Loathe as I am to admit it, there just
ain't pecan happening here.
Three - count 'em, three! - cool fronts moved
through here since Saturday and one brought
torrential rain. The fish that were peeking
around the corner at the shallows high-tailed
it back to deep water, and all that rain muddied
the whole mess up yet again.
I'm started to feel like I'm living in Mudville.
It's a mess, everywhere.
It's not been a good month. Just last week, I
was approaching the ramp onto a bridge on my
way home from work, a truck in the opposite
lane was slowing to turn, and a car behind him
slammed into his rear. So hard, in fact, that
the car bounced off the truck and slammed into
me. Wiped me out. After standing in the cold
drizzle for two hours, I had my truck towed to
the body shop, and the next day learned that the
offending driver's insurance company wasn't going
to lift a finger to get my repairs done until
the accident report was available to prove guilt.
This would take ten days. They also said, "No rental
until we get the report," so I am now driving a
very nice Toyota Tacoma that's owned by one of
the owners of my newspaper, and I am a basket case
due to terror of putting a scratch on it. It's a
nice truck, full of bells and whistles and power
everything, but I miss my regular cab, plain Jane
Silverado. This loaner truck just ain't got no
behind, if you get my drift. Too light for my tastes.
All this happened the day after my book became
available through online retailers. Like Bogie
said in "Casablanca" while drinking his sorrows
away, "They grab Ugarde and then she walks in.
Well, that's the way it goes...one in and one out."
Ah, but spring is making a half-appearance. The
half that's appearing, however, is not the better
half. Milkweed and clover have overrun my yard,
and the red ants have decided that it's warm
enough to start making hills again. Fighting
red ants is perpetual. I sprinkle the mounds
with chemicals that are supposed to kill the
entire colony, but it doesn't. Instead they
move to my neighbor's yard, who in turn sprinkles
them with more chemicals, and runs them back over
to my yard. We continue this way all summer and
fall until first frost. We never kill any of them,
but I guarantee my neighbor and I have the most
well-exercised red ants in the south.
Clover arrives in large clumps that seem to
sprout overnight like some sort of alien spores.
You go to bed at night and there's nothing out
there but brown grass, you wake up the next
morning and there are mounds of clover everywhere.
I don't venture too near them because I'm afraid
I'll find humanoid-shaped seed pods in there like
in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." You can't
cut the clover down here with a mower, either.
It's too tough. The best you can do is hope the
blades of the mower beat it flat and that you
don't hit any humanoid-shaped seed pods that
look vaguely like you. It will stand back up
in a day, but for a little while at least it's
not as obnoxious. They should make armored
vehicles out of clover.
Meanwhile, I'm keeping a close eye on my pecan
trees. My fig tree is budding, but fig trees
are the simpletons of the tree world and worthless
as indicators of spring. My fig tree has budded
eight times since the first of the year. Pecan
trees are smart. They will not bud until winter
is definitely over. So what I mean by "there
just ain't pecan happening over here" is both
an indication that my trees are not budding,
and a decidedly Cajun expression meaning "things
is so uneventful we're practically comatose."
The phrase can also be used as in, "That just
ain't worth pecan," which roughly translates
into a "terrible situation."
The willow trees are budding, however. Willows
are somewhere between figs and pecans, sort of
an average C-grade student. Willow trees are a
pretty good indicator for sac-au-lait time (as
always I must clarify, that's crappie north of
Interstate 10). However, willows only let you
know when the time is right, not the water.
Willows don't give a hoot nor a holler how muddy
the water is, thus how bad the fishing will be,
they'll bud on merrily, their duty in the natural
balance of things fulfilled.
This is the precipice of spring, and it's how
we all suffer it, especially in Louisiana. Today,
as I'm writing this, the skies are clear and blue,
and a couple days of temperatures at the seventy
degree mark would wake up some of the shallow
ponds I fish, so maybe - knock on wood! - I can
get out to them this weekend. There's an old
saying though, "If you don't like the weather
in Louisiana, stick around a minute." I've heard
it used in other states, but I can assure you,
it originated here. ~ Roger
It's out! And available now! You can be one of the
first to own a copy of Roger's book. Native Waters: A
Few Moments in a Small Wooden Boat
Order it now from
or Barnes & Noble.com.
Roger will also be giving away three autographed copies to
readers. Stay tuned, for an announcement on the Bulletin
Board on that soon.