It’s chilly this morning in Tennessee! Not as chilly as it is where some of you are located, I’m sure–and not as warm as it is for some of you either. I do have to say we’re in a good climate here with just enough winter to still be able to appreciate four distinct seasons, but with short enough winters that by the time I’m really beginning to go stir-crazy it’s just about over. If you really plan well here, you can have something blooming in the garden almost 12 months out of the year–even in the winter.
Today’s not a gardening day, though. Nope. Today’s a hiking day. As I’ve mentioned in some previous posts, I moved to a new piece of property back in August and since that time I’ve hardly had the time to get the lawn whipped into shape, let alone go exploring on the 150 acres of grassland and woods that extends for two ridges back behind the house. If I’m being totally honest, there are a couple of other reasons, too, not the least of which are the chiggers!
For those of you who don’t live in the South and are asking “What the heck is a ‘chigger’?”, let me explain. For lack of a better term, they’re sort of like a tiny little mite–maybe a spider mite, for you gardeners. They’re tiny, horrible little sucking buggers that burrow into your skin and cause raised bumps like overgrown mosquito bites that itch like you simply cannot believe. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve woken up clawing at my ankles in the middle of the night because of them, I’d be writing this from some quiet beach in the Caribbean instead of from the living room in Primm Springs, Tennessee.
They like tight places. Shoes. Socks. That place where your jeans rub right behind your knees. Anywhere with an elastic waistband….. They’re the worst. And unlike a mosquito bite, they don’t just go away. No. They linger. They itch for the first week and then usually take two more to heal. So why am I babbling on about this? Well, because they love the woods. So that’s the reason I haven’t gone exploring yet on the new property. That and the rattlesnakes. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the rattlesnakes.
I know, I know. They won’t bother you if you don’t bother them. I’d rather not take my chances, thanks. Especially not after I photographed a nearly 6-foot-long timber rattler not 20 minutes from my house earlier this summer. He was an old boy. Thirteen rattles.
But back to the title of this post and my “Elusive Waterfall”. My landlady tells me that somewhere on the property is a magnificent waterfall. She says it’s about 30 feet wide and 15 feet high and I’m going looking for it. From her directions, I know the general direction in which it lies, but I don’t know exactly where it is. The weather is perfect–39 degrees. No chiggers. No rattlesnakes. I’m going to go find a waterfall. If I’m successful, I’ll post some pics! If you haven’t heard back from me in a couple of days, send out a search party, would you?