The last two weeks have been stormy, with strong winds, rain, hail, thunder, and lightning piercing the days and nights.
And. over those weekends, when my hubby, grandson, and I made trips to our house in Osage County, we could tell the storms that passed through had left their marks.
Driving the half-mile from the county road to our house, we found several branches down. Dark green palm-like cedar branches littered the road, while yellowish-orange globs of persimmons lined the sides of the road. Persimmons must be good eating because flocks of turkeys gather near the base of the persimmon trees.
When we made the curve to where the woods part into an open field, I spotted the old oak tree (on the left) in the cemetery had lost two large limbs.
I spent most of one day trimming small branches from the large limbs and putting them into the area where the guys collect firewood. My hubby and grandson (mostly) use the small branches for bonfires during deer season. And once the large limbs are cut down, the larger hunks of wood will warm our home on cold winter nights.
As I cut down and hauled off the detritus, I wondered how old the tree is. My hubby's guess is more than a century. I wish that oak tree could talk; what amazing stories it could tell.
Of the hundreds of trees on our property, the old oak took the biggest hit, but it wasn't the only one that took a good shaking during the late summer storms.
Several walnut and pecan trees lost limbs -- and countless nuts. Pear trees also lost some branches--and mostly unripe pears littered the ground. I gathered bags full of nuts from the trees nearest our house and a few of the palatable pears and laid them out on a towel on top of a table.
Squirrels were especially busy under the pecan tree near the porch, gathering their bounty then dashing across the gravel driveway to the nearest outbuilding, where they must be storing the nuts for the winter.
If the large amount of nuts, acorns, and fruit weighing down the trees on our property is any indication of what's to come, we're in for a cold winter.
On Labor Day weekend, we went to a neighbor's farm for an end-of-summer party, which our host described as a "Hillbilly Hootenanny," complete with a shared pot luck dinner, swimming, line dancing on the backyard deck, and Karaoke performances. Some folks, from as far away as Linn and Jefferson City, remarked about how they'd also lost trees during the stormy weather.
By the time we returned home, I was sore from all the bending, stretching, and hauling, but I also felt peace after being out in the country, communing with nature and spending time with our neighbors.
While there was a whole lot of shaking going on, and the storms knocked down tree branches and limbs, the storms also left behind easy pickings for wildlife.
I believe from time-to-time it's necessary to shake things up and change. And so, the cycle of life continues. Storms pass and leave their marks, but goodness and bounty prevail.