmerica fund-raising events for the March of Dimes have been taking place this spring, starting in April and continuing through this month. Since WalkAmerica began in 1970, it has raised more than $1 billion to support research and programs to save babies from premature birth, birth defects, and other threats to their health. In WalkAmerica events, participants recruit sponsors, and then walk a course of a few miles to meet the sponsor commitments. To find out how to participate in your area, you can phone (800) 525-WALK or go to the Web site www.walkamerica.org. In Kentucky, WalkAmerica events planned for May include Campbellsville, Danville, Henderson, Lawrenceburg, Lexington, Louisa, Madisonville, Middlesboro, and Paducah.

The Grand Canyon of bug invasions
They are the noisiest insects. They are big and ugly with red bulging eyes and orange spindly legs—and they’re coming to Kentucky in mid to late May. Billions of them.

They’re the periodical cicadas. And this time there’ll be more than ever. That’s because the 17-year cicadas, known as Brood X, are emerging in the South at the same time the 13-year cicadas make their appearance in the North. Kentucky, perched in the two affected areas, will be visited by both.

“We’re getting them statewide,” confirms Dr. Lee Townsend, an entomologist at University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture.

Billions of one-and-a-half-inch-long bugs emerging from the ground, moving en masse to the nearest vertical structure to shed their skins, mating, and then taking flight.

“This is nature on a grand scale,” notes Townsend. “It’s like the Grand Canyon—only flying and buzzing.”

Emergence is staggered over a six-week period and individual cicadas live for about three weeks. They pose no health hazards (other than inducing widespread fear and loathing). And they won’t ravage everything green in sight. Instead, the female of the species will make a “knife-blade slit on pencil-sized twigs and lay her eggs inside the wounds.” According to Townsend, this causes “flagging,” or breaking of peripheral twigs on small trees and shrubs that will necessitate increased pruning.

Humans, mature and otherwise, will survive the cicada invasion, but a sense of humor will help.

“Cicadas are loud and buzzy,” says Townsend. “The main thing to remember is they’re harmless. They’re not going to sting or bite or do anything that will pose a problem to anyone.”

For more information on the impending cicada invasion, contact the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, S-225 Agricultural Science Center North, Lexington, KY 40546-0091, (859) 257-5955 or (859) 323-1120. You can request a copy of a cicada fact sheet entitled Periodical Cicadas in Kentucky, written by D.W. Johnson and L.H. Townsend, Entomology, and R.E. McNiel, Horticulture, published by the Cooperative Extension Service. — Kathy Witt

An Irish stew of recipes
Deliciously Irish by Shelby Countian Viki Pidgeon includes recipes for Hearty Irish Stew, Wild Salmon with Chive Sauce, and Ashley Park Lemon Tart. You can order the book through the Web site at www.irishcookbooks.com, or send a check or money order for $19.95 plus $5 for the first book, and 50 cents for each additional copy plus 6 percent sales tax for Kentucky residents, to Pidgeon’s Press, 8318 Aiken Road, Louisville, KY 40245.

Flower power
“King Louis,” celebrating the iris, has been among the past participants in the Fleur de Lis Festival celebrating Louisville’s horticultural heritage. This year’s Memorial Day weekend event takes place May 29 and 30 at Louisville’s Waterfront Park. More than 75 vendors will be part of the event that features an outdoor plant market, garden sculpture, landscapers, and garden-themed art and furniture. More info available online at www.botanicakentucky.org.

MainStrasse fest
The 25th annual MainStrasse Village Maifest takes place in Covington May 14-16. The spring festival includes arts and crafts, live entertainment, children’s activities, and German and international foods. For more info, phone (859) 491-0458 or go to the Web site www.mainstrasse.org.

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