We human rarely see the consequences of change until the affects of that change begin to impact our daily lives negatively. This has been one of the wettest Summers I can remember, but once I search back into my mind, I realize this sort of pattern is something I have seen before. As a child I remember these pop up afternoon thundershowers almost every day, and now it seem they have returned after many years gone.
I will not speculate on why the weather does what it does, or if we have messed with things too much, no, that is an argument for another day, and quite frankly there are some subjects upon which civil discord cannot be found there days. Once a man could hold an opinion and not hold those who disagreed with him in contempt, but it seems those days all long since gone. Almost anyone who speaks publically on any subject these days seems to have an obligation to attach the character of those who disagree, as if only one position attracted worthy human beings. There is tyranny here, in this mindset, and it is these same goose steps followed to misery and death for those who cannot appreciate that all do not see all things alike.
The afternoon rains have brought some relief to the heat at night, and I do like that, but it has raised the level of the water everywhere and that means frogs. I have nothing against any amphibians, and some of my best friends are amphibians, and I really like frogs in particular and it has nothing to do with the rumor they taste like chicken. But the consequences of frogs are Cottonmouths, who do not taste like chicken, and being diurnal like to hunt near the house before dawn.
Since I stepped on one of these critters a month or so ago, I’ve been jumpy about walking around in the dark, and that has taken some getting used to, really. I like the dark. I am not afraid of snakes at all. I like walking around in the dark. But I started carrying a flashlight in my truck so I can walk from the truck to the house and I’ve seen three in the four weeks. Were they always there and managed to get out of my way or has the population really increased? I have to deal with the fact they are here now, if they have always been here or not.
People email me and ask me if the dogs will be okay around venomous snakes. Sam kills things. It’s what Sam does. One day, no matter how good you are at what you do, you’ll make a mistake. If Sam keeps grabbing Cottonmouths by their heads, one day, Sam will get bit. Lucas, by virtue of the invincible puppy mindset he carries, is susceptible. Bert, simply because he likes the woods more than the other two, is also at risk. But we four like it out here and we like the ways things are. I can carry a flashlight for me, but The Three must be doing something right for there not to be a bit dog in nine years. It is what it is.
The rain has caused an explosion of plant growth. The Oaks need for me to come cut the vines off them and I have to do that next week or risk it becoming a task too large for me. Come Autumn, I’ll transplant some of the Oak saplings from the woods to the yard, and hopefully I can devise a way to keep the dogs from un-planting them. I want to start pushing the lawn closer to the house and pulling the woods closer, too. In nine more years I hope to have the grass crowded out by the shade of the Oaks. It would be nice to have some rain for this.
As the pond fills up the consequences of more water means the paths the deer take to drinking become flooded, and they begin to use the yard as a freeway. I could give a damn less if there are deer here or not deer here, but the Loki Mutt wants to chase deer. The older two dogs have long since given up dreams of deer chasing, especially since one got into the fenced in area and cut Bert with a hoof getting out. Deer have sharp feet and they have powerful legs. They are prey animals just as long as you can outnumber them, overpower them, or shoot them. Other than that, they are dangerous animals to deal with when they are excited.
The deer more or less realize the dogs cannot get out to get to them, but they limit the proximity of their feeding to the edge of my property, and the edge of the pond. The area between the pond and the fence is filled with yummy plants, but the idea of getting pinned between the pond and the fence if a dog or three gets out doesn’t appeal to them. The rising water level makes pond more and more of a barrier, and more and more of a trap. The lake on my neighbor’s property near here must be filling up also, which means there is less dry land for deer to feed upon, and more snakes over there, too. The low areas being flooded means the rodents and small critters are being forced out into the open, and if no one else has profited from this, the hawks and owls are feasting.
There are consequences to change, be that change affected by man, nature, or chance. We humans notice not at all the little things, the tiny things, and we wait until the water is at our doors to exclaim there is a flood. The rain has returned to the afternoons, and who can say how long this will last? We must accept the change that comes and we should do so with grace, certainly, but we must also see it for what it is, ever it may be.