Thursday, April 2, 2015


 A glimpse of the meadow

Well, maybe not exactly the smells of spring - - since I have an allergy and can't smell a darn thing. Besides, I should have properly said "the scents" of spring. It would have sounded better, but when it comes to proprieties I have no scents at all. I mean sense.

It's winter
It's spring.
It's winter.

....well, I think I can safely say that spring is finally here to stay. The sleet and freezing temperatures that dampened my spirits a few days ago have vanished without a trace.

Today was sunny and in the 70's. The forest is finally filled with the sights and sounds (and probably smells) of spring.
It's a glorious time of year.

In west Texas spring meant intense heat, devastating dust storms, rattlesnakes, insolent flies, frightening fire ants, scary scorpions, terrifying tarantulas, weeds that were taller than my house, and thorns, thistles, stickers, and burrs. 
And those are the good aspects.

Blossoming tree in my back yard and strange object
streaking the sky (zeppelin?)

Here in the mountain wilderness of Tennessee spring has a much more normal countenance. Sure, there are occasional copperhead snakes, but they're polite. And insects are copious but they mind their own business.

Well, all except for those gigantic flying things that resemble German zeppelins and buzz louder than chain saws. I think they're some kind of mutant hillbilly bumblebee. I was outside enjoying the sunshine this afternoon when two of them started chasing me around.

Try running with a bad back on 95 degree mountain slopes.

95 degree??

Aw, hell, give me some slack. I'm trying to entertain you. 

I was so out of breath that I couldn't scream - - and I didn't want to open my mouth anyway because if I ever happened to swallow one of those dirigibles I'm about three hundred miles from the nearest hospital. Slight exaggeration.

After I finally warded off the German zeppelin attack, blissful normalcy resumed.

Besteht die Gefahr, in den Wald!

Naw, no danger, really. 
I'm merely testing my faculties to see if I can remember any rudimentary Deutsch.

 My Front Porch

So, where was I? 

Oh, yea. In the forest on a gorgeous spring day. Trees are blossoming. Grass is growing. Wildflowers are sprouting.
I only wish I would see more wildlife.
So far I've mostly seen deer, squirrels, rabbits, muskrats. And of course the coyotes and wild dogs at night.

There are an abundance of birds - every kind imaginable from hawks to wrens. Woodpeckers assault the trees all day. Today I heard the unmistakable call of a mourning dove.

I love mourning doves - they're my favorite bird. Plaintive, soothing, reassuring. There were mourning doves every place that I lived: California, the Ozarks, Texas, and now Tennessee. They seem to follow me.

This is an incredibly crappy and boring blog post but I'm in a lethargic mood. It's April. I'm smitten with the enchantment of spring.

 Birds have made a nest on the porch light
by my front door. It's messy, but I don't want
to disturb them. Let them nest in peace.

I changed my Internet browser today from Google Chrome to Firefox. There are some things about Chrome that annoyed the hell out of me. So far I really like Firefox - - except for the initial hassle of having to change & update the plugins.



  1. I've been on Firefox for years and it's faster and saner than anything until I want to solve a cryptoquote on threadbare --or is it bear? you've confused me, no it's threadbender-- dot com. As for zeppelins, yes, they are large insects and the contrail in your photo shows one has been shot down by a considerate (or Confederate, I told you I get confused) neighbor. Try not to get under that sort of recreation because those things are full of hydrogen and you never know when it's spent. Apart from that, I'm so glad to find out you can outmaneuver things on a steep grade and your back is getting better. The view from your porch is absolutely beautiful and, again, I can understand why you took the place.

  2. OMG. I have NEVER known a Copperhead snake to be polite. But if you say they are in Tennessee, I believe you. Wink. Wink. The assortment of birds you describe in your midst sound enchanting. I'm glad those supersized bugs did not cause another fall now that you are on the mend. Enjoy spring now that it has sprung.

  3. Ah, you’ve discovered the carpenter bees. They will delight in the wonderfully exposed wood of your porch, they sure do my deck. I’m trying something this year that I doubt will work but I have hopes:

    You will love the Spring in your new location, the summer too I hope.

    I use both Firefox and Chrome, they both have their advantages.

  4. Zeppelins are the future, I suspect that Oak Ridge is testing the little bug versions - the ultimate drone. Spring is on it's way here, the first of the trees are blooming.

  5. Love that porch! Now for a chair and a cool drink. A nice spot to prop up those boots and contemplate.

  6. Breathtaking Jon! Beautiful, beautiful , beautiful! Look at those mountains in the distance. Bill would so love to live where you're living. Heck, I would too except for the reasons I've stated previously. I just can't live in a place where some of the local folks are so hostile to me as a gay man. But I don't want to dwell on the negative. Jon, I think you made the right decision by choosing such a lovely part of the country to live. And the mourning doves, listening to their cooing sounds also gives me peaceful pleasure. I have a pair outside my home office window. What I'm missing is those beautiful mountains you have in the background. I have to admit Jon, I'm jealous. By the way, you can never post too many pictures of your new surroundings.

  7. I'm totally besotted by your front porch, Jon! The view is pretty sweet, yes ... and the exposed wood and those railings look so homey ...comforting, almost.

    'Still trying to wrap my mind around the idea of nearby copperheads. Polite or not, they totally freak me out. Be careful!

  8. Hi, Jon. I suspect you were chased by carpenter bees. They are tres annoying, but I don't believe that they sting (like bumblebees do). They are very territorial and will chase each other. They will also go to town on drilling into (eating?) your wood porch. I'm sure there must be ways to kill them, if you need to. Personally, I found a tennis racket handy for knocking them senseless if they got too aggressive with me. I also never met a polite copperhead, so lucky you. They are likely nesting under your house, so be careful. Again, they can probably be eradicated if need be. Rattlesnakes at least warn you. There are probably cottonmouths in your area, too. Gee, I'm just full of happy nature facts today, huh? Sorry about that. May the spirit of Spring recharge your own spirit soon. Take care. ~~~ NB

    1. Well, hell, now I'm REALLY going to be afraid to go outdoors. Snakes nesting under the house??? Those carpenter zeppelins are extremely annoying. Looks like I'll have to take up tennis.......

    2. By the way, I appreciated ALL of your comments. I'm just too lazy to reply.


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