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The view from my back door
Friday, August 7th, 2009

Some of you may wonder why anyone would give up South Texas with the cowboys in tight Wranglers, Tex-Mex food, wide open skies and a rich, varied culture for the backwoods of Arkansas. So I thought I’d give you a glimpse into one reason I did that very thing.

The scenery changes from season to season, but also varies according to the amount of rainfall and bright sun we get. An ice storm or high winds can change it irrevocably, so once in a while, I like to take a camera into the yard.

We had a lot of rain the past few weeks, and today when I stepped outside I spotted what I thought were flowers growing underneath the massive white oak in the backyard.

Who knew mushrooms could be so pretty? Or that I’d be so taken by them I’d have to snap close-ups?

I know, strange. But my mother’s a painter and I thought she might like the colors.

Past the oak tree, there’s a forest—all ours—but I rarely walk past the fence this time of year because of the snakes, ticks and chiggers. Still, I snapped the back fence with the flowers growing up against it. You can see a hint of the pond in the background.

The flowers are pretty, but not planted in a formal bed. The bulbs were plopped into the ground at the fence edge and left on their own. Every year they streak upward. Usually, there are more, but the high winds knocked many of them over.

I went ahead and opened the gate to the woods, just to get a better picture of the pond. Right now, vegetation is choking the banks so it looks smaller than it is. There are fish in there, nothing large, but kids still like to drop fishing line in there and catch something.

I came back through the fence and looked back toward the house. It’s a modest home. From the front it looks like there’s only one story, but there’s a daylight basement in the back. The perspective of the photo makes the pump-shed in front of the oak look huge and the house very small, but it’s quite a distance to the house from where I shot the picture. See the oak? It’s down the hill from the house, but it still towers over the roof. We fear one good tornado will fell the tree against the house, but the oak’s been there more than two hundred years. We figure it deserves to live out its natural life right where God planted it.

See the top of the door on the bottom floor of the house? Most of the view is cut off by a retaining wall, but that’s my door. My office is just inside. Whenever I need to think about a scene I’m writing, I head outside to clear my mind.

That seem like a good enough reason to give up the cowboys?

10 comments to “The view from my back door”

  1. Brandy Walker
    · August 7th, 2009 at 8:54 am · Link

    Now if you could have just gotten one of those cowboys to come with you.

    it is beautiful and I can clearly see why you gave up Texas. I know I would have.

  2. Wesley Nichols
    · August 7th, 2009 at 9:12 am · Link

    My mother birthday is on the 12, but because she is a school teacher we are celebrating it tommorrow. I have got her birthday present, but I still need to wrap it.

    The scenery of Arkansaw is beautiful. Does it iever inspire some story ideas?

  3. SonyaM
    · August 7th, 2009 at 9:30 am · Link

    Being a Texas girl, I cannot imagine living any where else. But then, I live just east of Dallas and not in So. Texas. haha Your views are certainly pretty. I am glad you enjoy them and living in Arkansas.

  4. ArkansasCyndi
    · August 7th, 2009 at 12:07 pm · Link

    We’re glad to have you home in Arkansas!

  5. Estella
    · August 7th, 2009 at 2:45 pm · Link

    Beautiful scenery!
    Do you know what kind of mushrooms they are?
    They look very similar to a mushroom that grows here in Oregon.

  6. Wesley Nichols
    · August 7th, 2009 at 4:08 pm · Link

    In your previous blog, you had shown interestin the idea of fae living in the mansion you had shown. I thought the fae would live in such a building, because they would be attracted to places with a great deal of memory and history. I also think that they would be big on a dwelling that they felt represented them in some way and wasn’t just a form in conformity seen in most suburbs.

  7. Wesley Nichols
    · August 7th, 2009 at 4:29 pm · Link

    What also made me think of the fae was the creepiness of the mansion. The creepiness made me think of Halloween and the fae have a connection to halloween that most people are unaware of.

  8. Fedora
    · August 7th, 2009 at 9:10 pm · Link

    Gorgeous, Delilah! I don’t think I would have imagined mushrooms to be so colorful!

  9. Delilah Devlin
    · August 7th, 2009 at 10:59 pm · Link

    Brandy! If I could have packed one in my suitcase… *sigh*

    Wesley! Happy Birthday to your mom. I’ve only set one story in Arkansas, although I didn’t outright say it. That was LOCKDOWN.

    Sonya! I love South Texas. Folks down there shudder at the thought of living near Dallas. LOL

  10. Delilah Devlin
    · August 7th, 2009 at 11:02 pm · Link

    Estella! I have no clue about the mushroom. All I know is that it’s supposed to be poisonous. Lethal and pretty.

    Fedora! The color is what caught my eye. Plenty of ugly gray and beige ones popped up all over the yard, in the cracks of the patio stones, etc. The orange ones showed up under the oak and on some of the limbs of the tree too.

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