Sunday, January 19, 2014


     The gulf coast of Alabama sure is a different world from the northwoods.  Not a hill for an hour's drive in any direction.  Here and there a cotton field and something called a satsuma.  There's pine trees most everywhere when you leave the beach area,  Loblolly, sand, and two types of southern yellow.  They call them long leaf and short leaf.  Why leaf is beyond my ken.  Those green things growing from the branches sure look like needles to me.  Could be they are leaves and us northerners have got it ass backwards.
     Then there's the live oaks.  Beautiful, spreading trees.  A mature oak covers the better part of an acre with branches so long and heavy they droop to the ground.  But the leaves sure ain't oak leaves as far as I can see.  Nothin' but little oval things.  Their acorns look like acorns, but the leaves?  And they don't shed in the Fall.  Or spring or anytime.  The live oak is an evergreen.  Yup, an evergreen.
     So you've got pine trees with leaves and an oak that's an evergreen.  Till they get that straightened out in a manner the good Lord of Lutherans intended, the South sure ain't gonna rise again.
     Where I fish is another anomaly.  Like I wrote yesterday there's herons, cormorants, gulls and ospreys for company.  Should I come down after dark there might even be a bobcat to pass the time with.  To my back is open land covered with brush, wild flowers and vines that look like creeping charlie on steroids.  All of that sparsely covers and protects a humpiness of bone white sand dunes.  Not fertile land at all.  That anything at all grows atop it is a mystery and a tribute to the tenacity of life.  Scrubby life for sure.  Given the frequency of hurricanes in this part of the world that's about all that can be expected.
     Above runs a huge sky.  Nothing much besides the high rises we're staying in for the winter to hide the blue.  Should bad weather come calling it can be seen from thirty miles away.  Seein' as how my walk to this little refuge is only minute away from cover, the only way I can get wet is if I choose to.  Not quite like canoe camping in northwest Manitoba but as close as I can come down here in the lap of civilization.
     Oh yeah, the anomaly part.  Though I stand and attempt to whip out line with the hope of catching yarn eatin' speckled sea trout, across the channel, as I've written before, stand dozens of million dollar plus houses.  All of 'em built on a big sand bar and waitin' for the next big blow.

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