Wow! An actual spring this year. Most years we simple go from the dead of winter to the height of summer in a twenty-four-hour period. There were a couple of days when I worried as the thermometer edged past a somewhat comfortable eighty-five into an uncomfortable near ninety. But thankfully no, it was simply a harbinger of the heat, humidity and mosquitoes to come. We are in the midst of “blackberry winter” with beautiful white blackberry blooms adorning our roadsides bring cool morning temperatures and warm, but not hot, afternoons. Moderate evening temperatures allow for outdoor activities involving a cigar, an adult beverage, a comfortable sweat shirt and the smell of sweet honeysuckle mixing with the aroma of my Dutch Master’s Honey Corona. Ah…Spring!
The local bear paid me his annual spring visit last night, pulling down my fence before making off with two bags of trash. “Pooh Bear” found no honey but seemed to enjoy the empty peanut butter jar…once he got into it. He was not a very tidy diner but at least he left both bags “relatively” close together and intact. Last year his “great trash robbery” was left scattered over an acre. Linda Gail and I have enjoyed watching a small brown snake, variety not color exactly, make his slow, early morning trek up into the tangle mess of Linda’s clematis while waiting for the morning sun to warm the very cockles of his little fork-tongued soul. I’m not too worried about my bird families because even the smallest babies are larger than the snake. Flick, flick goes his tongue. Several mornings ago I watched a doe and two small, spot covered, fawns cautiously follow the stream past my garden. I hope they don’t discover my tender spring plantings. Ah…Spring!
As I sat outside in my camp chair last night, I was treated to a concert of sorts. I had decided to enjoy a second adult beverage and heard the melodic yet lonesome call of a whippoorwill. I heard no answering call and could not help but softly sing “Hear that lonesome whippoorwill, He sounds too blue to fly, the midnight train is whining low, I’m so lonesome I could cry.” Thank you Hank Williams. My moroseness was short lived when the owls began their serenade. They certainly are not lonesome. It won’t be long before their hooting will be joined by the cicadas and their short lived mating chant along with the fireflies and their flashing message, “Here I am, lets skip the light fandango.” Ah…Spring!
Unfortunately, even the Garden of Eden had its serpent. My little piece of heaven does too and I am not speaking about my friendly little brown snake. With spring comes beautiful flowers, green trees, the honeysuckle and my “god awful” allergies! A serpent disguised as postnasal drip…no, disguised as a postnasal flood of biblical proportions. Noah had nothing on me and there are no rainbows to signify the end of the flood. I think I may drown in my own pool of…mucus and wonder why God decided to place our noses upside down over our mouths. I have an equally allergic friend who I converse with several times a week. Our conversations seem to always begin with “My allergies are…” take your pick. I’ve attempted all of the fixes and found I cannot sleep standing up. My allergy tests showed I was allergic to one hundred and forty-four different grasses and weeds, all possibly found in my backyard. Trees, including the dozen or so Beech trees found around the stream behind my house, assorted molds and mildews, and cocklebur. I’ve got them all and I tried all the remedies. Weekly allergy shots for two years to a daily teaspoon of local honey and everything in between including three different allergy prescriptions, all taken at the same time. Maybe a World War One gas mask might work but I fear it would simply fill up and drown me in the end and there is no end in sight until the cold, unwelcomed winds of winter. Ah…Spring…Ahhhhhhh Chooooooooo, sniff, sniff, sniff, cough, cough, cough!
For more of Don Miller’s unique view of life click on http://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM