Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Summer green

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Summer green

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I ALMOST HATE TO tell you this because it will surely jinx the event.

Saturday, Aug. 12, at midnight will be the peak time for viewing the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. That’s just a little more than a week away.

Just by mentioning the event and the date insures that it will be overcast here, but anyway …

The Perseid meteors are mostly the size of grains of sand. They are bits of debris strewn by the Comet Swift-Tuttle which is said to be the largest space object to regularly sail by the Earth. Swift-Tuttle last circled our sun in 1992, and it will make its next flyby in 2126. But each year at this time, Earth passes through the trail of debris.

There have been some great years for the Perseids with up to 200 visible meteors per hour lighting up the sky. Not supposed to be quite so good this year, plus they will be battling a bright moon (and, of course, my weather jinx).

I used to drive out to my secret observation spot near Newhope for a private viewing, but now I just drag a lawnchair out by the pool and try to stay awake.

Remember — if it just arches across the sky it’s a meteor; if it strikes the Earth it’s a meteorite.

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THE GOOD EARTH. I was nearly through with my usual neighborhood morning walk Saturday when I realized that we had reached ‘that’ point of summer.

Each year I say I’m going to pay closer attention to the ongoing subtle changes in nature around me, but I never do.

Here’s what I’ve observed over the years:

Before Winter really ends, limbs of hardwood trees sprout green fuzz. After a couple of weeks the fuzz begins turning to leaves. At this particular point there are many shades of green, many textures on the limbs.

Changes come with a little time, the trees and colors keep changing.

Somewhere along the journey to the next winter — sometime in mid-summer — almost all of the trees have become the same shade of dark green. There is little difference in color between cedar and pine, oak and sweetgum, privet and peach. They are all just … green.

And then, brown and a few patches of color begin to show up. We don’t normally have ooooh and aaaaaah autumns here. What we have is nice, though.

Well, right now we are at ‘that’ point where almost all of the trees have the same green.

HOPE SPRINGS eternal (that’s a cute saying I just made up). Maybe soon Tiny Lewis will give me his official winter weather prediction for 2014. Yes, he’s just a bit behind but I guarantee that when he gives me his prediction it will be right on the money.

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AND ANOTHER thing I’ve apparently not been paying enough attention to is this: When did tattoos become a requirement for a job at a cash register?

I stopped worrying about the green on the trees for a few moments, because I noticed all of the tattoos on the neck, arms and feet of the young lady who was trying to give back my change from a purchase.

She had a bunch of tattoos. I mean a bunch.

“Are those real or do they wash off?” I asked her.

“Oh, they’re real, Old Man, how’d you like a punch in the nose?”

(She probably skipped ‘Nice Class’ so that she could spend more time at the tattoo parlor.)

I did not want stories about getting beat up by a female store clerk to become the favored gossip of our community, so I shut up and left the store with my correct change.

I don’t have a problem with tattoos. I tried to get one once.

It was when I was in the Navy, but that’s another story and I’m sure you wouldn’t be interested.

The problem is that when the fad for tattoos goes away, the tattoos won’t. You’ve more or less got them for life.

I remember a fine gent from Murfreesboro, the late Tony McCarty. He had tattoos up and down his brawny arms. I asked about them once. He said he got them when he was in the Merchant Marine before World War II.

His tattoos included strands of faded Chinese letters.

I asked, why Chinese?

He said it was because he got his tattoos in Shanghai, China.

What does it mean in English? I asked.

He looked me directly in the eye.

“I’ll tell you later, when you’re 21,” he said.

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THINGS I LEARNED from opening email: How do you tell when you’re out of invisible ink?

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WORD GAMES. The twins: Sick and Tired. Frankly, they are just no fun to be around.

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HE SAID: “A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.” Sir Winston Churchill, statesman and hero of the Free World

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SHE SAID: “Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the fates.” J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series

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SWEET DREAMS, Baby