May 27 12:10 PM

Signs of autumn stir quiet memories

September 22, 2010
There is a sound of fall in the air as breezes rustle leaves in the maples ... and I have not seen swallows for days. It is usually around the 28th of August when I last see them.

I was first to arrive in our little country church parking lot this morning. It was lovely and serene, the only sound being the rustle of cottonwood or aspen leaves, again the sound of fall.

Mosquitoes make it impossible to enjoy the out-of-doors. Money and I have not been to the pond much lately but, decided to give it a try this afternoon. Surprisingly, they didn't seem as bad but enough to drive us inside "The Shack."

I retired my favorite shabby, La-Z-Boy down there and made myself comfortable. It overlooks the pond. Noticeably absent were the swallows usually seen skimming the pond. Also, the pair of mallards that were around the pond so much during the summer. In fact, no birds except a song sparrow whose quiet song I heard for one phrase only. Too quiet, I love the air full of bird songs.

Birds have been flocking, another sign of fall. It seems they only arrived and the peepers were still singing. I always feel lonesome when I see and hear the birds discussing their flight plans.

A few wrens have returned to the yard to sputter at my grey tiger kitty, Jigs. I got a kick out of one wren. For several nights it bedded in the now empty phoebe's nest on the front porch. It was so cute peeking over the edge of the nest. I thought it rather unusual.

Two sibling bluebirds entertained me for a few days. They were quite streaked and really didn't look too bluebirdish, but their call was quite mature. One kept hanging around the lawn swing one afternoon. Later, Alan and I were visiting near the swing when he looked down and found a recently expired young bluebird. What could have happened? The second one stayed around for quite a while. I still hear it now and then.

The hummingbirds have slowed down at the feeder. Two weeks ago, I had to fill it often.

I have been seeing more monarch butterflies the past few days. Granddaughter Carlee and I gathered a few caterpillars from milkweed in Campbell's orchard. She wanted them for her and a friend's kindergarten room.

Perhaps by now you have

guessed that I have been reminiscing. That column was published ten years ago. As I told you last week, Carlee was gathering monarch caterpillars, only now for her kindergarten classes. Also for me. Our caterpillars have turned into beautiful jade-green mummy-like chrysalis's and next week they should become monarch butterflies.

I mentioned earlier my kitty, Jigs. He is doing very well and now living with Jill Hough and her family.

Since writing the column ten years ago, Money has gone to doggy heaven and is buried along with the other doggy friends down at the pond. Daisy and I now enjoy its quietness ... almost too quiet now that the birds are leaving. A flock of robins were down there last evening. Surprisingly, no mosquitoes.

Thanks for the memories.

—Country Cousin

Gertie Brooks is a lifelong Almont area resident. A 'farm girl,' Gertie is the premier historian for the Almont area, and frequently offers her memories and first-hand accounts in her 'Country Cousin' columns.
Castle Creek
Milnes Ford
05 - 27 - 19
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