Meridian Star

Outdoors

October 12, 2012

Oh, The Beautiful Days of fall

MERIDIAN — The days are cooler while the nights get longer as October moves along. This natural change in weather makes the blood of man quicken in anticipation of hunting season, especially dove season when it ushers in the time to pick up the old shotgun. What a glorious time has been spent in so many previous years with friends on a millet field during Labor Day weekend trying to kill a few of the gray ghosts as they dart on seemingly high- speed wings.         

    The harvest moon is shining in all its red radiance at twilight, seeming to be almost on the edge of earth for the pleasure of men. At night the lonesome honking of the geese in their vee is heard as the formation is silhouetted against the big moon, oh, such a beautiful sight to behold.

    In farm country, the cotton is opening, corn is ready to pull, hay has been cut and put in the barn and all is well with the world. The persimmon tree drapes its limbs from the heavy load of golden fruit waiting for the first frost to make it tasty and sweet. Acorns are maturing in the mighty oaks as deer nose around after each high wind seeking a snack from this delicacy. The hot dog days of summer have finally abandoned us as the golden ball starts to retreat toward the equator.

    Man’s spirit rises in anticipation of the vast opportunities that await as Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. The cool invigorating air seems to be beckoning us to inhale the sweet scents of all the fragrances of fall. There are wildflowers blooming in abundance, turning their delicate faces toward the waning sun, trying to nourish themselves before Jack Frost returns and extinguishes their life to winter’s gloom. The squirrels are barking and flittering around busily storing the immature acorns and pecans in anticipation of the long winter months ahead.

    Even the lowly fish seem to welcome fall as the catfish in the rivers are on the move to store energy for the cold months ahead. How much we nature lovers enjoy getting back into the woods soaking up the sounds and sights of nature in this cooling time of year.

    I walk out in the cool morning air to hear a band of crows cawing in the distance. This quickly transfers me back to a time long ago when as a boy I was on a squirrel hunt over on the Campbell place. That evening I was quietly tipping through the woods listening and looking when the quiet reverie was broken by the raucous cawing of another band of crows, the excited cawing intensifying as I listened.

    "What in the world is wrong with those black devils?" ran through my mind. I eased through the woods seeking an answer to this intriguing question. Slowly making my way to a large hickory tree loaded with ripe nuts, there were about a dozen crows flying around, darting in and out, cawing in a frenzy. Then I spotted a great horned owl, which was the cause of their rage, sitting in the tree trying to defend himself from this crow onslaught.

    Then something else caught my attention, a desperate squirrel was franticly running up and down the same tree seemingly in frustration as to what was best to do. He was screaming barks in all directions in complete confusion. Now I also was at a loss as what to do in all this commotion.

    Because I was squirrel hunting, I soon killed the squirrel and all the woods became tranquil again, as the crows and owl flew off at the sound of my shot.

    God Bless America!

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