Cool Front's a'comin' : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Well, they say a real cool front is due here tomorrow. Temps in the low 70s! I guess its time to make my winter preparations. I will dig out my winter clothes (dark-colored Bermuda shorts), and replace the Jelly Bellies on my desk with cinnamon gummy bears.

Actually, winter for us is always a little later. Last year, it was an afternoon in the middle of February. I still have plenty of time to bring in the key limes and kumquat trees in their large containers, along with the bougainvillea. I give the hibiscus a little protection, and they make it alright, planted outside my office window. Even the bananas made it last year, and presented us with two big stalks this summer.

Oh, yeah, I know. Some of you are enjoying crisp mornings and fall-colored leaves already. Ive heard that some of you even live where there are FOUR seasons. Well, this is for yall:


Autumn sky,

Wrapped in a ribbon of blackbirds.

Winters coming,

Itll be here with the sun.

Summer morning,

An afternoon of spring,

Autumn evening,

Bringing blackbirds on the wing.


In the low country of the bayou, fall is marked by the blackbirds. They spend their days rummaging in the rice fields, but every evening they fly to their roost in the wetlands, where they sit swaying in the wind on the ends of salt grass stalks.

But the way they fly has always been one of my favorite sights. A huge flock will appear as a thin ribbon, maybe only a few yards wide, but stretching for two or three miles. As they fly, the ribbon undulates like it has a greater life of its own, rising and falling, swaying in the wind; never breaking.

When I worked in town, I would often catch a flock flying alongside the road on my way home. Sometimes, I would stop just to watch. Autumn on the bayou, will, for me, always be blackbird evenings.


-- Lon Frank (, September 24, 2000


The white-crowned sparrows and rufus sided towhees appeared 2 days ago, they were right on schedule.

-- Mrs. Cleaver (Mrs. Cleaver@LITBBB.xcom), September 24, 2000.

Well, this will be my first year without "four seasons". When I arrived here in the beginning of March, the two trees on our front lawn had no leaves. A couple of weeks into March, they sprouted these caterpillar-like fuzzies that you had to sweep off the walk almost daily until early April. Then the leaves began to bud and finally appeared green as can be.

We had some snapdragons (one of my favorites) that grew in the island that houses one of the trees. They're a hearty lot, as they lasted through some of the most oppressive hot winds I'd ever experienced. Ultimately, they folded and went to sleep in early summer. I did try my hand at an hibiscus (another of my favorites), but it didn't make it beyond two flowers.

Now that it's "officially" Autumn, I see the trees are slowly starting to lose some yellow leaves. Nothing like what I used to experience even in Brooklyn. I don't know how long they hang on, but our "Autumn" here has consisted (so far) of temps ranging from the mid 80s to the mid and upper 90s. A wonderfully cool change from 110+ in June, July, August and the beginning of September.

One of the most wonderful things for me is to sit in front of the house and listen for the sound of Seigfried and Roy's tigers. It's a beautiful sound to hear, even when you're not expecting it. Hard to believe in the middle of this "concrete oasis" lies a lair of some of the most beautiful big cats you've ever seen.

No, I've never "seen" them, but "hearing" them is enough for me.

Thanks as always, Lon. I always look forward to your writings.

-- Patricia (, September 24, 2000.


About 700 miles north of you. It is 48 F and dropping. Continuous drizzle. The blackbirds are freezing their asses off. Nice fire in the fireplace and a great Merlot. It is a good time.

Best wishes,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, September 24, 2000.

Lon! Yours is a name I haven't seen for several months: WELCOME BACK!

-- TB2K Welcoming Back Committee (tribal@council.spoken), September 24, 2000.

I know it's fall because today I got a really great bargain on a cashmere sweater and a wool plaid kilt. Not trying to sound shallow, I just love cozy clothes and cold weather.

-- Alice in Wonder Bra (alice@wonder.bra), September 24, 2000.


That was a nice piece of writing. I've always liked fall and I can just picture what it's like on the bayou.


Just wait. You may have your four seasons yet. Vegas gets a pretty good snowstorm about once every five years or so. I was there in 1984 when there was about 9 inches of snow and the town was closed down for 2 days. Well, not closed down, you just had to stay in your hotel and gamble since the airport was closed. It was terrible.

-- Jim Cooke (, September 24, 2000.


It's been quite some time since I have seen a post from you. It's good to see you back.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), September 24, 2000.

Wow, theres just no tellin wholl show up on a Sunday afternoon! Patricia and Mrs. C, ole Jim Cooke and Z, and even a material girl from beyond the looking glass. Good to see you all.

And, BTW, welcome wagon, does this mean I get some coupons for 10% off of vinyl siding, or a free drink at the Uncensored Burger Joint? Actually, Ive been around forever, just lurking. Most of the threads here are not my normal style (that is, they require a modicum of thought), so Ive refrained, mostly, from sharing my ignorance.

