There are some problems this time of year for an outdoorsman who takes to the woods. It is the beginning of a more aggressive situation with copperheads due to the heat and skin- shedding time. And the yellow jackets nesting in the ground can be awful if you step on a nest of them. Then there are the spider webs across my face, which absolutely drive me nuts. Other than that and some other things, there are no problems. I wonder why it is ten degrees cooler up here on my high, heavily timbered ridgetop than it is in town ten miles away? It may be that the concrete and pavement have something to do with that, I don’t know. On my ridge, heavy foliage keeps the sun’s rays from hitting the earth, and a breeze is usually blowing. There is more concrete and pavement in our country today than ever before, but there will be more in the future than there is now. That will be the case each year to come, and you wonder, could that be one of the reasons that leaders in Washington D.C. are lamenting the effects of ‘climate change’.
Concrete and pavement did not exist 250 years ago in this nation. We had meadows and prairies but no pastureland. Nor did we have automobiles or electricity. So I can’t help but wonder, what is causing the horrible natural destruction coming upon civilized places. You might be able to figure it out better than I because I fall way down below the genius level in brainpower. My forte is common sense, gained from growing up in the country and on the river in the Ozarks. Not being all that smart has never bothered me because as long as I am outdoors alone, no one seems to notice.
Maybe it is the lack of intelligence that makes me think that surely the climate problem will lessen as we go forth, and more woodlands are cleared and we create more pavement and concrete, right? That all will surely give us less carbon dioxide! In the meantime, on the woodland floor up here on this ridge, there is a good breeze and there is no heat index… it is just 8 or 10 degrees cooler than it is where the TV. station is where they talk about heat index, and on Main Street in the closest town. If you don’t listen to television and don’t go in town, life don’t seem so bad, ever.
In all my life I have never lived in a town. As I float a river, and sit on a shaded gravel bar, I am as thankful for summer as I am for spring. Fall looms ahead and it will be wonderful too. So will winter, as will next spring, and next summer, if we are lucky enough to experience each.
I can handle the spider webs, the frost, the snow, the pollen, even the heavy rain and wind and occasional hail. Heck, I even survived a tornado. Whatever each day brings, I am happy as long as I can be in the outdoors. The Bible says that each day is what God gives us and we should rejoice in it, to count it all as gain. And I accept that. I could never accept a life in the city, the awfulness of great numbers of people and the traffic jams and that awful idea of living each day in quest of another dollar and just a little more power. Walking some distant Ozark mountain ridge or sitting on a shaded river gravel bar I have no money and no power and no use for either.
I can thank God for letting me awaken each morning to birds singing around me and a beautiful sunset across the river valley below each evening before I go to bed listening to an owl through an open window.
But spider webs across my face…well a man can’t have everything. The thing I have always accepted is, each month of the year offers outdoorsmen something no other month of the year has. It is August now and it is wonderful.
River floating this time of year is usually tougher because of low water. But what a time to fish topwater lures! Bass in low, fairly clear water watch that peaceful river surface and when a topwater lure interrupts it, they often react with a mighty splash, slurp or slash which results in the disappearance of the topwater lure and a fight resulting from strong hooks embedded in the jaws of a mighty micropterus salmoides or a micropterus dolomieu.
You have to admit that is poetic, ain’t. Us outdoor writers is like that at times!
This year streams are fuller than I have seen them before in most Augusts. You don’t have to pull over as many shoals as usual. But high muddy water following these unusual rains is bad for bass fishing, though good for catching catfish.
A lot of what I write cannot be used in newspapers, and so I put it on a computer site… larrydablemontout
I urge you to go there and read a true article I wrote entitled “The Murder of Fiona Ward”.
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