Fridays Weekend Column
About a Minnesota Man Exploring Life in the South
It is, I looked it up. Here in North Florida, the sun comes up in the morning earlier, and sets later than in Northern Minnesota. In fact in North Florida, on October 30th the sun is out almost an hour longer. I guess that is why they call Florida the Sunshine State.
It also might be the reason that I can still grow tomatoes, at least I am getting blossoms on the plants I put in the ground about a month ago. I was looking at the weather up North and they are talking about snow and 22 degrees. I know people up there just hate to hear what it is like down here. I know it isn't all that bad if you live up there and to tell you the truth, winters never bothered me, but I am ruined for them now.
Here it is almost November, and I saw a few leaves fall from a tree today. It brought back memories of late September in Minnesota. We don't have enough leaves on the ground yet to hear them as you walk, and in truth everything is still green, but if you look close, you can see that foliage is starting to change.
The really nice thing about down here is that come fall you have the start of a whole new growing season. Wally, at the farm store in Madison was telling us last week that flowers would be coming in soon. He buys from local growers, so we know everything we get will do well. Wanda's Snap Dragons, Pansies, and Johnny Jump Ups are in full bloom and all of our roses are filled with buds.
Yes, there are winter things I miss. I miss the snowy woods on a full moon night, when you can watch the deer walk by. I miss the sound of the trees popping at 40 below, and I miss the Northern Lights. But when I was working today, I saw three wild turkeys come out of the woods, and walk right by my studio.
The other evening I saw a armadillo out in the yard digging for grubs. You won't see one of them in Minnesota. The yard if filled with cardinals and blue jays. There are deer down here, but they are little. I don't think I have seen any that looked big enough to shoot. There are no timber wolves, but I have seen coyotes.
Some things are the same though. Maybe down here it isn't as quiet as Northern Minnesota, but I am still out in the woods, and there are times down here when all you can hear is the wind in the trees and any sounds the animals are making. The stars are bright and on a full moon night you can see moon shadows. When there in no moon the woods are dark as pitch and you can't see where you are going, but then nobody can see you either. Those are the nights that you feel good about knowing your land, and you don't need your eyes to get around.
Yes, we do have a bit more day light down here and that is good, because even after working all day, we have some time to enjoy the yard and can get some things done. I have a little porch on my potting shed, and tonight I sat out their until the sun was all the way down and the birds stopped singing. My eyes adjusted to the dark and I watched and listened.
I could hear something moving through the woods behind me and if I wanted, I could let my imagination run wild. It could have been anything I conjured up. Sometimes living in the woods is better than a movie or a good book.
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