Magic moments

Recently I have been scooting here and there, all over the countryside, doing many little things that I somehow get tangled up in. Don’t get me wrong, not one of the tangles do I regret nor did any of them create a problem. As a matter of fact, I’ve been having a rather pleasant time.

Though not necessarily in the order that they happened, I feel I should let you know some of the simple, little things that happen to tickle my fancy.

The first happened right in my own backyard. Fall being the time of year that mice move into my century-and-a-half-old stone house and a more recently insulated outbuilding, where I keep my self-winding alarm clocks, I set traps.

As a result, I catch a number of the little varmints, which at one time created the problem of what to do with a dead mouse. Believe it or not, I simply recycle them the same way that Mother Nature intended. I simply throw them out on my back walk, and within a very few moments, a waiting crow swoops down from the giant maple in my backyard and my dead mouse problem is forthwith solved.

But the scenario changed somewhat the other morning. When I went to toss my mouse carcass, a black squirrel mistook it for a peanut, which I, on occasion, treat them to. At the exact same moment that the squirrel jumped, a waiting crow swooped and all hell broke loose in a tumbling tangle of mixed fur and feather, causing a clamour that in no way can be explained by any combination of the limited diction yet set by man.

In about three split seconds, the squirrel in this turmoil discovered his mistake and the crow, having righted itself from the unexpected back flip, took off with a deep, gargled chuckle while said mouse was stuffed in his partially closed yap, and the squirrel was left spitting and sputtering in total confusion. He soon chattered his disappointment perched high up on a limb of the leafless maple. I threw out a handful of peanuts just to quell his complaints of said predicament.

Later that same week, a volunteer driver drove me to Kitchener to pick up another box of my books. As we drove down the back roads, in order to view the fall colours as well, we came across a quite large flock of migrating ravens – perhaps about 30 or more. I had seen pairs of those larger-than-crow species at my son’s place at Markdale and many times previous at my brother’s once-was-home near Bracebridge, but never before in such a large flock, and certainly not in this area.

A little farther along our travels, we were treated to a flock of wild turkeys that crossed the road in front of us. That is usually not an unusual sight, as I see them often while visiting my son’s farm, but this morning was a little different. They were not scampering across on the ground but were all flying a little above head height across the road.

It was a rather beautiful and pleasant sight to witness, by worm’s-eye view, those large birds so close with wing and tail feathers spreading this way and that while directing their flight through the sparsely limbed roadside trees.

A couple of hours later, as we returned a country block south of the route over, we were treated once again to the sight of the raven flock, and once again saw, though probably not the same ones, a nice family flock of turkeys as their scattered number competed for lunch in the same recently harvested corn field selected by the ravens. Not often do you see that many Thanksgiving dinners all at once, outside of captivity or grocery store freezers.

 It ended up being a very pleasant trip as the heavy rains had not yet disrobed the trees of their beautiful fall colour, and the roadside fall flowers added shades of subdued colour not seen at any other season.

In addition to that, just a week or less later, we were treated with the supreme of supreme rural route scenes. Whether you care to believe it or not, there was a sight that bragged of eight harnessed teams of horses abreast in one field, as a group of Old Order Mennonites harvested their fall crops.

That brought back many memories to me, as I have lived a life of sufficient years to have, as a youth, been there and done that. Harvest time is a time in my memory that always brings back fond and pleasant recollections of teams and wagons gathered together at threshing time to bring in the harvest.

This next week, from the time of this writing, I have hopes of getting back up to my son’s family farm to help plant some more replacement trees. I can’t wait to see what they will all look like when they get three or four years more growth to their credit.

I can already picture in my mind very beautiful well-treed shady lanes, both front and back, down which to wander. Well, I can dream, can’t I?

Take care, ’cause we care.



Barrie Hopkins