Matfield Green - Our first years

Friday, March 31, 2006

Light Show in the Eastern Sky

Brother Fred called early this morning to see if we were alright - he'd heard about big storms last night in southeastern Kansas. We are fine. It is a stunning morning. Not a cloud in the sky, more spring green leaves and blossoms on the trees than this time yesterday. And our only experience of the storm, which must have been east and south of us, was a brilliant light show as I drove home from the Emporia Chamber of Commerce After Hours event last evening.

Back home in Chicago I'd have had no idea that counties to the east were getting bombarded by a storm. But here, where the horizon is wide open and the night sky is almost as dark as can be each flash of lightening illuminates the clouds and casts a red glow across the sky. It really is spectacular. It was hard to keep my eyes on the road. But luckily, as I took the curves on Highway 177 on that last couple of miles into Matfield Green I did have my eyes on the road. A big doe deer darted across the road. I slowed to let her pass but out of the corner of my eye came another smaller deer. This time I braked hard and fast and as I saw that deer frozen stock still 1 foot away from my front bumber it seemed impossible that I had actually stopped. That I was not going to run into her. After a moment she recovered her senses and moved on across the road, and I drove, shaken the last mile and a half toward home.

As if a deer was not enough, as I pulled into our driveway I narrowly missed nailing a skunk. Dangerous in another way. Drive slowly and keep your eyes on the road if you ever visit the Flint Hills at night.

I walked home from our morning walk today with three dogs instead of my usual one. Pepper hooked up with two Lab-mix adolescents as we walked west out of town. They followed us across the prairie and back to the bunkhouse, where all three played and fought and rested and nipped at each other. I suppose eventually they'll get hungry and go home. I hope.


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