Sunday, September 4, 2016



 Gunfire. This morning. It began around 7:00 and lasted for several hours. I'm not talking a few shots. I'm talking continuous blasts. Hundreds of rounds, at least.

The start of hunting season? Probably. I'm not looking forward to it. The shots are often close to my house. My biggest fear is that someday I'll be the recipient of a stray bullet - -  courtesy of a myopic, inebriated hillbilly good ol' boy. I loathe everything to do with hunting.

  I can hear the gun control freaks cheering and applauding.

I'm armed and dangerous. If anyone tries to break into my abode, I'll aim for their ass and ask questions later.

The gun control freaks are suddenly expunging my blog and I'm getting kudos from the NRA.

Hey, I'm not a killer. I don't endorse guns. And I don't get my kicks from blasting Bambi. But I'll blast the first SOB who crosses the line into my territory for malicious intent.

Don't sweat it. The gun rant is over.

Sunlight on weeds at dawn - probably the dumbest photos I ever posted

I initially got up before dawn to cut some weeds - despite my bad back and complete lack of enthusiasm. Forty minutes of excruciating effort yielded pathetically minimal results. The fifteen-foot-high weeds are now fourteen-and-a-half feet high. 

I was drenched in dew, sweat, assorted burrs, and bugs bites. The humid air strangled my breath and my heart rate soared to DOA proportions. As I crawled up the hill back to the house - crippled, wet, and defeated - I could hear the weeds laughing.

Two thoughts crossed my mind:

1. If I drop dead before I get to the house, my body won't be found until March - that is, if the ice kills the weeds and the coyotes don't eat me.

2. I forgot to buy potatoes when I went to town last Thursday.  

This dispelled the theory that our lives flash before our eyes when death threatens. All I saw was an unfulfilled grocery list. 

September is here and not too soon. It was a brutally hot summer. The past few days have been gorgeous and sunny. The nights are cooler. I needed a blanket last night. 

I sleep with the window wide open and I sleep in my underwear. I would sleep naked but I don't want to scare the cats. Bosco's usually in bed with me.

Last night the coyotes were unusually active with unearthly howls. And creatures in the trees kept tossing loud whoops and hooots at each other. I'm assuming they were owls. I can't imagine any other tree-dwelling creatures that whoop and hoot.

As if I'm not already suffocating in the delights of Mother Nature, last night there were creatures scurrying about on my roof! Raccoons? 'Possums? Squirrels? Are squirrels nocturnal??

I ventured outside at 3:00 a.m. in my underwear with a flashlight but couldn't see a thing. It was too damn dark. 

This post is getting too long. When I start boring myself, I know for certain that my welcome is waning.

I'm presently writing a book for children. No, I'm not joking and I'm sober. I should really be working on my novel and memoir, but this latest endeavor is a very pleasant diversion. I'm actually having fun. It's all poetry (the rhyming kind) and it's scary. But, of course, not too scary. 

I'll end with a few more back yard photos. Nothing spectacular.

 These are different butterfly photos than the ones I posted last week. I swear, it always looks like the same butterfly every time.

The yellow butterfly (below) is on a flower with two bees, but they are hardly discernible on the photo.



  1. Replies
    1. You're a perceptive observer. I actually think there are three bees on that flower - two on the left and one way over on the right, below the butterfly.

  2. I imagine hunting deer is necessary. I know they can over populate and then starve which is a much harsher death. I'm not sure if over population is true of moose and caribou up here but I have several friends who hunt. It's a way of life for some.

    I like your yard pictures, especially with the sunbeams. I think I can see one bee in the last picture.

    Is your children's book going to be illustrated? How would you go about finding an artist or do publishers do that for you?

    Beautiful sunset. My house is in a low spot surrounded by tall trees so I never see sunset unless I'm out and about.

    1. know numerous hunters, including some of my relatives. I'll eat the meat, but I sure as hell don't want to watch it being slaughtered.

      My house is surrounded by trees, too, but I'm way up high and can catch glimpses of the sunsets. The sunrises are more difficult to see, unless I go over by the cow meadow. I sometimes miss seeing FULL sunsets like I did in Treeless West Texas.

