Don't Rush Me
A kinder, gentler Don? Whadup wit' dat?
Moles, cicadas, pet peeves and more!
August 24, 2011 - As the days get shorter, the mornings cooler (I actually saw my breath at about six Monday morn) and as fall approaches, I ask my self: "Self, are you a kinder, gentler Don?"
I asked myself that question because over the weekend I found myself taking the time to notice things in the back yard and garden. I saw and heard a lot of things, earlier in the morning before the sounds of lawn mowers, neighbors and other motorized vehicles woke up.
As I picked tomatoes, habanero, jalapena, poblano and banana peppers from my wee-little garden, an odd movement from the corner of my eye caught my attention.
I stopped, turned my head over to the patch of Lemon Balm mint growing (almost wildly, I might add). After a nanosecond, a stalk of balm shook. A single stalk in a patch that is about four-feet by eight. Then, another stalk moved, then another.
I inched closer and when I was above the area of the moving balm, I saw the reason. A mole was moving in its tunnel, under my plants, in my garden! First instinct was to take my spade and bring down Don's wrath in a terribly wicked strike that would eliminate said mole problem.
But I didn't.
I watched it, or I watched the path it was taking by the shaking lemon balm.
* * *
Later in the morning as I was walking back to the veggie garden, I noticed a big, reddish-brown thing crawling in grass. I stopped, bent down to get a closer look (but, not too close because I didn't have reading glasses) and noticed two big eyes. It was a cicada.
Now, I've heard the cicadas in my yard every year. Each year I find their ektoskelton clinging to some weed or up against a tree -- which is how I was able to identify the living thing crawling in my grass.
But, I have never seen a live cicada before. As it had most likely just dug its way out of the earth, being young it must have mistaken me as a tree (I cast a mighty big shadow), because then it (he, she?) started to crawl in my direction.
I got a stick and then got him (her?) to the safety of the honey locust tree in the middle of my back yard so she (or he?) could shed its skin, get some wings and fly up to the tree tops and start making noise.
* * *
Later in the day, but still early in the afternoon, I was up near my yellow garage. I have the bottom "pan" of a doggie cage leaning up against said garage. I noticed, an ecktoskelton of another cicada. Cool.
Upon closer inspection (but, again, not too closer), I noticed up in the corner of the doggie-cage-pan was the actual winged-cicada that had emerged from the eckoskelton a few inches lower. Sweet! It must have been drying its (his, hers?) wings because it didn't move when I was near it.
* * *
Still later in the day, but still afternoon and not evening yet, the big weekend storm was starting to kickup. News reports said there was a severe thunderstorm warning in the area, with winds possibly gusting to 70 m.p.h. Upon hearing the news, I went outside took the doggie-cage-pan and cicada and put them in a more protected area, near a maple tree. I didn't think a thing about it, I just did it.
* * *
So, as I was driving into work this Monday, the weekend's events bounced inside my noggin. Then I thought, "Am I a kinder, gentler Don?"
My thought process was interrupted, cause I needed to fuel up The Racing Sonoma (205,000 miles and still ticking). I pulled into the gas station and . . .
. . . I answered myself when, from Don's List of Pet Peeves, Number 927 occurred. I hate it when people go to a gas station and instead of pulling up to the furthest available pump, they only go to the first available pump. That action slows the whole process up for folks behind in the line. ARRRRG.
It ticked me off, royally. So, am I kinder and gentler. I think not. Cranky white guy, reporting for duty.
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org