Written by Len Harris
Photo By: Anna Harris
I was introduced to the outdoors at a young age. My sisters were jealous at first because Dad dragged me everywhere he went.
I mean everywhere in the outdoors. Through prickly ash.....Chest deep in mud and trout streams......Mushroom hunting.
Eventually all five of my sisters decided they weren't jealous upon my returns from my adventures. The prickly ash and berry bushes cut a familiar pattern on my arms often. They decided it was "OK" if they didn't go along. I didn't mind the little scratches. They
went away quickly.
Each venture out my Dad would have his saying. Such as, "The lilacs are blooming and leaves are as big as squirrel's ears." This meant it was morel mushroom time.
Instead of April showers bring May flowers.....He would say, "the rain smells like night crawlers."
Translation: It must be time to go catch some big trout.
The witticisms were never ending...."Red Sky At Night....Anglers Delight."
Translation: Red sky at night meant the sky would clear in morning
with no rain. It would be a good day to go trout fishing.
"Red Sky In The Morning.....
Translation: Red Sky in the morning meant that we should not use our
new rods because they attracted lightning. We should use our
old fiberglass ones that did not attract lightning.
"The sumac leaves are blaze red". Translation: It is almost time to go deer hunting.
"The wind is coming across the miss (Mississippi) like a freight train"....That meant that ice fishing was coming soon.
"The corn is almost pheasant"......This meant the corn was brown colored and that pheasant season is coming soon.
"The lawn doesn't need mowing".....that meant it was late September and squirrel season was almost there.
My family would talk in the car and my sisters and mom would make fun of Dad and his weather and Hunting/Fishing sayings......
They used to make some up. That really goaded my father. My sisters were
notorious for their banter in the car.
By the end of a long journey, my father usually was quite angry at the sisters due to their disrespect for him. Dad was always happy to take long trips with me, because I respected his sayings and would say them even before he would.
My father's sayings were quite unique and have stayed with me. My family (wife & daughter) don't make fun of my sayings.
They even use them themselves.
Recently my daughter was frantic in the back seat......She said, "Dad, STOP the car! I hammered the brake. I thought that I was about to hit a deer. Anna was the I SPY (another one of my dad's saying) Anna was on duty as (I SPY) On look out duty
for deer crossing the road.
Anna said: " I need to take a picture of **Angler's Delight**" My wife and I immediately knew exactly what she meant. I had just given her my old digital camera and she had a photo in mind and wanted me to stop right then
I stopped and Barb and I got out of the car. Anna was already out focusing the camera. She took one picture and smiled. "I got it, Dad."
Grandpa would be proud.
Red Sky At Night