It’s a melodious season here in the Ozarks. It’s that time of year when, anytime you find yourself outdoors with both hands occupied, you’re immediately treated to a band of mosquitoes humming harmoniously in your ears, and gnats enjoying a hoedown in your eyes and up your nose. While it’s a sensation which is conducive to spirited and colorful language, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll achieve anything productive. SC
Friday, August 9, 2013
Thursday, August 8, 2013
We do not generally employ a rain gauge here at Dry Creek. Suffice it to say, my wheelbarrow has now run over. During periods of extravagant rainfall, a number of tributaries form in the hills surrounding our little sanctuary, and join forces before enjoying a rambunctious rush down the middle of our meadow. Had I been so inclined this morning, I could have gotten out the canoe and gone for a rousing float across the half mile stretch of our hayfield, but it would have only lasted a moment.
Wet! Wetter! Wettest! My sympathies go out to all those who are suffering from too much rain. Here on Reservoir Hill, we are a bit waterlogged, but otherwise unscathed. The only casualties here have been this year’s hatchling fish. They line up at the gushing spillway, a site to which they are unaccustomed, evidently mistaking it for a water ride at a theme park, and sadly oblivious to the fact that their fun and frolic comes to an abrupt halt at the bottom of the hill, where their joyride is suddenly replaced by a buffet table quickly improvised by the ecstatic neighborhood crows. SC
Sunday, August 4, 2013
As luck would have it, the featured carriage today is a brand new 1913 Ford Touring car. Unbeknownst to this salesman and my buddy, is the fact that I’d already fallen in love with this very model when it was featured in a newspaper article the previous month. Henry Ford himself had recently presented this particular model to his good friend, Naturalist and poet, John Burroughs. Mr. Burroughs and I being of a similar vintage, and sharing a common interest in the environment, I’d already entertained visions of reclining proudly behind the wheel of this very machine. The salesman encouraged me to climb aboard and take the long, lean jitney for a spin, and Mr. Kinney was all prepared to add his own encouragement, but it wasn’t necessary. I didn’t need to be asked twice! Quickly climbing into the driver seat, I donned my goggles as Lidge climbed up alongside. Being unfamiliar with the mechanics of the three peddled craft, I gingerly took the wheel and turned to Mr. Kinney for assistance. “Okay,” Lidge instructed, “The spark is the lever on the left of the steering column. Retard the spark by pushing it clear up, and give her a little gas by pulling the lever on the right, down about four notches. The floor pedal on the left is the two speed clutch, the one on the right is the brake, and the one in the middle is reverse.” With that the salesman gave the crank a couple of good swift spins, and the little machine sputtered briefly and then purred like a kitten. That’s all it took and I was head over heels in love! It took a little doing to get the hang of that two speed clutch, and my first few attempts at finding reverse resulted in a couple o’ nose imprints on the windshield, but soon we were cruising through town, grinning widely, and waving at the admiring crowd as though we were royalty! OBIE”S QUEST