I went home for lunch the other day. I pulled into our driveway and stopped. Turned the car off, got out, and started up the short walk to our door. Bam! Something hard hit me on top of my head! At first I looked at the front door, thinking Becky had (playfully) thrown a rock at me. It was closed and she was nowhere in sight. Then I looked around to see if any of the neighborhood kids were nearby. They weren’t, they were all in school where they were supposed to be. Then I happened to see an acorn hit the pavement near my feet, and I knew what it was – the oak tree in our front yard was attacking me!
The tree in the front is attacking all of us. Becky takes Jack and Angel, our two small dogs, outside for their breaks during the day. Jack, an aging Terrier mix who is half-blind and deaf, doesn’t pay the nuts much attention, but Becky said Angel, a Pomeranian who is already skittish, jumps in fright and runs whenever an acorn hits on or near her.
To make matters worse, the oak tree in our backyard has branches extending over to our neighbor, who has a corrugated tin roof on his shed behind his house. Our bedroom is on that side of the house, and Becky said she and the babies (the dogs) can be lying in the bed after I go to work, and all of a sudden start hearing the nuts hitting the roof of the shed. She said it sounds like someone hammering at something and it scares Angel.
This is a relatively new experience for us. We’ve lived in five houses and an apartment complex before we moved to Thomaston. We had an old house in McDonough that had a big old pecan tree in the backyard that made parking under it a hazard at times, but that was the only place we’ve been that had anything compared to these oaks. The apartment we lived in was on the bottom floor, so the only thumps we heard were from the people above us. Our house in Jackson was surrounded by trees, but the majority of them were pine trees and pine cones don’t hit as hard or as loud as acorns. Our house in Locust Grove was in a subdivision built on old farmland, and the only trees we had were new and weren’t much taller than me. And while I have been in newspapers for a while and I’m used to being bombarded by certain kinds of “nuts,” I can handle them better than I’m handling trying to get from my car to the house without getting conked on the head by an acorn.
Being inquisitive (and needing to write a column for this week), I looked up why the acorns are already falling off the trees. It can be the result of too little rain, and although we have been wet lately, we are in a drought area. But it also said that according to some people, acorns falling are a sign of an early fall.
So I researched signs of an early fall and found that they can include the leaves falling early, flocks of birds starting to head south, and spiders starting to come indoors (Becky is going to love that one – she hates spiders with a passion). Now I’m wondering – is it just me, or are you seeing signs of an early fall, too? And do you know of other signs as well? Let me know. Meanwhile, does anybody have a spare helmet?