Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Looks Like The Coyotes Are Trying To Tell Us Something, Pappy
I talked to my girlfriend in Bozeman today. Her life used to resemble mine, because she once lived only five miles away. Then she moved to Montana, where there is a hamburger place in her town called Bob's, with a neon sign out front that says SORRY, WE'RE OPEN. She's got eagles instead of pigeons sitting on her fences, and mountains instead of Chem Lawn trucks out her front door. Not to mention elk steaks for dinner. No more frou frou chef salad crap for her.
She says the birds are all gathering like they're getting ready to leave town. The skunks and coyotes are also coming down from the mountains. Granted none of this seems like much on the face of it. But this movement of animals is all happening six weeks early.
An early migration means it's going to be a nasty winter. So what do the birds, skunks and coyotes leaving Montana have to do with me sitting here in Chicago?
Well, if you look at a map of the country and follow the weather patterns, lots of stuff comes down the pike from out there yonder. I have scientific proof, too. Everytime my friend calls from Bozeman I ask her what the weather is that day. That's so I know what to wear the day after tomorrow. Really. Because, for some reason, their weather becomes our weather about forty-eight hours later.
Montana, by the way, has been having a bad drought. This summer Chicago had the worst drought since they started keeping records. So, if this early bird, coyote, and skunk warning holds up, Chicago is going to be hit with some hellacious weather in a few months.
After paying almost eight hundred dollars for a turbo-charged, dual carb, hemi snow thrower that I used exactly once last winter, I'm not feeling too bad about a chance to put that baby to work again. So bring it on.
Maybe I can find the picture I took of my neighbor's fence after one pass down my driveway with that monster machine.
The fancy fence they put up within ten minutes of moving in.
The fence that's six inches higher than code.
The fence that almost got installed in the middle of my garden except for an accident of fate that found me at home, so I could come running out my back door screaming at the migrant worker, "No, no, no, that's my property you're digging that hole in."
That fence. All covered with a two foot layer of snow graffiti. A nice touch if I say so myself.
The bad news is that we may have to brace for some heavy duty winter weather coming from Montana. The good news is that I'll have a chance to fling two more feet of snow up and down that fence again.
There's always a silver lining.