Tears and Laughter: County line signs, yellow butterflies, deer hunters, and lavender skies
October 1, 2018 | View PDF
The Wilcox County line sign is missing on Highway 41 in Hybart.
I stopped once to take a picture of it. I guess that’s why I noticed its absence. I’m sure others have noticed too. It has been gone for several months now. I keep waiting to see how long it will take for it to be replaced. Currently, we are building on at least six months or two seasons, depending on how you want to look at it.
By this time of year, yellow butterflies are darting along the sides of all highways leading into Wilcox County. They can be trailed along county roads and dirt roads and narrow lanes that lead down to the river too.
It is still steamy hot, but their fluttering, fleeting presence is supposed to be a sign of cooler weather coming.
For now, fishing remains strong. Campers are steadily streaming in and out on weekends. But soon it will be November and lavender will fill the afternoon skies, letting darkness loom nearer, earlier.
Already the parade of Duramax’s and Power Strokes pulling trailers are making their annual sojourn into Camden to buy beer and sausage and begin preparation for deer hunting season.
Dove hunting, hog hunting, turkey hunting, coon hunting, and squirrel hunting are popular too, but deer hunting is king.
Our local economy depends on it.
Although also locally, we are already having to carefully dodge deer day and night while driving, but evidently proper deer hunting requires tedious preparation.
Their trailers carry tractors, ATV’s, discs, and many, many pallets of seed and stacks of sacks of corn. They come from other counties and states away to put out deer feeders and erect shooting houses.
They are bush hogging their way back through log roads into the quiet backwoods. They are airing out camp houses left empty since February.
They are positioning game cameras to capture pictures of area wildlife, trespassers, and potential thieves.
The hunters seem to like it here. They always return. They like the pause between the tick and the tock. The space to unwind, reconsider and breathe.
There is silence and solitude found here still, in places. It’s different. Even the flora changes, I think because of the frequent fog. It allows the moss to cling to the bark of water oaks. It drapes down through the branches. Ferns pop from the round. There is a constant dampness beneath the canopy of shade. Its depth and density never allows the sun to prevail.
There are echoes, and the sense of spirit that comes from knowing history was witnessed here, where this black soil stops and the white river sand starts.
People can probably already feel it when they get here, but we sure do need that Wilcox County line sign replaced…so they will know exactly where they are.