Jim, autumn on the bayou is really a lot like summer on the bayou. Last Christmas Eve afternoon, I mowed my grass in a short-sleeved shirt. The major difference is that when the temperature drops into the 50s or 60s, my two goofy old cats get frisky (as does the missus, sometimes).


-- Lon Frank (, September 24, 2000.

Jim, that must have been awful ;-)

Actually, SO showed me pictures from a couple of years ago where there was about 1-1/2" of snow on the ground. Pretty bizarre seeing "snow" in the same frame as "palm trees".

When I was here in December and then again in January, the nights were wonderful -- in the 40s.

I think I'm going to like Christmas here...we have a fireplace ;-)

-- Patricia (, September 24, 2000.

When I was a kid a huge flock of blackbirds landed in a dead oak tree near where some buddies and I were camping. We hadn't eaten in a couple of days and were pretty hungry. I took my dad's old model 12 winchester and snuck up real close to the tree, then pumped seven rounds of #8's in amongst them blackbirds as fast as I could shoot. It must have rained blackbirds and feathers for ten minutes. We cooked em on a big flat rock layed over our fire, along with some poke salad we had pulled out of an old cowlot, man they tasted good. I've liked blackbirds ever since.

-- Nikoli Krushev (, September 24, 2000.

Replacing your Jellie Bellies with gummy bears Lon? Aren't gummy bears for spring time? I'd go for Jujube's.

You know what I find cozier than being wrapped in a warm sweater by a fireplace and sipping on merlot? Logging on this well-worn and familiar forum, seeing familiar "faces" ranting a storm. Old adversaries side by side each knitting their own threads in their own way. CPR and Andy Ray trying to revive the old fights in one corner, FS leading a warm and lively philosophy and spiritual discussion in another, and good ol' Lon spouting dreamy poetry as always in the middle of it all.

Ahhh...can't get any better than that anywhere on the net. Seasons change and I don't even notice it.

-- (, September 25, 2000.

You'll get used to it, Patricia. I KNOW it was a hard transition for a born-and-raised in Chicago woman like myself to acclimate myself to the climate in Texas. Now, I wouldn't have it any other way. There ARE seasonal differences, but you need to pay attention to them. The flora DOES change. By the time winter arrives, I'll see red berries on bushes [Those would be the ones touted up north during Christmas time]. Already I've seen trees blooming that couldn't do so during the heat of the summer.

At the same time you notice these changes in flora, you'll notice that your blood has thinned and you can no longer tolerate the extreme cold temperatures of the north. 40 degrees will feel to you like sub-zero.

-- Anita (, September 25, 2000.


Youre right about Texas winter. A lot of the time its just plain nasty. Not pretty white mounds of snow, or frosty country lanes; just cold rain or sleet. Another thing is, that since we dont need them very often, no one has really good winter clothes. (Picture layering with long underwear, sandals, three Hawaiian shirts and a straw cowboy hat).

But when a true blue norther comes howling down, it can really catch you off guard. Ive gotten in a sleet-covered car, and found the air-conditioner still on, from when I drove it that morning. I lived in Lubbock for awhile, and they always said that there was nothing to stop the wind between there and the North Pole, except a barbed wire fence.


Yeah, kinda neat here, aint it?

Oh, and jujubes are definately for summer - saturday-matinees and picnics. But now, a handfull of little red cinnamoney-hot bears- well, thats just gotta be for autumn.

---------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------------------------

-- Lon Frank (, September 25, 2000.

I retire the blackbirds and everybody steals them-Is imitation the highest form of flattery?

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), September 25, 2000.

FS, yes it is :-) (And check your email.)

I was actually cool this morning ... had to put on a sweatshirt when I woke up. It was about 64 degrees when I left for work, not a cloud in the sky, the sky was as blue as can be. And there were two hot-air balloons kind of hovering over the mountains in the west.

Simply beautiful. I think I'm going to love Autumn in Las Vegas.

-- Patricia (, September 25, 2000.

FS, scratch that email thing. Can you drop me a line please? Thanks.

-- Patricia (, September 25, 2000.

DEFINITELY cool here today. Woke up to 53 degrees. Yesterday it was HOT AND HUMID. Tonight it's expected to go down to 43 degrees. I'll be sleeping in a snowsuit.

The contrast in winter is magnificent here in Texas. One day [or morning, as mentioned], one can be scraping ice off the car windshield and by 2pm be outside wearing shorts. When it snows, it's an EVENT. My oldest ran outside barefoot and danced in the snow. If an inch or two actually sticks, cities close down. Those ice-storms are something else, as well.

-- Anita (, September 25, 2000.

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