Though drab grays and browns of winter still cling to the land, shamrock, Kelly, and emerald are the colors everyone thinks of when they think of March. Even where leaf-out is still weeks away, there’s a longing for change in this month that straddles two seasons. This collective anticipation is tinted green. To my eye, though, the tone of these teaser weeks is a bit more vibrant. It’s also tinged with yellow.
Johnny Carrol Sain's blog
I’m a little squeamish when it comes to eyeballs and brains. You’d think that after dismembering hundreds of carcasses — cutting into both warm and cold body cavities, pulling out intestines, livers, kidneys, hearts, lungs, etc. — I’d be more stoic in the matter. But those eyes, the window to the soul as Shakespeare said, and that gray matter where the soul (or what we think is a soul) resides, trigger uncomfortable emotions.
The raggedy old collar resurfaced while cleaning up the back room. As I sat down on our kindling box and traced a finger over the orange nylon, an afternoon sun illuminated one auburn hair wedged in the buckle. I thought about my friend. His name was Jake.
We got our first laying hens for a couple of reasons: free-range chicken eggs taste way better than store bought (it’s not subjective, there is no comparison) and for organic pest control.
“When I call to mind my earliest impressions, I wonder whether the process ordinarily referred to as growing up is not actually a process of growing down; whether experience, so much touted among adults as the thing children lack, is not actually a progressive dilution of the essentials by the trivialities of living.”
Serpent encounters are part of growing up in Arkansas. My first introduction was through Sunday School, in the pages of an illustrated Bible, with the depiction of a serpent wrapped around an apple tree. This was pre-kindergarten age. I learned that snakes once had legs and could speak before being driven onto their bellies to eat dust and rendered dumbstruck simply for offering Eve an option. Sure, the option was directly opposite what the Almighty had commanded, but I never viewed the snake as an archetype for evil.
For seven days and seven nights the rain came in drizzles, downpours and late-winter mist. When the sun finally appeared on the first of March, the golden rays summoned a dramatic transformation. Spring had been waiting just on the other side of those rains as the first wave of tentative green blanketed the neighbor’s horse pasture. Spring beauties and bluets had popped up in the yard while trout lilies glowed like an ethereal promise in the somber woodland behind our home. And from the freshened rivulets and filled forest potholes came the melody of frogs.
The sellouts are tremendously talented at coming up with clever naming. Who could be opposed to citizens uniting or a foundation dedicated to our heritage? Likewise, who among us dare say we oppose resilient forests? What sorry SOB could possibly be against a bill that claims to protect our woodlands, a bill with that pluck and hardiness, that quintessential American tenacity baked right into the label — the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017, AKA H.R.2936, 115th Congress?
Me. I’m the sorry SOB opposed to it. And you should be as well.
Bullfrog tadpoles are big, easily fat as my thumb and a little longer. They’re obvious while resting on a pond’s mud flat or among the rocks in a tumbling creek. They wear the typical cryptic olive-brown camouflage you’d expect to see on an aquatic creature that can easily slide down any number of gullets, but their sheer size makes them conspicuous, or at least to me it does. I don’t see how any green heron or kingfisher could ever miss them.They look like plump, lazy little morsels, easily captured by even the sloppiest of attempts.
But they ain’t.
I’d lamented about rained-out local creek smallmouth fishing all summer long. High water had made fish tough to find and often posed a wading hazard. But just an hour’s drive north of my home, the crystalline cool flows of the Buffalo National River resembled something closer to normal summer conditions. Ever since the fly rod — an elegant tool for a more civilized angler — found its way to my hand last fall, I’d dreamed of a trip to the iconic Buffalo River.