2017-08-09 / Editorials

Don Lively


It appeared as though Lucifer was exhibiting assaultive behavior toward his domestic partner.

It was raining hard around the wooded enclave. I was sitting on the north porch watching the sheets of water spill from the firmament, AKA the sky. The sudden downpour caused streams of water to gush down off of the roof. Thunder rolled from the northwest to the southeast as if it was following the mighty Savannah River from Augusta to the coast.

Heavy rain.

Cats and dogs, as they say.

But, off to the west, shining brightly on the front yard, was the sun.

The devil was beating his wife.

That's the more commonly known interpretation of our opening line.

Either way, it's a phenomenon that I am always amused by, sunshine and rain happening at the same time.

It's midsummer around our neck of the woods.

This particular midsummer is a rather schizophrenic one.

Is it going to be hot as blue blazes, or cool and balmy?

Will the day bring eerie stillness to the countryside, or tree bending winds?

Rain or drought?

Nobody seems to know.

Every day appears to be a new adventure in weather prognostication.

As always is the case when I laze around on the porch, all sorts of thoughts and questions and truisms gentled through my mind that day as I sat watching Satan whup up on his bride.

I've sometimes wondered how that expression came to be since there's no Biblical evidence that Satan's married, but, that's pointless speculation for another time.

Porch sitting in the middle of the summer offers the sitter a portrait of nature at its very finest.

As I sat pondering, I noted that the hummingbird feeder was empty, or at least that's what I thought.

I was never much of a birdwatcher until I moved back to the country a decade or so ago. But somewhere along the way somebody gave me a feeder and instructed me on how to use it. I dutifully bought a gallon of something known as hummingbird nectar, filled up the feeder, hung it from the eave and never gave it another thought until one afternoon when I heard the unmistakable buzzing that only hummers make. Sure enough, there was my first visitor.

They've been coming ever since, and, even though I thought that the feeder was in need of refilling, apparently there was still nourishment to be had below the cover, because as I reposed I was paid a visit by not one, but two hummingbirds, one nearly black, the other light brown.

As I watched the birds drink what must be the last of the nectar something yellow high up in one of the sweetgums caught my eye. At first I thought it was another bird of some kind but it turned out to be a leaf. It chose that moment to spin one final time on its stem, then broke loose and began to slowly make its way to the ground, dancing and fluttering all the way. Then I noticed that several other leaves up high had begun to turn also. Autumn is weeks away but the trees are apparently a tad confused too.

That's okay, it makes for some very nice scenery.

Somewhere just a few feet away from me a tree frog started up his song. I'd have sworn that he was sitting on the armrest of the rocker, the noise was so close, but even though I searched as thoroughly as I could without actually leaving the chair, I never spotted him. I did notice that another frog somewhere out in the trees seemed to be conversing with the porch frog in the same high pitched keen.

Suddenly my dog, Lucy, AKA LooseE, keyed on something out in the woods. Whatever it was I never saw it or heard it but she did. She stood stock-still for several minutes, the only movement from her nostrils sizing up the unseen threat.

It must have just been a rabbit or a squirrel, not a Bigfoot or a bear cause after a while she stretched back out and resumed looking bored.

I took her cue.

I returned to observing midsummer happening right on front of my eyes but made a mental note to myself.

Get more hummingbird nectar.

Cause there's still half of a summer left.

Don Lively is a freelance writer and author of two books of Southern Humor, Howlin' At The Dixie Moon, and, South O' Yonder. He lives in Shell Bluff. Email Don at Livelycolo@aol.com.

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