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Written by Chris Lee   

Fall has fallen

It was just little over a year ago when I spat out a column complaining that the leaves hadn’t even fallen off the trees and Holyoke had already experienced the first snow of the season.

Well as you know by now, last winter was a cold and long one. The first snow came Oct. 10 and it never seemed to warm up. Fall just kind of never happened. It hindered harvest and seemed to leave people in somewhat of a foul mood.

This year however, is a different story. We have experienced Halloween and the temperature has only ducked below that freezing point a few times. I know this because I had a tomato plant still producing tomatoes up until last week.

The leaves covered yards nicely until three straight days of hurricane-force winds blew them to who knows where last week. But after the wind died down, temperatures warmed up a bit and allowed for a rather nice fall Halloween weekend. One full of falling leaves, harvest, college football and opening weekend of pheasant season across the border in Nebraska.

Last year, a group of friends and I got all hyped up for opening weekend only to pretty much swear off pheasant hunting all together. Wet conditions and a later corn harvest made for a crappy hunt last year.

As it turned out, we just were terrible at hunting. We met up for a burger at the bar and to catch the Nebraska game only to find out everyone else had found luck in the dead bird department. Shucks.

This year a different story unfolded. Wonderful fall temperatures greeted us, corn wasn’t still standing in the fields and we experienced some good hunting. Temperatures were that of a late summer day. No heavy coats were needed and it was just comfortable and fun. And we found birds this year!

In addition, my Cornhuskers took down another undefeated opponent. Yep, Missouri fell to the wrath of Bo Pelini, the Blackshirts and this time instead of Taylor Martinez running everywhere, it was Roy Helu Jr.

A warm feeling took over my body Saturday after the exciting victory. I instantly was on the phone, texting and chatting away with friends who support that team that yells M-I-Z Z-O-U in Columbia, Mo. It felt good to be on the winning side of that game, as well as the subsequent smack talk.

The following day I rode around a corn field with a good friend and his family as they were busy picking corn from the field. Nothing says fall like the sight of big machines in the field gathering up the golden harvest. Adding to that, I got to see more pheasants!

Numerous birds were flushed from safekeeping inside the standing corn as the combine mowed over row after row of corn. It led me to think. (Insert random thought here.)

What goes through a pheasant’s mind when one minute they are sitting there snacking on corn and the next, this huge creature (combine) can be seen down the corn rows heading towards them?

Is it like when a tornado touches down on ground and attempts to mow over homes and towns. Or is it more like “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” when the mower is running over top the wee-sized children in the yard?

Whatever it is like, it has to be scary. At least pheasants can fly away only to land in unpicked corn and go through the entire experience again. (Finish random thought.)

The wonderful fall weekend was capped off by trick-or-treaters gathering pillow cases, buckets, sacks and bags full of the sweet stuff. With Halloween falling on Sunday this year, kids were given the chance to dress up as superman, princesses and whatever else they could think of more than just once.

Whatever you did for your wonderful fall Halloween weekend, I hope it was fallish.