Monday, November 12, 2012

Pigs and flowers - sure signs of fall

Fall is finally here in South Georgia.  I know this because my neighbors' pigs have arrived for the season and the yard is full of blooming camellias.  The arrival of Peaches and Milkshake each year roughly coincides with Día de los Muertos ( oddly like the monarch butterflies arriving in Michoacán) and they are here for fattening and showing before they become bacon and pork chops.  My neighbors' children have had a succession of Peaches and Milkshakes - each year the same names - which they raise, show, and sell.  And with the same precisely timed arrival, so come the Christmas decoration to the neighborhood.

Here are a few things I have discovered or observed during the past week:

1. No matter how many tiny wooden painted fir trees, illuminated deer, and singing angels my neighbors put in their yards, South Georgia will never look like a winter wonderland.  A thin covering of dried pine straw is a poor substitute for snow.  And when bright pink flowers are actually blooming on bushes next to a Santa, the illusion is interrupted.

2. Yesterday when I checked the mail two lizards were chasing each other on the box.  The road is full of smears from brave frogs who hop across the street oblivious to on coming traffic.  When it rains all the reptiles come out to play.

2. Desiccated frogs and lizards are a reality in my life.  I don't flinch anymore when I find a dried out creature tangled in corgi hair in some forgotten corner.  Yesterday a dime-sized frog mummy was in the middle of the living room floor, probably dropped there by a dog who discovered it and transported it to a spot more convenient for play.  I just scooped it up with bare hands and disposed of it.

3. There is no end to the growing season, the mosquito season, the wasp season, the fly season.  All annoyances continue to grow year round.

4. There is truth in the saying ," a deer in headlights..."  Although few blasts on the car horn will scare away deer standing at the side of the road, it is the ones you can't see before they are running across your path that will nearly give you a coronary.

5. Try to find a grocery store that doesn't stock Kilz-Em-Dead rat bait right next to the fried pork rinds.  However, if you find yourself there because the only other grocery is out of something you need for dinner and a 36 mile round trip to the next town seems excessive, do not look into the meat case.  I repeat, do not look into the meat case.  Feet, intestines, and stomachs from all manner of birds and beasts abound.  And who says the pull-date is really a deadline?!


  1. Best perplexing Southern Christmas moment: an evening under the stars standing in front of a ginormous Yule log in Zilker Park in Austin in 75 degree weather. The big Zilker Park tree is pretty cool, though.

  2. Oh, lordy, I understand every little last thing you're talking about here...although I will say our neighbors never raised pigs. That's new. I do, though, remember decorating the Christmas mantlepiece with magnolia leaves and camellia blossoms.

    Nothing like chitlins and pigs feet to make a trip to Piggly Wiggly complete, eh?

  3. I love these observations on how the season looks in your part of the world! We're enjoying a rather balmny 60 degree morning here in New England - but the temp will drop 20 degrees before the day is out!

  4. We got our first dusting of snow this morning, but the roses are still blooming in front of Daffy Dan's across the street.