The Leaves Have To Fall Sometime

September 12, 2007

This week I witnessed a demonstration of skill with crowbar and shovel by Gord French. I had marked a large stone in the path of traffic on one field. Gord looked at it, grabbed the bar and had the thing out of the ground in an amazingly short time. Then he cut the sides of the hole down with the shovel until the hazard was greatly reduced. When I complimented him on his skill, Gord muttered, “It’s not one I’m all that proud to admit.” I thought it was pretty impressive.

Sunday Ennis and Dwayne showed up in a shiny new red truck, checking for rough spots in the field. We chatted about the topography and I thought I had them pretty well oriented. Then I looked up and saw Ennis blithely driving over the most boulder-strewn half-acre on the property, a place I barely have the nerve to drive a tractor across, and here he is with a brand new truck. When I asked him what he was up to, he answered, “I wanted to see how rough it was.” Man, kids! Doesn’t matter what age they are! Give’em a hammer, and they’ll find something that needs hammerin’.

This is the driest it’s been since I asked my father-in-law if he would arrange a sunny day for our outdoor wedding back in ’72. It didn’t rain for six weeks. Also a clergyman, my brother-in-law tried the same thing for his daughter some years later but lacked his father’s touch. Early snow’s not that unusual in Edmonton, but a blizzard during a garden wedding on the 6th of August? When I kidded him Don muttered something about only being licenced to the Saskatchewan border.

Anyway, I’ve spent so much time standing in that field watering that today the coyote would have walked right by me if I hadn’t tried to start up a conversation. The young red-tailed hawk flew by twice and I made sure I moved enough that he didn’t mistake me for a post. Don’t think I’d like those claws in my scalp, though it would make for a great yarn, wouldn’t it? Zeke’s protecting the big walnut trees from the squirrels this week.

Remember Ranger Gord from the Red Green Show? Another week of watering and I’ll be as loopy as that character.

The thing is, the water helps. Some of the dormant seeds are sprouting, even now. Amid the drought there’s quite a bit of life as I look down the rows, so the patch is blackmailing me. But will the leaves hold on for another week? I fear not.

Almost went ballistic this afternoon when I drove over to the Site. Somebody stuck a tool shed right where The Croskery Woodlot sign is supposed to stand. What’s more, it had logos on it from the sponsors. Turns out the perpetrators were standing there, apparently enjoying my reaction. The tool shed’s a portal, part of the overall landscaping for the site. The builder assured me that the 12′ sign is coming. He designed it. The St. Lawrence skiff will fit next to the portal without blocking the wagons. They measured.

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