Saturday, November 15, 2008

Autumn in Tennessee

Early on Thursday of this past week, I was walking to my barn to feed my dogs when my eyes were drawn to the ground on which I was walking.  We live in a rural environment and have only three neighbors within a half-mile radius.  There is a profusion of trees on the land near our house and their leaves had formed a carpet of extraordinary colors and hues.  Hickories made the bright yellow parts and maples contributed a golden glow.  Oak leaves of right red to exotic shades of bronze filled in between.  Other leaves from gum trees, dogwoods, and even a few sassafras trees contributed to the wonderful colors that covered the floor of the forest on the trail leading to the barn.  Never did even a Persian prince have a carpet so lovely to walk on!

As I looked anew at the beauty of the leaves on the ground, I also looked upward to the trees above.  Towering from forty to sixty feet above me they contained even more leaves ready to descend as fall draws to a close.  So I just stopped and stood still for a few minutes.  The dogs that had been following me could wait for their food for just a little longer.

Suddenly the dogs took off running, baying at the top of their voices.  An incautious squirrel had chosen that moment to scamper across the ground with an acorn in his mouth.  As the dogs gave chase I was amused, knowing that there was no way they could catch a healthy squirrel.  He sped up the trunk of a large white oak and paused no more than fifteen feet off the ground on the first limb.  I don’t know “squirrel language” but I’ll bet that if I did I couldn’t include what he was saying in this blog.  Then again, maybe he was just voicing the squirrel equivalent of “Nnnyyaahh!  Nnnyyaah!  You can’t catch me!”

As I continued my walk to the barn, the penetrating “Screee! Screee!” of a hawk came loud and clear.  I could not see him because of the thick forest but I knew he was circling in the early morning air.

The only sounds were those of the soft wind in the trees and the denizens of the forest around me.  It was a magical moment.


At November 15, 2008 at 5:48 PM , Anonymous colin kelley said...

Thanks for the scene. I could see and hear it. Autumn is my favorite season and you described why.

At November 16, 2008 at 12:58 PM , Blogger John Inman said...

It's a great time of the year. Driving up to Heavener, from Texas, the trees and fall colors are magnificent going thru the mountains. I'm sure it's the same way where you live, too.

At November 16, 2008 at 3:30 PM , Blogger Glen Lazalier said...

Glad you guys enjoyed the blog. We are just now getting our first nights in a row with below 32 deg-F temperatures. Kinda melancholy at this time of the year because we know we have four or five months before we get new leaves on the trees. Everything will be just brown or gray except for the sky.

Colin, I liked your blog about trapping and, John, I liked yours about the power of the press.


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