After the Rains

It would appear that the rains have moved out of the area for now, after another night of heavy thunderstorms. When I emptied the rain gauge at 8 this morning, there was five inches’ accumulation since Wednesday morning, and the front page of the paper featured photos of random devastation wreaked by isolated tornadoes. All is well here, though (yesterday I had to reset the microwave clock twice because of power blips, today only once), and by 10 a.m. the sun had come out and I was able to get out and walk.

Under a mostly blue sky, the grass and trees looked greener than ever. If there were any doubt that spring has sprung, the pecans would prove it. In case you don’t know, pecans are a very cautious tree, the last to lose their leaves in the fall and the last to leaf out in the spring, so when the pecans get their new spring raiment, you know spring is really here: there may be another cool snap, but the danger of frost is past.

I saw several runners and walkers out taking advantage of the weather, which was breezy and seemed cooler than when I went out for the paper (at which point it was quite muggy). And as I turned one corner I saw a whole family standing out in their front yard—father, mother, and two small children. I’m no longer very good at estimating ages, but if I had to guess, I’d say the little girl was maybe a year and a half and the little boy about three. All four were staring at the lawn, but the object of their attention could not be seen. Surely too early for an Easter egg hunt? As I approached I detected movement. Surely too early for an Easter pet? Perhaps a wild rabbit?

Finally I drew close enough to see a large box turtle plodding through the tall grass. I couldn’t quite make out what the people were saying, but from their body language I gathered that the parents were urging a “Look but don’t touch” policy, while the children were all for capturing the turtle and keeping it for a pet. As they physically yearned toward it, I caught a snatch of something about letting it return to its home in the wild. Perhaps it had struggled up from a nearby gully to escape the torrents of stormwater runoff.

The disadvantage of walking fast and minding my own business is that I see these brief and incomplete vignettes of life. Often I make up my own stories about what I see, and if I were a real writer, I could probably turn these to my advantage. As it is, they just give me something to think about as I keep on walking.

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