D.T. Pennington

Writer – Photographer – Creative Coach

The Visceral Romance

I guess I could take a video of this so you can see it and share it. There are a pair of brown rabbits in the rose garden doing that jump-around thing that animals tend to do in the springtime. It rained aggressively last night, so the ground is covered in pink and red petals and the rabbits are, well, frolicking in the mess. This is the kind of thing you expect in a Hallmark movie. This is spring in Asheville, in Appalachia. In the past ten days, eight have seen rain and we’ve had somewhere around 3 inches soaked into our lawn. Most years, Asheville gets enough rain to count the area as a temperate rainforest. That is, until the sun comes back and the grass grows like wildfire and every tree blooms, again, and sheds pollens to leave me with a slightly itchy nose and throat.

The air, it gets heavy. The floors in our home are persistently sticky this time of year, a slightly damp, sweaty foot sticking to the finished wood.

Of course the hammock makes sense anytime between now and November.

Across the lot is one of the many groundhogs that live around here. This morning he (because I want to believe they are all hes) is chowing down on the greenery. I wish they would coordinate, him and the other hes, so they could cover more ground and maybe I won’t have to mow the lawn this week. 

All of this is happening outside of my second-floor studio window. Between me and the action is a Cooper’s hawk who has taken up residence somewhere around here. The hawk is usually either perched on a fence or on the porch roof, head and beak shifting from left to right, watching the action and planning the attack. The hawk could probably do a number on the rabbits but hauling off with a groundhog might be difficult (they are FAT this time of year). I’m certain there is a mess of rodents hidden in the grasses I will never know about.

I would share all of this, but then I would have to share the aftermath of the eviscerated rodent picked apart on the shingled roof below my window. I’ll let you imagine what it looks like. Oftentimes, it is better this way.