Monday, July 06, 2015

Fourth of July

Roshara, July 3, 2015, 9:30 p.m.

Darkness has slowly engulfed the countryside on this warm early July evening.  Mists are beginning to rise from the low places as the cool evening air collides with the warm earth.  The first whippoorwill calls its name, and then calls it again, and again, and again.  I am sitting on the back porch of the cabin enjoying the evening, and appreciating the whippoorwill's call.

“Kaboom!”  I almost jump out of my chair.  But then my straying mind recalls that tomorrow is the Fourth of July and for some folks, this means fireworks with bright lights and loud noises.

The whippoorwill seems nonplussed as it continues calling.

“Kaboom!.”  This time with red and green and blue fire in the sky that spreads wide and then falls in a cascade of sparks.

The whippoorwill continues calling and this time I spot several fire flies flitting about, casting their cold light in the darkness of the night.

Another “Kaboom,” with several less loud “pop, pop, pops” and more cascading sparks falling from the sky.

The whippoorwill is silent, no doubt moving on from this noise and light and disturbance. (The whippoorwill returns at four a.m. the following morning—just outside our bedroom window).

The fireflies continue flitting about, a silent contrast to the loud noises and bright lights of the Fourth of July celebration.  And then it is quiet.

I continue watching the fireflies, and enjoying the silence that once more spreads over Roshara.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS:   Fireflies and whippoorwills help me celebrate the Fourth of July.

 My one-day writing course on “Writing From Your Life,” is scheduled for Saturday, October 17 at the Clearing in Door County.  Go to  for detailed information.

My Norwegian friend, Howard Sherpe, who lives near Westby, writes a weekly column for several newspapers.   He writes about farm life when he was a kid—and he does it well.  Check out his books; ACROSS THE FENCE, and ACROSS THE FENCE AND DOWN THE COUNTRY ROAD, and several other books as well. They are collections of his well-written and always interesting columns.

July 16, 6:30. Heritage Village at Big Creek, Sturgeon Bay, Remembering Farm Life from an Earlier Day

September 3, Noon.  Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History (New book)

September 3, 7 p.m. Books and Company bookstore,  Oconomowoc,  Whispers and Shadows.

September 12, West Madison Agriculture Research Station, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.  Time to be announced.

September 17, 11:-a.m.  St. Luke’s Church, Middleton, WI   Stories  From the Land

September 19 , Stonefield Village, Cassville.  Whispers and Shadows.

September 23, Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

September 26, 10:30 -2:00, Dregni’s, Westby, Book signing.

October 7, 6:30 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 10, Heartland Forum, Chicago.

October 11, Old World Wisconsin

October 15, Prairie du Sac Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 17, 9-4 Teaching writing workshop at The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI

October 17, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The Clearing.  Book signing, Whispers and Shadows, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

October 29, Brown County Library.  Premier of TV Documentary,” The Land With Jerry Apps. “ Book signing, Whispers and Shadows.

November 5, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Library, Whispers and Shadows.

November 7, Edgerton Book Festival, The Land (TV documentary) and Whispers and Shadows

November 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

November 15, 9:15 Midvale Lutheran Church, The Land (TV documentary)  plus discussion of Whispers and Shadows.

November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land With Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium.  Whispers and Shadows book signing. (Time to be announced)

1 comment:

Don R said...


You are so fortunate to have a whippoorwill on your farm. We were blessed with the familiar call until 1976 when the apple orchard next to our farm was turned into a golf course. That was it for the whippoorwill. I truly miss that unique bird.