Possumhaw: It was a bluebird day


Shannon Bardwell



" ... She had been too busy wishing things were different to find much time to enjoy things as they were."


"Pollyanna," Eleanor H. Porter (1913)




The rains came, filling the lakes and greening the grass again. The temperatures dropped 10 degrees, making the days more pleasant. We seem to be grass cutting and bush-hogging later into the year. Sam tucks away the tractor and the lawnmower for the season, only to pull it out again.


"Maybe one more cut," he says.


A few leaves are fluttering to the ground and a handful have turned red on the wild cherry tree; other than those few signs, fall is barely noticeable.


Sitting on the couch staring out the window, there were things on my mind and prayers on my heart when I saw a bluebird and his mate landing on the top of the bluebird house. The male peered into the opening while the lady waited patiently on top. I wondered why they would be examining the house, for surely they are not building a nest. It would be the wrong season. I decided perhaps they are looking for a winter abode. In a few moments they flew away. It was just enough to distract me from my previous thoughts and take my thoughts onto the flowers that were blooming just behind the bluebird house.


The tall swamp sunflowers are fully in bloom and swaying in the breeze. The combination of sunflowers and red spider lilies makes a nice bouquet for the table. I tell Sam I know he likes fresh flowers for the table and we laugh, knowing it's really me who likes flowers on the table.


The loropetalum has exploded in fuchsia blooms. The crepe myrtles have produced a few new buds, indicating they are not through. The blue, some say purple, Prairie petunias, some say Mexican petunias, are more prolific than they've been all summer. The fall cosmos has joined the waning zinnias, and even dandelions have sprouted.


Wild persimmons are hanging like ornaments on the persimmon trees. These will draw deer. We've already seen about three or four bedding down in our field. The Possumhaw tree is full of red berries and the birds and critters will be pleased with those. A few butterflies and hummingbirds are still with us.


Harry found a wild rabbit and possibly befriended him. While searching for the cats at night, I've run into two possums making their way across the walking bridge down by the lake and into the backyard. When I shine the light toward them, they stop and turn slightly. They look almost white in the light and scurry away to who knows where, only to return another night.


Sam and I moved to the porch to enjoy the coolness. I told him it reminded me of sitting on my grandmother's porch, talking and watching cars go by. It was our entertainment. Sam said, "I decided I'd never want to live right on the river. There'd be boats and barges passing, making noise and shining lights in your windows."


It would seem that sometimes the most perfect place to be is right where you are.



Shannon Rule Bardwell is a Southern writer living quietly in the Prairie.


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