The signs of Fall are different for people all over the world. Although I love the ancient Walnut Tree in front of our office, Fall brings the loss of walnuts from the tree, which is annoying and can pose a hazard to one’s health!
This tree is home to a lot of wildlife. I know you are not going to believe me, but I’m tellin’ ya, the squirrels throw the walnuts at people who walk under this tree! Walnuts are big! Walking under this tree in the Fall can be dangerous, and you sure don’t want to park your car anywhere near the tree! (Those squirrels have been known to pitch one of those walnuts a good distance!)
I think the production cycle of this tree is only about every other year. This year, it looks like we will not have the bumper crop of walnuts that we had last year (when you could barely walk in the yard without twisting an ankle, because there were giant walnuts everywhere). They fall before they are ripe enough to crack, and there are a LOT of very large bags of walnuts harvested from our office yard. We give most of them away, or somebody comes by and helps themselves to a bag or two before they are ripe enough to eat.
We have had strangers come into our office and offer to pay us to allow them to cut down this Walnut Tree and take the wood from it. They tell us that with all of the ivy and other growth on the trunk, the tree will not survive. That ivy has been there for more years than anyone can remember, so we aren’t too worried about it killing the tree. This ivy has been used at weddings and graduation ceremonies in town. As you can see, we have plenty to share!
Since I grew up here in cotton country, fields of ready-to-be-picked cotton always signal the coming of Fall. When I was a child, our town had a Cotton Pickin' Contest every Fall. A cash prize was awarded to the person who picked the most cotton. I only entered the contest one time, and I knew that no amount of money would make me want to pick cotton for a living! At that time, the cotton was hand-picked by hired labor. It was carried to the gins on open trailers. The front yard of our home often looked like it had snowed, as all of the cotton trailers lost some of their cotton on the way to the cotton gin. I, along with other neighborhood children, spent many Fall days trying to bag up cotton from the yard. We just knew we were going to take it to the gin and make a lot of money. My Daddy knew we were cleaning up his yard without being paid, so I’m sure he was sorry when we matured enough to realize that our sack of cotton would not make us rich.
These days, when I see the cotton picking machinery out in the fields, I know it is Fall. Machines now pick the cotton and package it into huge rectangular modules. The cotton modules are rolled by mechanical rollers into covered trucks for delivery to the gin. (I kind of miss the “snow” covered lawns.)
Of course, in our ever-changing world, even cotton farming is still changing. The newest technology (at least in my part of the cotton-growing world) are machines that wrap the cotton into a circular module for delivery to the gin.
The sight of cotton modules lined up waiting to be ginned always makes me think of football games, bonfires, and high school letter jackets. Of course, ginning has come a long way since I was a child (heck, I’ll just say it like it is. Everything has come a long way since I was a child!) In the Fall, the whooshing sounds of the cotton gins could be heard day and night all over town. “Nowadays” (as my granddaddy used to say) the cotton is ginned silently.
Geese, flocking to a pond in the evenings, make me think of the arrival of cold weather.
Does sunlight sparkle on the water more in the Fall?
Is the sky more blue; are the clouds more white and fluffy in the Fall?
Are sunsets more spectacular in the Fall? A gorgeous sunset always makes me think of evening trips to the river (I live on the Mississippi River) for hot dog and marshmallow roasts.
I am joining Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday,
and Shannon at A Southern Belle with Northern Roots for Story Tellers We Remember Wednesdays.
It’s a good thing I know where the “s” is on my keyboard! Thank you to these Southern hostesses, Susan and Shannon for hosting these fun Wednesday events.
I’m also linking to Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper.
Go check out all of the links at these fun blogs.
I loved having you stop by for a visit. I hope you’ll come back often. laurie