A slow fall Saturday provides a good enough excuse to perform some yard cleanup. Workers from the highway transportation office recently cut back a sizeable portion of the brush that borders our property — an ongoing effort to curb roadside accidents involving the growing whitetail population.
Now, besides the sizeable leaf accumulation — many branches and other debris remain from their recent work.
Our neighbor from across the street, Janet (Nathaniel Farrington’s eldest daughter, now into her 70’s and living directly across the street) notices us and drops by for a brief visit.
After our casual goodbyes, as an almost afterthought, she informs us that our other neighbor Jim recently passed after a third and fatal stroke. Apparently, his wife will now occupy the large yellow house diagonal to ours — alone I assume.
The fact that I met someone only weeks from their death strikes me as oddly fascinating and sad.
This wife is a complete mystery to me. Not that I spend much time investigating the neighbors. The earth here tends to take most of my spotlight these days.
This oasis of flora and fauna holds a very natural New England beauty and sends me daydreaming inside a Walt Whitman poem.
And the animal population — especially the whitetail deer and turkeys, make frequent appearances in our backyard searching for food and shelter.
Perhaps they visit to escape the sanctioned bow-hunts in the larger reserve area; a periodic attempt to thin a burdensome whitetail population. I welcome them and enjoy the chance to view them up close, as they forage nearby — preferably not in our already cursed garden.