I'm always happy when April makes its appearance. April is a hopeful month and always a busy month. Time to rake, wash the windows of the winter grime and get the bird feeders filled and the bird bath out of the garage. However, this year when the doves are sitting on the wires to the house I'm not too happy; I ask what if they are shot? Every morning a pair of doves peck around under my bird feeder for what the other birds drop and when they get done eating they fly to the wires and coo away. They don't have a trilley song, but their song is a series of identical low soft whistles, dipping in the end. To us it sounds like a cooing. Also the doves we have here in Iowa are not "morning" doves but "mourning" doves. After last week a very appropriate name.
Last week our legislature passed a bill to make the hunting of doves legal. Very quickly, without any debate, the bill went to Governor Branstad where he signed the bill. We here in Iowa heard about it after it was passed. When the people who signed this bill was asked why? The answer was there were so many important issues before the legislature they thought it would take time away from issues that were more important. The truth is 54 percent of the citizens of Iowa are against dove hunting. The doves in our state have been protected since 1918; what happened to change our minds?
I think of the mourning dove as a symbol of peace and I do call them a "song bird," even though our legislators say they aren't. The dove population in the state is not overpopulated and dove hunting is seldom used for food. Such a small bird is hardly worth the time for a hunter to dress and it would take quite a few doves to make a meal. That is if anything is left after it is shot up.
Hunters call them "cheep skeet." In fact most hunters just let them lay because to them they are nothing more than a target. Mourning Doves nest during the fall hunting season and what happens to the chicks? Without their parents to feed them, they slowly starve to death. This is what our legislatures call "wildlife management." More than 2 million doves were killed last year and now Iowa can add to the count.
Many of you are probably asking what happened to me because I have learned through the years not to be controversial, but talking to many of you I know many of you agree with me.
After expressing my sour opinion I think I better give you a sweet recipe. This is sweet and easy.
LAZY DAY BARS
1 8-1/2 - oz. pkg.
German chocolate cake mix
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar,
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped nuts
12 - oz. pkg. chocolate
Blend together cake mix, eggs, water, sugar and butter; spread in a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle nuts and chips on top; bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes; cut into bars. Makes about 2 dozen.