Fall is definitely here, though you can’t prove it by the temperatures. While it is a nice crisply cool 49 degrees in the wee hours of the morning, it really isn’t long before the eighty degree temps have risen again. So this morning as we are enjoying our coffee on the front porch and watching the kittens chase each other up the trees, we are thoroughly enjoying the cool of the morning. We know it won’t last long.
We have been discussing putting up a two bar fence from the front of the property around to the far side. This is something I believe we can do without causing serious injury to the land or each other. I figure Mac can drill the post holes with the auger while I stand back and direct. I am so good at directing.
As you all know by now, I am recovering from surgery on my left foot and Mac has set forth this new routine to take my mind off how absolutely miserable I have been feeling. On Saturday mornings (before the attack of the wild hogs) we walk down to the garden to check out the growth of the collards and see if the sweet peas have grabbed the wire. We of course have to check his new variety of seasoning peppers (what are we seasoning, hell? These are some hot peppers).
We ohh and ahh over the cabbage we have left and wonder whether the hogs will return for a light snack. We go down to the woods and see if the deer corn that Mac has shelled out for the birds, (and we throw a few ears out for the deer, as well) has been eaten and needing replenishing. Then we walk back around to the front of the house and around to the willow tree and beyond.
So this morning, as we round the corner and walk past the porch, Mac looks at the Willow tree and then at something lying on the ground. It appears to be about thumb thick and 18 inches long. “What is that?” he asks in a whisper. “What, that? I think it may be a snake,” I reply to his query. We continue to look at it and he says, “yeah, I think it’s a snake, too.” He reaches down and picks up a small limb from the oak tree and throws it in the general direction of the “snake.” The “snake” turns his nose up at the little twig that has bounced into his line of vision as if to say, “is that all you’ve got?” So, Mac picks up yet another stick and throws it. “Oh come on, you need a rock or something to make it move on away,” I’m saying, all the time walking closer to where it lay. “It must be sunning itself,” says I, and “he needs to go sun himself somewhere else,” says he.
As I get within a few feet of it, it now makes itself known. It is not a snake. It is not even a worm. It is simply a small willow branch that sunlight and shadows have made to appear much bigger than it actually is and gave it apparent movement. Actually it may be 1/8 an inch in diameter and 6 or 7 inches long. I started laughing at the little willow branch that we had been throwing oak branches at.
“OK, ” I told Mac, “I know how fish tales get started now.” “What?” asks he. “Well, you know, when describing the fish that got away, you always say, ‘it was this big.’ When you tell the tale about your snake that wasn’t you can say ‘it looked this big,’ when you hold your hands to show how long it was. And I won’t tell anyone it was only a willow branch. I promise.”
— Sandi McBride is a resident of Jefferson, who blogs regularly and enjoys her garden and her furry and feathered friends. She is a wife and mother of two sons.