      As for children's books, the publishers usually find the illustrators - unless the author stipulates other plans/ideas.
      Since I'm always impatient and in a hurry, I was thinking of self-publishing. If I do that, I might incorporate a wide variety of old (19th century) illustrations (I do have some ideas about this).

      When I was in my early 20's I wrote and illustrated two books for children. Unfortunately both manuscripts were lost. I have no clue what happened to them.

  3. jon, maybe it IS the same butterfly. Maybe it has it in for you in some way. Not that I am trying to make you feel paranoid.
    Those guns .. just thinking of them makes me feel paranoid and I must be several thousand miles away from you.
    I really wouldn't like to live in such a remote place as you do, at least not without getting a fierce guard dog. But I don't suppose the cats would like it.

    1. Jenny, it's very possible that I'm being stalked by the same butterfly. I'm paranoid about everything here. I definitely need a fierce guard dog, but three rambunctious cats are all I can handle.

  4. Isn't a children's book a bit out of character for you? Given your intense dislike of the younger generation?

    1. Despite my dislike for children, I'm still a child at heart. Bizarre irony, I suppose. My book of children's tales will have a slightly dark and sinister side to it. Enough to give the little darlings some healthy old-fashioned nightmares.

  5. Children's book sounds like a delightful project, Jon. I wish you success! As to hundreds of rounds fired in the forest, it may be hundreds of hunters, who will doubtless thin out their own numbers, or one dim shooter with a new automatic weapon who turned it on but doesn't know how to shut it off. Your photos are great. I don't know how you get those prismatic streaks of sunlight in them --Norma gets them too-- but it's a fun effect.

    1. I think it was probably only a few dim-witted, trigger-happy hunters. They were probably indulging in target practice in anticipation of slaughtering Bambi.

      Strangely enough, I find it very relaxing to write a book for children. I'm enjoying it.

      The sun has to be somewhere in the camera lens in order to get those prismatic streaks. I don't directly aim for the sun, but I make sure it's very nearby. That's the extent of my technical explanation....

  6. Some days I can't wait to get out of the city ... then I consider having to co-habitate with hunters. Heck, I'd probably cry over an injured coyote or squirrel. A fellow human, sorry ... not so much.

    Call me weird, but I like those images of weeds at dawn.

    1. The weeds at dawn are admittedly intriguing - if you don't have to worry about cutting them. The photos are rather haunting.

      Despite my feigned toughness, I'm the type person who cries over an injured mouse.
      After all the crap I went through with my Texas neighbors, coping with stray bullets is a romp in the park.

  7. Replies
    1. You're right about that. I never know when I'll be chased through the forest by a pack of coyotes....

  8. Maybe you need to get one of them thingies they advertise you can wear around your neck and in case you need help push a button and it will call for help. That is if you don't live to for out in a remoted area. Just saying. Your pictures are beautiful. Take care, Jean

    1. That's not a bad idea. At least I have my cell phone, although the reception isn't always reliable. I'm glad you liked the photos, Jean.

  9. Don't Shoot!-The good thing about weeds is, is that they are always green (until first frost).We spend a fortune trying to keep the grass green.- Creatures of the night??? Scampering on the roof??? Reminds me of rats in the attic.- September is blistering here in the sunny south. We don't open a window until mid to late December. Lucky you!- A children's book...Child's Play for a writer. I've known a few. None of them had children.

    1. A green thumb certainly isn't required to grow weeds. I'm living proof. When I lived in Southern California, September was always the hottest month of the years. I remember going back to school when the temperature was 114 degrees (I'm not kidding).

      I never previously thought about it, but you're right. Many children's authors were, in fact, childless. I suppose that's why they had time to write books...

  10. Love your morning weeds! Guns and hunting make my skin crawl...more than critters on the roof.

    1. Guns have always scared me - - and the terror increases when stray bullets are always flying around your neighborhood!
      I'm still very curious to know what critters are doing relays on my roof. They make a heckuva lot of noise.


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