A Man For All Seasons..Except Fall

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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I know a lot of you fall in love with fall…but not me.
You can romanticize all you want about this time of year calling it “Autumn” but it’s still Fall and plants are dying, birds are leaving, it’s getting cold out and I find it all depressing.
While others point to the trees in awe of God’s colorful handiwork, I foresee weeks of dealing with dead brown leaves piled knee-high over my entire yard from the four big trees on our corner lot.
It’s a big job to rake them up each year. A job complicated by the fact that each tree is on its own discombobulated time-release program.
The cottonwood, which is actually on my neighbor’s property, hangs mostly over my yard and it’s the first to shed. This year, leaves started dropping in late August and with the exception of a few hangers-on, it’s now empty.
The maple in the front is just starting to turn yellow and will be letting go any day now.
The crabapple is next..usually casting off its red leaves by Halloween.
But the Silver Maple in our back yard is as stubborn as a Lutheran on stewardship Sunday.
This giant tree is like a shy bride on her wedding night refusing to disrobe and expose her bare branches until the last possible minute…sometime in late November.
Then it’s a race to get them raked up before the first snow flies.
Fall also means the end of my love\hate relationship with golf.
It means squirting some Sta-bil fuel stabilizer in the gas tank of my motorcycle and leaving it parked under a blanket in the garage until next May.
It’s the end of sitting on our back deck on a warm evening with a glass of wine listening to the sometimes annoying buzz of cicadas in the trees and the neighbor kids laughing as they spray each other with the garden hose.
I used to look forward to hunting pheasants in the fall but that was when I had cousins who lived on farms that were loaded with birds.
Getting permission to hunt wasn’t an issue and you didn’t have to pay for the privilege.  
You could sometimes get your limit by road hunting and not have to worry about being shot yourself by an angry farmer if you crossed his fence to retrieve a kill.
Speaking of getting shot, my cousin Robert once came close to blasting me into oblivion on a hunting expedition.
Pheasants don’t like to fly if they don’t have to and will often just run on the ground of an unpicked cornfield ahead of the hunters walking behind.
They’ll only take flight when they reach the clearing at the end and that’s where I..as the self-appointed blocker..would be waiting to nail them with my dad’s 16 gauge Remington pump action shotgun.
Robert wasn’t too thrilled about doing all the hard work of walking the fields without ever getting a shot off so, in frustration, he forgot or disregarded all the hunter safety rules..lowered his 4-10 and opened fire at a rooster running just ahead of him.
A split second later I could feel bb’s whizzing around my head and making a “tick-tick-tick” sound as they sprayed into the dry corn stalks all around me.
When he emerged from the field and saw me standing there white with fear..he apologized and that’s when I believe I actually said, “ you idiot, you coulda shot my eye out!”

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