I went for a walk around the ponds behind my house this morning. Temperatures in the sixties invite me to go out, and it’s October, so there are some leaves beginning to turn and other signs of autumn apparent. As I walked under the big oak behind the house, there were dozens of acorns on the ground. I was walking “briskly” (meaning, I was trying to walk fast to get my heart rate up, and I was panting. . . . ), so I didn’t stop, but I thought about it! I also thought about how many times Daddy would come in from hunting or working in the yard and empty his pockets on the hearth. Often there would be other nuts, hickory, pecans, maybe a few peanuts (if the season was right). After my brisk walk, I went back to the oak with the camera in hand, and yes, I put a few acorns in my own pocket in memory of my daddy.
I walked around the house, too, to check out the zinnias. There were several butterflies getting the last of the nectar from the blooms. This one caught my eye, though. I wonder what happened to him. Did the winds from Hurricane Matthew tear his wings?
Or is he/she just an old butterfly at the end of its life?
When Grady was clearing the land where we live for our house in 1984, his grandfather would often ride over on his old Ford tractor. One Saturday morning, I rode over to help Grandpa “supervise” the work. Grady was cutting down trees while we looked on. Then, Grandpa Hub looked at me, pointed to a tree with his walking cane, and said to me in all seriousness, “Now don’t let Grady cut down those hollyberry trees.” Grandpa unexpectedly passed away not too many weeks later, but for thirty-two years, I have held Grady to my promise until 2011. The largest holly tree next to our garage was badly damaged after the house burned, and Grady had to remove it. However, this holly, also damaged from the heat of the fire, survived. If you look closely between the branches, you can still see some of the fire damage. It is not very prettily shaped anymore, but it still stands. I would not let Grady cut it down five years ago. Now, it produces berries every year.
In a few days, I will need to pull out my scrapbook papers, adhesives, and pens to put these stories in pages for my children to read.
These are important stories to me, and my photographs will help me tell them to the generations that come.