At our house in
there was a street that ended at Spottswood, the street that we lived on. Our driveway was almost an extension of that street. Spottswood was
fairly busy because it was one that could be used by people who had just come
from the tunnel under the train track that divided our neighborhood.
Frequently, people with souped up engines or very loud jam boxes would be
stopped in front of our house waiting to turn. It wasn’t a really quiet place.
A few months after we moved to peaceful, rural
my 6 year old granddaughter went to spend the weekend with her mother who was
living in our house in Memphis.
When I asked her what it had been like to be back in the city, she said, “It
was so quiet!” I was a bit taken
aback but then I realized that the country wasn’t really quiet; it was just
noisy in a different way. The noisemakers at this particular time were spring
peepers and frogs of all sorts which were abundant that year. When we drove
down the highway, there was a frog hopping along in front of us about every
yard or so at least. When I took a walk, the street looked like Perelandra
after the Un-man had been there.
It didn’t take us long after we moved to learn that flora and fauna have some sort of cycle of years so that every year there is a real abundance of something or other. The first evidence of this was on the ground when we moved in the last weekend of October. Pecans. Pecan, pecans, pecans, pecans, pecans. You could not take a step without crushing two or three. Old men were marveling over it on the Ham radio. Our neighbors were cracking pecans day and night. You might think that this was a good thing, but it was a bit excessive and by the time we got there, most of the nuts had been at least partially pre-digested by weevils. And, cutting grass the next spring was a nightmare.
Sometimes the abundance is wonderful. One summer there were millions of lightning bugs. The tall grass in the field behind the house was glowing with them, the trees looked like they were full of fairy lights and the sky was alive with slowly falling stars.
Last year, there were lots of owls. This was kind of eerie. There are usually a couple around, but last year there were eight living in the barn next door, and they seemed to fly closer to the ground than usual.
This year, I’m sad to say is looking like a tick year. I’ve heard about it on the radio and I’ve experienced it in my home. Someone told me once that if you have ever had cattle on a piece of land, you will have ticks for 15 years. I’m here to tell you that if you live in a building where the front yard used to be a feed lot, you will have them for at least 30 years and some years are worse than others.
Also, I’m a bit concerned about big, black beetles. Night before last, one shoved its way in through a tiny crack next to the air conditioner. It was huge and had huge feathery antennae and headed right for me. (Okay, I was sitting right in front of the lamp.) I’ve gotten pretty blasé about insects in the past ten years, but for some reason, this really spooked me. Thankfully, my husband came and rescued me. I’ve looked for a picture of this one, but I can’t find anything on Google or on a website that has pictures of every type of beetle in Mississippi. I hope this doesn’t mean that it’s some new horrid species that has sprung up on my property. Then there was another big, black one waiting for me in the bathroom. This one didn’t have antennae and didn’t scare me, but really I wish they would just go away.