Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The 4th of July

Today is the actual 4th. We've been celebrating since Saturday, but only now it is officially Independence Day.

I heard a bunch of firecrackers go off in the wee hours of last night--because of the drought and the danger of fire, "aerial" fireworks are banned in our county--and most of the counties around us, but I think firecrackers are still legal--though probably not in town. Talking to the local volunteer fire department's son over on the courthouse lawn, I learned that the weekend has been slow, fire-wise. There was one fire Sunday night, after the VFD's 100th anniversary celebration, but it's been quiet since then--knock on wood.

We walked over to the courthouse and had lunch--sponsored by the Shriners, not the Rotary. It's hard to keep all these benevolent organizations straight. When the July 4th barbecue started, 129 years ago (yep, it's been going that long), one of the local ranchers would donate a cow or two and they'd cook it over a firepit and everybody would chow down. These days, the barbecue is catered and we buy tickets, but everybody still finds a favorite spot in the shade and picnic on the lawn. Then we walked home again, to wait for the parade in the air conditioning. It's hot outside. The parade was right on time, with cheerleaders and horses and old cars--and about a dozen firetrucks. I'm amazed such small towns have so many firetrucks, but most of them are for fighting grass fires, with the hose on the front. Our neighbors had a float. Nobody lives there most of the time. Miss Phebe Ann passed away a couple of years ago, and a niece or nephew bought the house for their vacation house. They're having a family reunion this weekend, and they built "Phebe Ann's Phun Phamily Reunion Phloat." Made me grin. And then we walked home again. We have steaks out to grill for supper, and that's our celebration.

Oh, and we have woodpeckers. Several different kinds. Our big redbud tree has some dead limbs, so the woodpeckers have started to show up regularly. Ladder-backed woodpeckers, flickers, and today, I saw a big, gorgeous red-headed woodpecker right outside the kitchen window. I didn't know they came this far west, but apparently so. Yeah, my sister got me into bird-watching a number of years back. I'm not rabid about it, but I do get excited when I see something unusual.


Amber Jennell said...

Well, it sounds like you had a fun time. Love the name of the float! Fantastic.

We stayed at home this year (as we always do) to watch the fire works. There's a ban in the neighboring counties, but not ours. Don't know why, but I'm not complaining. Every year for summer they let out some of the water in the dams for Southern California so our town gets a nice little lake perfect for boating and 4th of July fire works. Works for us since we can see them from the top of our horse trailer.

Love woodpeckers, though we don't see many where I am. We moved down here about 4 years ago and I've only seen two. In our old town (only about 1 1/2 hours away) you couldn't turn the corner with out seeing one. Keep your eyes open for me.

Happy Writing,

Gail Dayton said...

Hey, Amber!

Fireworks are so much fun. Our friends with the cotton farm, who would water their fields and invite everybody to bring their fireworks, moved into town so... Oh well.

I'd never seen a single woodpecker here until this year. Somehow, we got all the grackles (those nasty noisy black birds) out of our trees, and so many others have taken up residence. All kinds of birds. I'm really enjoying it.