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Snippets: The Bee decline, fresh Trout Fishing and hopeful thoughts


October 6, 2011 by Terry Ropp

About once a year, I write a column of snippets — short information on a variety of topics. The first topic this year has to do with The Great Sunflower Project. Sadly, my participation this year was non-existent. For those of you who don’t remember, The Great Sunflower Project is a national program designed to monitor the nation’s bee population through a scientifically defined but amateur-collected data base. The data summary indicated that the bees in Northwest Arkansas are declining rapidly. Over 80,000 people submitted data in 2010 and I was one of them.

Between the drought and the moisture starved deer, my poor sunflowers never had a chance. I spoke with Marvin Jones, a Bug Scuffler who raises bees.

“Because of the drought, people simply didn’t have any flowers so my bees, who also suffered through a tough winter, were starving. I had to feed them sugar water,” Marvin said.

He also said he wasn’t expecting to harvest any honey this year. That is sad news for me because Larry and I use it as both as a sweetener and as an allergy treatment.

​A second topic is a new release by our own four-time Grammy nominated duo, Trout Fishing in America. The debut took place at Nightbird Books in Fayetteville in mid September. The new CD-book combination is titled Chicken Joe Forgets Something Important, a colorful, catchy and hilarious experience based on an unforgettable set of characters including a cat named Chicken Joe and a dog named Miss Kitty.

​One line in the lyrics is about the Rock-n-Roll Roosters crowing at dawn. The line is: “When the sun comes up/that’s when we get down.” Another line is: “That psyco chicken thinks that he’s a dog.” This latest release is the second about this set of characters. The first is called “My Name is Chicken Joe” and would make a great Christmas gift for kids … and some adults like me.

Logan Genz, a former star West Fork football player, who was the only player from Arkansas to be on the US Air Force All-Star team, entered Arkansas Tech University this fall on a football scholarship. The football coach decided to try him out as a punter, and on the first day of practice, Logan was seriously hurt from a tackle by a teammate, sustaining a torn ​​meniscus and torn cartilage. A few days after surgery on Sept. 19, the doctors and physical therapist announced him to be at 90 percent. A decision as to whether or not to red shirt him for the season has not yet been made. Of course, we all wish him a speedy and full recovery in what we hope will be a long, successful career in football.

Terry Ropp

Terry Ropp is a freelance writer for several publications, including the Washington County Observer, and a semi-retired educator of almost forty years. She moved to Arkansas in 2005, feels at home for the first time in her life, and enjoys writing about her new state. You may e-mail her at

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