Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Month Of Porch-Sitting

Those of you who follow my humble ramblings here know of my fondness for the ancient and honorable art of porch-sitting. One of the few good things to come of my recent Congestive Heart Failure, and my even more recent round with A-Fib is the chance to engage in one of my favorite pastimes.

The leaves were just beginning to turn when my vigil began in earnest, the very day of my return from the hospital on October 5th. I could see, perhaps, 30 yards into the woods from my seat in the porch swing. It’s been quieter than normal in my yard this October. With no acorn crop, the raucous sound of arguing squirrels and quarreling blue-jays was rarely heard. The local crows found things in the distance to discuss, but precious few in the limbs of the white oaks around our home at the edge of the woods. Still, I could hear the flying arguments of both species in the distance, so they were in the neighborhood. Even the titmice, chickadees and nuthatches seemed less plentiful than normal, though I don’t know why that should be.

I haven’t been parking myself for all that long at a time in the swing beside the entry to our home. Only a handful of times have I lasted for as long as half-an-hour or more. It seems something, or someone, always calls me away after a few minutes. The lack of long sit-downs has been made up by their frequency, though. Nearly every time I take out the Mighty Dachshund, we have a porch-sit both before and after her sashay on the lawn. That happens a half-dozen times some days, if you include the trips in the night. My little companion seems to enjoy the vigils on the porch nearly as much as I, since she’s just as willing to stay with me there at night as through the day.

It’s been a little warmer than average this October. In fact, here is the 8th of November, and I have yet to need a jacket. I think that may change this coming week. I’ve listened to a lot of wind rustling through the trees during that time. I love the sound. Sometimes, there was rain hitting the leaves, and that added an extra dimension. As the season progressed, even the leaves sounded a lot like rain, as they released their grip and sailed through the treetops to the leaf-littered ground below.

Most of the early color has been maples, so the color before me has stayed a golden hue the whole time. The color has gotten sparser, though, and I can now see 150 yards to the far side of the small hollow beyond the porch. Still, the view is mostly yellow.

This morning, I watched a doe and her “grown” twins in the neighbor’s yard across the road. They were milling around, as if there was something nearby that made them edgy. Finally, I remembered that the rut has begun and thought that a buck might be making a nuisance of himself. Bucks have one-track minds, like teen-aged boys, but the does aren’t interested until they’re interested. Sure enough, five minutes later, a six or eight point buck strode into the area just vacated by the doe and her brood.

The prettiest month is behind me now, but the story continues. I got out my jacket today, so I should still be able to watch the show. Maybe I should pop some corn! © 2015


Vicki said...

Porch Sitting is becoming a lost art. People are so busy rushing here and rushing there and checking their electronic devices to see what their friends are doing that they forget how good for the soul is porch sitting. You and the Mighty Dachshund are doing it right. I don't have a porch, but I do have a window and a rocking chair. Time spent there watching the world go by is time well spent. Especially if coffee or hot chocolate is involved. :)

Gorges Smythe said...

A window and a rocking chair will work just fine, Vicki. Come really cold weather, I'll wish that I had the same!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Time to start paying double attention to the tree line as we drive. They are just so crazy, running full tilt across the road, appearing out of nowhere.

Gail said...

Your writing is beautiful. You describe them wonderfully and I can see your view.

Gorges Smythe said...

That's what hormones do to some males, Kathy. I knew a couple guys in high school like that.

Thanks, Gail.

Chickenmom said...

Love sittin' on the porch with you, Gorges. We had tons of acorns this year and I keep a bowl of them on the deck to toss to the squirrels and chippies. Amazing all the activity that goes on out there!

HermitJim said...

I do wish that I was a little further out in the suburbs so I could see and hear the country sounds and sights. The squirrels are pretty active in my front yard, though. I have enough acorns to start another forest somewhere.

Enjoy the sittin'!

Gorges Smythe said...

Yes, Cm, the outdoors is a busy place for those willing to keep their eyes open.

Maybe you should experiment with acorn bread, Jim. I guess the Indians ate a lot of it.