Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

July 30, 2013


The Daily Iowegian

---- — I’ve written about the pig statue before, the one that is on the south side of Highway 34, between Mt. Pleasant and Fairfield. The white pig statue is on the Jerry and Sandy Nelson farm, and is a popular landmark for neighbors giving directions. Sandy Nelson outfits the pig in different costumes to fit the season or holiday. For example, there’s the patriotic pig, Santa pig, Easter Rabbit pig, etc. It brings a smile to the face of many a highway traveler. Sandy has outdone herself this summer, outfitting the pig in a water park setting. It’s called “Hogdays of Summer” and features the pig in a child’s swimming pool with a water slide and beach ball. Hilarious! The Nelson’s have surpassed themselves this summer.

Buddy and I observed a squirrel building its winter nest the other day. I have never seen a squirrel building a nest before. Dunno why, as much time as I have spent outdoors. Anyway, this young squirrel, which I no doubt feed, was busy snipping off green twigs, some with leaves still attached, and carrying the twigs to the dark green nest where it carefully weaved the twigs into a green, living bundle. While hunting in the fall, I have seen many a squirrel”s nest. But in the fall, the nests are brown, brittle, and ugly. For some reason, I have never thought of a squirrel’s nest as alive, vibrant, and green.


I saw a rabbit last week,

stand on its hind legs and

reach to the top

of a white seed-headed dandelion.

The bunny dined on the fluffy parachutes

as if needing special nourishment.

I have never seen a rabbit do this,

green dandelion leaves yes,

white seed head, no.

Seemingly satisfied,

the rabbit hopped away,

it’s cottontail perhaps a little whiter.

A locust attached itself to my bedroom screen. Just when I was about to drop off to sleep, it started it’s shell-shedding, summertime buzz. Great. I now have a crispy locust shell attached to my window screen. Buddy and I will long for that summertime buzz when the snow lies deep under the sill.

As a kid, my favorite flower was the trumpet vine. My sister and I would pluck the ends off the trumpet flower and suck out the nectar, ants and all. Human humming birds. Consequently, I’ve always wanted trumpet vines in my yard. Therefore, three years ago, I did two things. I stole a seed pod off my neighbor, Mary Jane Kauffman’s, trumpet vine; and dug up some of the volunteers poking their heads through the sod. The seeds I dried out and planted in the spring. That plant now keeps a watchful eye over Holly Dog’s grave. The volunteers I replanted around my mail box. Both plants struggled, but have survived and bushed out. However, my trumpet vines have not bloomed yet, while Mary Jane’s did a month ago. Shoot, maybe they need to mature another year.

While getting my mail this week, I noticed my trumpet vine is starting to sport tiny flower buds. Hallelujah — a sure sign everything is going to work out. To assist in its birthing, I treated the trumpet vine to a bucket of cold water. Maybe my mailbox will attract the ruby-throated humming bird, or some barefooted, freckle-faced neighbor kids, wanting to taste the sweet bitterness of summer.

Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at (319) 217-0526, email him at