Thanksgiving Day Journal:
Cool and windy this morning and the clouds were gray, but it never froze last night; in fact we had a little shower late yesterday evening. We did have one hard frost, about -4 C or 30 F so the outdoor stuff, except for hardy perennials, is dead.
The early morning air nowadays is full of the peculiar croaking or throbbing of sandhill cranes. The fields and sloughs right around us are a pit stop on their migration route. Each day we see hundreds of them circling in the air and settling down to glean in fields; in the evening we hear them croaking away like huge bull frogs. They spend about a month here before moving on. This morning I also saw some large white birds on the slough just west of our property; I’m guessing they’re trumpeter swans. ‘Tis the season.
A cattle drive went down the road in front of our property about 10 am this morning. There’s a community pasture half a mile east of us and another about two miles west, so when the grass gets grazed down in one, local cattle breeders move their stock to the other pasture.
I’ve seen farmers do drives on horseback, but most of the time they use 4-wheel drive pickups so they can chase off into the field as needed to redirect wanderers. Mostly the cattle know the routine and amble obediently down the road, but some will head into the field. Occasionally the cattle look into our yard and someone sees something munchable, so they come trotting in to check it out, but usually we haven’t suffered negative effects from a cattle drive.
The farmers pick a quiet time like early morning–or a holiday like today– so as to cause the least inconvenience. There are about six pickups driving the herd. A quarter mile west is the highway; someone has halted the traffic until all the animals are across. There were maybe 40-50 this time, cows & this spring’s calves.
One night last week my cat got me up around 1am because he wanted to eat– why ever do I put up with him?– and I glanced out the window in passing. I saw two does, each with two half-grown offspring, wandering down our driveway and over to the sea buckthorn. We planted those shrubs because the branches have long thorns that deter deer, but these deer weren’t very deterred; the does were nipping off the tips of the shrubs.
They were back again the next evening; I actually walked out toward the garage before I took note of them. One was on its way into the garden; another young doe–probably last year’s offspring– froze when she saw me. Of course I did the same, so we eyed each other for awhile. I finally moved and she took off across the field.
Next evening I went out when I saw that one pruning my sea buckthorn again. She must have felt herself well hidden because her head was completely behind the shrub. Finally I said, You shouldn’t be eating those, deer,” and off she went. Haven’t seen them in the yard again, but they were in the field last evening.
On Monday at our writer’s meeting the inspiration came to me that “Now is the time.” I want to compile a book of my poems and fiction stories – parables I’ve written – and publish it. I even e-mailed a publisher for more information about their self-publishing packages. And, wouldn’t you know it, one of their representatives called me the very next day! (Well, that really doesn’t surprise me. If I’m paying, they’re willing. ☺)
And I sold my first book last night. I was telling another lady at church what I was planning to do and she said she wants a copy. How encouraging!
We are having a Thanksgiving supper together at the church this evening, but I wanted to post this before it gets outdated. I’m working the next two days.