The weather has been great all week. The trees that border the harvested soybean field by my house are still holding on to their vivid colors, a sight pleasing to the eyes. A large piece of bright yellow farm equipment sits idle, awaiting its next calls of duty and/or repair. The sun is setting now.
I just watched five very young deer and two does foraging for grain in a low spot that the harvester missed. I enjoyed a close-up view from my bathroom window. The white-tailed deer didn't seem to mind the noisy array of birds settling in for night, in the thick branches of the cedar windbreak.
Gray the rescued woods cat focused his attention on my feathered friends. At times, the birder sits nearly motionless, a living, breathing yard ornament.
The spring rains brought more water than the easement could handle. Erosion dug deep into the hilly roadway. Small trees and grasses were uprooted, alongside; good earth and old ashes moved and rearranged; another concern.
The groundhogs that I watched earlier posing in the warm sunshine, looking like mini iconic Stone Hinge monuments, lost their burrows due to washout of said roadbed.
The marmots scratch their homes out with powerful limbs, for the purpose of sleeping, raising their young and hibernating.
Common predators, such as coyotes, foxes, owls, and large hawks often have them on their menus. Snakes slither in and grab- up a baby or two for quick lunch or a late night's dinner.
A groundhog's life is not exciting, but far from dull.
Summer has come and gone and fall is moving into winter. The groundhogs know that. Winter burrows have been established outside of the furry creature's usual habitat. I found a large burrow close to the foundation of one of the outbuildings at the homestead.
I am sure there are a few other tunnels openings thereabouts. Maybe more than one occupant will be safe from harm during their long winter's nap. All animals, large and small, wild or domestic should have a warm place to sleep, besides; groundhogs are known for their aggressive nature and I won't argue or call them squatters.
When I came upon the burrow, which lead downward and then toward the shed that old tongue twister came to mind. Come on now-you remember: "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?" I couldn't answer that, but I did utter, "Have a good rest and if you need a snack, before the crocuses push their heads through the snow, don't eat the foundation or through the flooring 'Chuckie Baby'. Harold Maesch built this shed to last!"
I am taking advantage of this mild Indian Summer weather. I spend several hours each day painting the little blue house at the end of the road. I am climbing Paul Baby's ladder. I had planned on getting the job done earlier, but after we roofed the oldest garage on the place and I hammered in umpteen roofing nails; my wrist told my left hand that it couldn't handle a brush for awhile. Now I am fit as a fiddle and ready to finish.
This Tuesday, Nov. 4, I will celebrate my 69th birthday. I don't know why people don't like to tell their age. Anyone that knows me knows that I've been around for a while and that's a miracle and a blessing to me.
The year that I was born, 1939, a book written (1936) by an American author Margaret Mitchell, titled "Gone With The Wind "was made into an award winning movie and John Steinbeck wrote the Grapes of Wrath.
FDR was president and times were hard .Ten million people had no jobs despite all of the efforts of the New Deal.
In September of that year, my father, and mother purchased a three- room house with few amenities, other than a summer kitchen from Harry and Hila Reese. The house sat on four acres, located on Elm Street.
The Lynches added warmth to the house, in no time, the house became " home sweet home" to the young couple and their three small children. Then came November, another egg hatched and more; the future author of "Brazil Buzz" was born.
Did I tell Nov. 4 was the first day of hunting season that year? By the time Dr. Weaver arrived, he found me hanging around the end of Mom's bed.
Five years later, when my sister, Sandra was due to be born my grandmother Siner, the temporary caregiver of the mother-to-be and the baby in her basket summoned the good doctor.
They said that when he arrived to deliver the tiny bundle of joy, he was still talking about the quick little rabbit that brought Dad home from the hunt.
Paul Baby and this writer live next door to the homestead, which is now a part of our properties.
I may be getting older, but, the way I see it; I will always be the girl next door!
I received a nice note from Luke Moody of Hayden James Publishing Co. He is the gentleman that compiled the Covered Bridge Almanac 2008 that you may have purchased before or during the festival.
The 2008 booklet is a handy reference that contains the 2009 schedule of Parke County events, rich history, maps, jokes, and quotable quotes. One can read about Clay County's own Orville Redenbacher.
It's always a treat to check on what's cooking at Moody's Diner and see what's popping up at Moody's Mushroom Farm. Yellow, gray and black mushrooms each May, in abundance; I read all about it. You must know when to get them-the list is long-the order form is there.