The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom of Barnyard Bruke: Empty Nest, Nature, Migration Time, Harvest Is Close, Recap Of Events, Duck

Greetings ta ever one in western Illinois and all readers of "The Quill".

Empty Nest

Fer those of you'ns that have been follow'n the saga of the second nest of barn swallows on our front porch, they've "flown the coop" so to speak.

Monday morning at the crack of dawn, or nearly so, I peaked out the front door ta spot the young'ns perched at the edge of their nest. They had an anticipated look on their beaked heads, which weren't as wide as when they were younger and wait'n ta be fed.

As I watched fer a spell, their parents did not show up with a bug. Ya could tell a lesson was about ta unfold.

I left fer the kitchen ta take up my bug (bacon and eggs) fer breakfast with Mrs. Bruke.

After breakfast I went quickly right back ta the front door fer a peek at my young feathered friends.

But, they were all gone in that short space of time. I reckon they figured if'n they weren't gonna get fed they had just as well do it on their own.

Who knows, maybe a bug flew by in front of "em and drew "em off the nest. Nature sure has its ways.

As I watched out in the barn lot, it looked as though there was a celebration go'n on. Young and old swallows a swirl'n ever which ways. It was a wonderful sight.


Isn't nature amaze'n how it struggles ta reproduce itself whether it's a plant, bird, or animal? I reckon it's a good thing that's the way it is.

Migration Time

Now, later this week, I watched as the swallows make their annual gather'n on the high line utility wires. They had congregated with hundreds, if not thousands, of their fellow swallows. It, as always, was quite a sight.

I wouldn't want to be a bug anywhere in their vicinity, as they gathered up energy fer their annual migration southward.

The purple martins have left our farmstead. Already, I miss their activity and singing. The signals are all appear'n that fall is fast approach'n.

We still have plenty of other birds and cicadas (aka "locusts"), with their activity and noise about the trees and farmlot, but I still do miss them swallows and martins.

Harvest Is Close

Corn and some beans are turn'n around these parts, and the rain last weekend will probably help both, but will especially help beans.

Corn that hasn't black-layered will also benefit from the extra moisture.

Local farmers are putt'n up corn silage with additional signs we need ta be prepared for harvest if ya want be ready fer corn and soybeans when it's time ta gather "em in.

There is some concern about stalk quality on certain varieties of corn this year.

With the dryness in many parts of our community the corn plant can rob from stalk quality ta finish out what it can fer reproduction of itself in the form of the kernel.

With that said, farmers have started harvest in some of the area, the boys says. In fact, several had began delivering new crop corn to Big River Resources plants already reporting moisture levels ranging between 18% and 20%.

Other farmers are saying they will start harvesting after the labor day holiday next weekend.

Recap Of Events

The Olde Time Farm Show was terrific last weekend in Stronghurst. There were lots of displays and the workers were fantastic in their efforts ta put on a good show. The early rain, heat, and result'n high humidity may have dampened attendance a bit along with canceling the tractor pull both days, but around 100 tractors and farm exhibits were on display. The weather also dampened attendance of other activities in surround'n communities, but it certainly didn't dampen the enthusiasm of those involved in putt'n on the events.

Plans are be'n made fer another good show again next year (2019). Be sure ta mark it on yer calendar.

Several annual Old Thresher reunions are planned fer the later part of this week and thru Labor Day. Mt. Pleasant, IA and Lake Argyle are two of the somewhat local ones.

Stronghurst is plan'n a Fall Festival, September 15, and a Figure 8 Havoc Race, September 29.

Oquawka is have'n a Civil War Reenactment few September 29-30 and South Henderson Church will havea cemetery "ghosts" walk on September 30.

All look ta be fun and enterest'n events.


There was a bad car accident on the highway involving three men. The cars were completely totaled and the EMTs did everything they could to save the men, but all the men died on their way ta the hospital.

They all get up ta Heaven and meet St. Peter at the gates.

St. Peter said to the three, "Okay, everyone can come in, but whatever you do, don't step on a duck."

The gates open and there are ducks everywhere!

The first guy walks in and accidentally steps on a duck.

St. Peter comes along and handcuffs him to the ugliest troll in all the world and says "Now you must stay handcuffed fer all eternity."

The other two see this and do their best ta avoid the ducks.

The second guy goes months and months and doesn't step on any ducks in all that time. Then one day as he's getting out of bed he steps on a duck.

St. Peter comes over and handcuffs him ta the most atrocious looking troll and says, "Now you must stay handcuffed ta each other fer all eternity."

Now the third guy goes years and years and doesn't step on any ducks in all that time. Then one day St. Peter comes along and handcuffs him ta the most beautiful troll he has ever seen.

St. Peter says, "Now you must stay handcuffed to each other for all eternity." The guy happily says "Oh my God, what have I done to deserve this?"

And the troll sez, "I don't know what you did, but I stepped on a duck!"

Well, that's it for this week. I'm gonna call it quits before I gets in ta any more trouble.

This should give the boys plenty ta "Jaw" on fer a spell.

Well, school has started and heat with humidity is here this week ta celebrate the occasion, as usual.

It'll cool off soon, however, and we will have other enterest'n weather patterns ta look forward ta.

Have a good rest of the week and enjoy our rural communities with it's many good activities.

Hope ta see ya in church later this week.

Remember, wherever ya are, whatever ya be a do'n "BE A GOOD ONE!'

Keep on Smile'n

Catch ya later

Barnyard Bruke