10 Minute Walk: Pond of Water

After a couple days of rain, the yellow dog and I again circled the old pond. The spring above was running strong and has the pond as full of water as possible. It’s a beautiful sight indeed. If it would again reliably hold water, I would clean up some of that brush.

10 Minute Walk: Dry Pond

For at least our first decade in the hollow, we had a nice little spring-fed pond up on the side of the hill. It wasn’t much of a pond, but it always held water and every year like clockwork a pair of ducks came and nested. Then a multiyear drought hit us, the worst in the Arkansas Ozarks since the dustbowl, and the pond slowly¬†disappeared. If ducks came to nest, they did not stay. Today I stood in the bottom of the dry pond and lamentations filled my mind.

10 Minute Walk: Trail of Thorns

The surgeon has me walking ten minutes every hour. Earlier, the yellow dog and I spied this animal trail going straight into the vicious thorns of a wild lime, a brilliant tactic if you have a hungry and larger predator on your heals.

Sighting of the Annual Tarantula

Half an hour ago, I was driving along the paved county road and saw my annual tarantula. Seemingly since the dawn of time, I have seen exactly one tarantula per year crossing Rocky Top Road. It is a tradition that I enjoy and uphold.

Obviously, me saying “since the dawn of time” is hyperbolic, an exaggeration to make a point, but the first tarantula I ever saw on a then unpaved Rocky Top Road was during the fall of 1982. I was a passenger in Jack McCall’s Ford pickup and he didn’t even slow down so I didn’t get a good look at it. I do remember what Grandpa said though. He said he didn’t mind tarantulas, but he didn’t like the big jumping spiders. He said one once jumped onto the neck of his horse and he was thrown. I was with Grandpa that evening to assist him catching guineas on Frank Wolfinbarger’s farm. I believe I wrote a fictionalized account of this in Murder in the Ozarks. Hard to remember sometimes.

Looking to the East

This was the view from the ridge road a few minutes ago looking over the Kings River to Berryville, Arkansas beyond. The photo is courtesy of the neighborhood maintenance man who works nights.

Summer is Coming

I never could take the heat well and every year is more difficult. I’ve worked outside today, but keep retreating into the air conditioning. The temperature at the moment is 88F (31C) and just humid enough to hamper my breathing. Meanwhile, if I climbed the highest ridge and looked eastward across the seas to Wemyss, Scotland, I would see that the temperature is a mere 48F (9C). That’s mowing weather to me, though I’d have to rig up the lights on the tractor because it’s already dark there, the sun having set at 955pm.