You did remember 9-11 Prayer Service yesterday didn’t you? We had a most effective program in downtown Marshall at Telegraph Park ... a special appreciation to the employers that allowed their employees observe this special day in a special way.

On Aug. 31, one of our friends and public servants, Sgt. Terence Helton, moved into retirement from the Texas Department of Public Safety after 33 years of service.

Terence is a longtime friend of ours; a friend before my son-in-law Gregg Greer was a part of the same organization. Terence cooperated with our area youth and does have cattle, but most of all was an excellent example to be “looked up to.” We wish him the best in his future plans.

Just across the Red River (I should say state line), cotton gins are getting ready for this year’s crops ginning. Wait a few weeks until all the gins are going full time and take your youngsters over to see them operate.

I believe it is just a matter of time (not long) before the cotton gin will be an industry past for our area. Fewer farmers (row crop) are staying or growing in the industry. Our property is where most of “a farms value” is today and we are seeing fewer farmers going into crop production.

In fact, the cattle business is on the decline. Jim, Nancy and I traveled after church last Sunday to Florien, Louisiana, to a friend’s 50th wedding anniversary and as we traveled through Caddo, DeSoto and Sabine parishes, few cattle were in the pastures and a world of the pasture land is now growing trees. Times change and ours are fast.

“In all spiritual things we should be natural. And in all natural things we should be spiritual.” — Adrian Rogers

“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.” — John Barrymore

As we attempt to “rush” the fall of the year and cooler weather we need to keep in mind all tree leaves do not turn vivid colors in the fall, but we have plenty in the Ark-La-Tex that do.

Showing color in the leaves in the fall will be maples, oak, gum and a number of other trees that dot our landscapes. Several factors contribute to fall color (temperature, soil moisture and moisture) with the main agent being light or actually the lack of it.

The amount of daylight relates to the timing of the autumnal equinox. As the fall days grow shorter, the reduced light triggers chemical changes in deciduous plants, causing a corky wall to form between the twig and leaf stalk. This corky wall eventually causes the leaf to drop off. As the wall cells multiply, they seal off the vessels that supply the leaf with nutrients and water and also block the exit vessels, trapping simple sugars in the leaves. The action causes the death of the pigment “chlorophyll”, the green in the leaves. When the green is gone, two other pigments show their colors. The process goes on and another proof of the known fact that “God has planned mother nature to perfection. Really this story says that there is nothing we can do to increase the beauty of our fall tree leaves, so let’s enjoy what nature has for us in 2019.

With the expense of establishing our late fall and winter grazing, a number of livestock producers are preparing a seedbed for our grazing crops. Most of the time it will pay to do a better job of planting on fewer acres of grazing than a “halfway” job on a larger planting.

IF you are a local gardener — vegetable, flower or any other category — look into joining our Marshall Master Gardeners Program in 2020. It is too early to sign up, however, that date will be here before you know it.

I can’t think of a more progressive group in our county in recent times. You learn to do for self and as an organization benefits others. It is a great program to be a part of. Contact our county agent for more details and attend a meeting before you join and you will know more.

Personally the 4/10’s of an inch of rain Monday was most appreciated.