Monday, April 18, 2016

Warm Weather Porch Sitting

The Mighty Dachshund LOVES to get out of the house, either just outside or going for a drive. Now that it’s getting warmer, my wife won’t take her in the truck through the day, even though I would stay in the truck with her. So, I’ve been trying to sit on the porch with her more. Often, we stay on the porch a while after she comes back from answering nature’s call. Eventually, my wife gets lonely and comes to the door and wants me to bring her in. For some reason, she has yet to sit WITH us, even though they supposedly spent hours on the porch when I was working.

Between the dangers around here that didn’t exist 20 years ago, and her own boldness in desiring to chase things, we can NEVER let her off the leash. She’s just the size of a good meal for some of the critters out there these days, including the largest owls and hawks. Especially when we sit there at night, our “guardian” soon comes for us, due to her concern for the pooch’s safety and my heart condition. SO, my favorite time is now about five in the morning. That allows me to stay in my skivvies without being seen by the neighbors, or passing motorists. Our house is about 200 feet from the road in a straight stretch, so I’m pretty safe from prying eyes. ALSO, the missus is usually sound asleep, so is unaware of our escape.

It was about 5:15 when we went out this morning. In a few moments, the pooch had drained and we were back on the porch, I in the swing and she on the welcome mat by the door. The bright moonlight of last night’s witching hour had been replaced by the light from the dusk-to-dawn light we have on a pole out by the road. It didn’t look like daylight, but once my eyes adjusted, I could have gotten around without the flashlight lying on the swing beside me.

There seemed to be a slight glow at the horizon, but I didn’t know if it was dawn aborning, or just a faint trace of the sky-glow that I sometimes see from a small Ohio town several miles away and upstream. Within five minutes or so, I could tell that the glow was bigger, so I had my answer. Little by little, the eastern sky grew brighter higher and higher, finally, I saw the slightest trace of pinkish-orange along the black treetops in the distance.

Things were silent, except for one insanely joyous bird out by the road. From its extensive repertoire, I could tell that it was a mocking bird. It must have sung for 10 minutes when another bird joined in—a robin from the sound of things. The six o’clock rooster, to the north, began crowing nearly a half-hour early, which seemed to offend the previously sung-out four-thirty rooster, to the south, who began to answer him. A sort of sporadic dialogue seemed to go on for a few minutes until they finally declared a truce and shut up.
Through the trees, red and white lights from the airport, five miles and three hills away, twinkled through the darkness. A car came flying from the south on the road, and after its lights got just out of sight in the distance, I heard it shoot into a gravel driveway. A few minutes later, I heard a vehicle roll out a gravel drive and a slower moving small pickup soon went by passing to the south. By that time, the sky was getting much brighter to the east and the orange glow was at least one finger wide. I called it time well spent and we returned to our beds.

A little while after lunch, we returned to the porch and watched and listened. Traffic was much heavier on the road and a small jet passed over on its way to the airport. Various and sundry birds sang in the distance. Much closer, a tiny bird with a loud mouth flitted around in the treetops hollering “teacher, teacher, teacher, teacher.” Later, I would learn online that it was an ovenbird, a member of the warbler family. After a few minutes, the missus showed up, supposedly concerned about the ability of our log-haired pooch to deal with the growing heat. We went inside.

After supper, the pooch and I again spent a few minutes on the porch. I had to keep her on the welcome mat again, as the sun was creeping in toward the house, despite the porch being on the north side. All the normal daytime noises were present, but a pair of towhees soon appeared at the edge of the woods 30 feet away and began sorting through last year’s leaves looking for crawling protein. It’s funny how much two little birds can sound like a whole flock of turkeys. After spending several minutes watching them, I took the pooch inside, so I could watch the news. Old people always have to watch the news, you know, even though it’s always the same. But don’t worry, in a few hours, the pooch and I will return to our post. Plus, there’s always five o’clock. © 2016


Vicki said...

5 am is absolutely the best time for porch sitting. Best done with a pooch and a cup of coffee. :)

Sixbears said...

I can let the dog loose most of the time. Unfortunately, I can't get it in her head that we don't own the road. Maybe she's confused because we own land on both sides of it. She will challenge anyone walking. There are few folks who are deadly afraid of dogs, though most know her and realize she's all bark. Once in a while I have to run out into the road with the leash.

The sound of coyotes will get her running to the house as fast as her legs can carry her. Good thing too as they would eat her.

Ralph Goff said...

Not being a morning person I don't often see the sun rise at this time of year. And you would need a lot of clothes on to sit out on the porch here before sunrise. I think it was still freezing at that time although we did get pretty warm (in the 60s) through the daytime hours.

Gorges Smythe said...

Great minds run alike, Vicki!

Yeah, the world keeps changin' on us, Sixbears.

Ralph, I think even a blubber-butt like me would need more than skivvies under those circumstances!

Chickenmom said...

Love the early morning when the stars fade from sight and the golden glow of the sun hits the top of the trees. Very, very noisy with all the birds. I think Charlie gets 'em going! :o)

Gail said...

I do love the porch hours...the sounds, the smells, the sites.


Caddie said...

Truly enjoyed this, Gorges. You write so well that I feel like I'm sitting on the porch along with you and that Mighty Dog. Out at 5 here is too chilly. Regardless of my 7+ pain level, I must hit this plot TODAY - all my bloomers, bushes and trees FOR SELL are dying. Desperately thirsty. My money down the drain. But it's a beautiful day out there.

Gorges Smythe said...

Hey, Cm, he needs a hobby, too! lol

Like Martha Stewart used to say, Gail, "It's a GOOD thing."

Thanks, Caddie. Good luck with your plants.

Marian Love Phillips said...

I'm like Caddie...I really enjoyed reading about your porch sitting with your dog. I felt I was right there with you. I can't sit out on my porch anymore with our dachshund since it does not exist anymore and living in a 4 story apartment building and on the 3rd floor and can't go out on the patio downstairs in my gown/robe which is a no no. Got to wait until things change for me and one day I will be able to sit on a porch again, drink my coffee or wine with a dog and enjoy the beauty of nature once again. Have a Blessed day my friend! :)

Gorges Smythe said...

Thanks, Marian. I hope you get back in normal living circumstances before long.