Re: [gardeners] Tales from the Bamboo Thicket

Allen and Judy Merten (
Mon, 19 Apr 1999 00:42:10 -0500

Hi George,
    Did the Yellow Eyed beans ever arrive? Second mailing was in a "mailing
pouch" with the little bubble whatcha call its lining the inside.
    I wish that I was close enough to come cut some of the big bamboo. Our
youngest son went with me today and we cut some more. The location is really
kinda spooky. It is right on, in and alongside one of those steep sided creeks
that are indicative of flash flooding. Lots of "bottom land" type vegetation,
kinda dark. The sunlight that does get through is dappled and all broken up
which just makes spotting Copperheads and Canebrake Rattlers more difficult.
Keeps one in a "heightened state of awareness" if one knows what one means! If
you have never experienced meeting a big Canebrake Rattler at close proximity
to your face, you need to get out there and do it before the opportunity to
check the soundness of your heart gets away. Opportunities like that don't come
around very often.
    Back in the early '70's I was living in Marshall, Tx, 20 odd miles west of
Shreveport, La. Found an enormous canebrake. Some of the stuff was 8 - 10
inches in diameter. Cut a bunch of it and made porch swings, lawn furniture,
wind chimes, etc. Took it to the Trade Days at Canton, Tx. Stuff sold like
crazy. Took orders for more. The day after we got home, back to the canebrake I
went. Man, I'm deep inside the canebrake, hot, humid, sweat just arunnin'. I
have a good sized bundle of Bamboo to drag out, but decided to cut down what
must have been the oldest living bamboo in the cane brake. I was using a hand
saw. It was tuff work. I had sawed almost through the trunk when up pops ol'
grandmammy Cane Brake Rattlesnake. I mean big.  She had a head as big as my
fist, and I have big hands. She's looking at me, looking at her. Wheeww!! That
snake was about 2' from my face. I apologized for poking her with my saw,
s-l-o-w-l-y backed out of there and retired from cutting anymore bamboo. She
was a little bit stirred up but not bad. She would give her rattle a little
shake and let it whir a little.
    I could see her when I closed my eyes that night to go to sleep.
    Bastrop Co.
    SE Central Tx.

George Shirley wrote:

> >
> >
> >
> You need bamboo just hop in the truck and come on over. Every one but us
> grows running bamboo for privacy fences. They always welcome cutters. Found
> an elderly lady down the way who has some on her east property line that is
> 2 or 3 inches in diameter. Reckon we'll go cut some this week, I do want to
> make some arbors out of split bamboo.
> George