Oh what an interesting day I had, and for sure it will be long remembered. It all started out with my deciding to do some menial labor since it was pleasantly cool outside early this morning. So off I went to work at my on-going project that’s progressing along nicely. Not long after being back at it, I was reminded how good it was in not having to listen to a phone ringing or my cell phone beeping. I managed to get a good three hours work in, and it showed.
While I was driving to pick up some supplies, I noticed someone cutting down a monster tree that must’ve been dying. All that was left standing was the main trunk which the tree person was cutting in short sections; likely because of the tree’s diameter. From what I could see, a big section of that tree trunk had been hollowed out by squirrels. The size of their hollowing-out must have been for the whole neighborhood tribe of those “tree rats”.
Speaking of trees, I think something greatly wrong is happening with the black walnut trees this year. Their nuts aren’t even half their normal size and they’re already beginning to drop. The first time I noticed it, it was brushed off as possibly one sick tree, but after looking more closely at every walnut tree I’ve encountered thereafter, I found it’s happening to each and every one of them. The squirrels are going to be going “nuts” if they don’t have their normal supply of walnuts to hoard away for winter. Their hunger will likely cause them to become all the more emboldened, so make sure you don’t find one trying to gnaw its way into your home. Have you every had pan-fried squirrel? It’s really quite tasty, and I’ve read of late where it’s become quite the rage with the British.
I do know that oak trees are bi-annual with their crops of acorns, but at least they do have a small one on their “off” years. It’s also strange that I haven’t noticed any acorns growing in the oaks this year as well. The strange weather patterns we’ve been having these past several years may be having an effect on all the more plants and animals than we’d ever want to admit.
I had an exceptionally good open house at 323 – 6th St. NW this afternoon. Every person that walked thru it was delightfully surprised by its quality and beauty. Anyone who’s into historic hardwoods should be hot after this home. Tell friends and relatives about it.
After my open house, I decided to take well over an hour’s drive to a small community’s 100+ year old church. I was speeding most of the time, but thankfully I found myself walking in just as they were starting to sing their gathering hymn. There were several observations that stood out for me that I thought worth sharing. The first was how many people with young families were there who were actually seated far closer to the front than back. That congregation’s spirituality is a rarity when seeing the front half of pews being filled up first.
The second notable, were the stained glass windows which weren’t as one would normally find in a historic church. The four windows depicting Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were very symbolic, and the one for John was something like I’ve never seen. After the service, I went back inside with camera in hand and took some photos of those windows which I’ll share with you at another time.
The above photo I took while there is of that historic church’s bell tower. I was surprised to see the bell and manual wheel still up there. Too bad I didn’t get there early enough to hear it ringing. Looking at that bell in its tower caused me to remember the section of John Donne’s poem. “… any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee..”
As a footnote, my comments regarding what I’ve seen today in North Iowa’s countryside is being saved for tomorrow’s post. Be prepared.