Friday, June 20, 2008

Ode to a Deck by Barbara Quinn

This time of year I appreciate my deck. When we were figuring out how to site this house, one of the first things my husband did was find out the exposure. He studied the plans, and told the builder to place the deck on the east side of the house. We worked from there. We’d had decks that faced west and he wanted to avoid that setting sun hitting us. So now the front of the house gets the afternoon sun while the back, where our deck is, receives the shade. It’s wonderful to be able to sit out there and read, and at this time of year I look forward to having dinner on the deck. We barbecue. I pick some fresh herbs from my garden. And I light some candles to keep the biting bugs away. Then we relax, talk, drink wine with our meal, and let the evening settle over us. Because we are surrounded by tall pines and other trees we’re completely private. The quiet is a great escape from the hubbub of life. Off to the north there are lovely mountains. They’re not a dramatic soaring range of mountains. Rather they are gentle hills, worn by time. But they do have their charms. And to the rear, behind the deck, are woods that are a refuge for many critters.

We receive visits from many animals while we sit out on the deck. There are cotton-tailed bunnies, chipmunks, and woodchucks. The deer tend to stay away till we go inside, then they are back munching on whatever they can find. I’ve learned to forget about planting things like tulips which are fodder for the deer buffet. Occasionally a gorgeous red fox comes and sits on the hill. Wild turkeys parade through. I’ve seen a couple of possum at night. And overhead hawks soar while hummingbirds hover in the garden.

No matter how long or hard the day, I know at night I can go out on the deck and enjoy a mini-vacation.


Kathryn Magendie said...

oh, it sounds so lovely Barb -- I would be jealous if I didn't have my own critter-infused, mountain, woody oasis! We have a long porch, on both levels (the lower rarely used) - it is covered, but we want to extend it one day to have an uncovered part too. Our rockers are out there, and we watch the birds and squirrels, and then later the coons and later still the flying squirrels.

The other critters are more shy and hidden, but there are sightings.

Angie Ledbetter said...

You two have inspired me to escape the city for the weekend, or part of it. Am going to my camp on the lake about an hour away. Can't wait to talk to the critters! It's been a year since I've communed with them...way overdue!

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