I’m sure some will think this is a silly question to ask, but play along and we’ll see just how much you know about the world around us.


I’m sure some will think this is a silly question to ask, but play along and we’ll see just how much you know about the world around us. Here’s the question: what color is the dogwood blossom?
While you’re ruminating on that one, I did get one of my favorite hunting stories from one of our young Amish neighbors last week. It seems that Chris Beachey of Hartly took his 11-year-old nephew Christopher Beachey out on his first turkey hunt. It was a good morning obviously as the birds responded well to the call. A short time after sunrise Christopher was retrieving his 15-pound jake that sported a 5 ½- inch beard. Congratulations.
One hunter who wished to remain anonymous reported a bit scarier encounter.  He’d just shot a gobble and was running to retrieve it when he felt “something” pulling on his leg. He glanced down to see a raccoon latched on to his pants leg. Upon kicking it away, the animal came charging back into a full load of 3 ½ turkey shot. My concern was about rabies, but he assured me that laboratory tests would have been impossible with what remained of the encounter. Fortunately, the animal hadn’t bitten through his knee high rubber boots and he had no physical contact with the animal afterwards. Just proves you can never take the outdoors for granted.
I’ve always taken pride in my vocabulary. I was one of those nerdy kids who actually read the dictionary for fun. This week, however, I found a new word that was supposedly coined by Colonel Jeff Cooper (renowned pistol, firearms, and personal defense expert) in 1962 when he described the growing threat from anti-gun sentiment. The word  he used is “hoplophobia” and it’s derived from the Greek “hoplon” meaning “armor.” Coopers word was used originally as a tongue-in-cheek jab to mock those who acted as if guns did bad things of their own free will. So since having a “phobia” seems to be the common epithet used today, hoplophobia is a good retort for the anti-gun fringe out there.
Now back to my initial question. I’m sure most said white with a few hang up between pink and white. The correct answer, however, is yellow.  Regardless of the most visible colors you see, a dogwood has tiny yellow flowers. These flowers are located between modified leaves, called “bracts” that can be many shades from white to pink, and only serve to attract insects to the tiny real flowers that grow in the center of the bract. Another interesting fact is that the bracts are always green but will turn to their color only under the light of a full moon.
Dogwoods are not a hardy tree and have fragile bark that can be easily damaged. They do not transplant well from the wild. If a wild tree grows under a heavy canopy, planting it anyplace else seals its doom.