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Daisy who?
Random Thoughts – June 30, 2022
Random Thoughts by Wendell Smith

MUSCODA - Last week I noticed a bed of daisies in bloom along the route leading to Goodwiler Lake. The white blossoms with yellow centers made me wonder if they may be descendants of a bed of flowers planted many years ago by a Mrs. Goodwiler who lived on the sandy land and tried to make the place a bit more beautiful. If that is the case – she was successful.

That may be wishful thinking on my part, but it is possible as my field guide of wild flowers notes Oxeye Daisies are in the sunflower family that was introduced to North America from Europe. So it is at least a possibility that the ancestors of the flowers blooming now were brought here by an early pioneer.

If the local farmwife planted daisy seeds, her farmer husband might not have been happy as it was said the plant could produce an unwanted flavor in milk when eaten by cattle. However, in this day of large contained herds I suspect very few cows have the opportunity to munch on a daisy plant.

Daisies do have a niche in our history. Fans of newspaper comic strips probably remember Lil Abner’s girl friend named Daisy Mae. And there is an old song about a man proposing to a girl named Daisy - admitting he could not afford a carriage for the ceremony, but saying, “You’ll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.”

It may not be unusual to find plants that were seeded by mythical or real figures from the past. Perhaps “Johnny Appleseed” is the prime example of that. In this area there are several lonely lilac bushes growing in spots where there was once a farm family, but now the bush is about the only evidence that someone actually lived on the property.

Now, in this community there is a story that a local couple purchased bulk sunflower seeds last spring, because they are the national flower of Ukraine. A few of the seeds were dropped at various places in the village. So if you see a sunflower growing at an unusual spot this summer, it may have been planted by a bird, or it could be a planned show of support for that war-torn county and the people suffering there.

Famous Young Rider

With the Wisconsin High Rodeo Finals recently held in Richland Center showcasing the abilities of young riders, perhaps the following information might be of interest to the youths who took part in that event as well as to their families and fans.

It’s about William (Buffalo Bill) Cody, who became famous for his horse riding during the early days of the American West.

According to information at a museum display at North Platte, Nebraska, by the time Cody was 11-years-old he had hired on as an ox-team driver and by the time he was 13 he was an assistant wagon-master of a train. At the age of 14 he was one of the youngest riders of the Pony Express that carried mail across the wide-open American West. He once rode 322 miles in 21 hours and 40 minutes, exhausting 20 horses.

Cody was a hero to my mother. She rode a horse to four years of high school and could remember seeing Buffalo Bill perform in his famous Wild West Show.