The Four Seasons Of Nature In Louisiana

Pierre Fontenot Thursday, April 20, 2017 Comments Off on The Four Seasons Of Nature In Louisiana
The Four Seasons Of Nature In Louisiana


A Louisiana winter is like the distant cousin you only see at funerals.  Some brief pleasantries but no sense a long conversation because they’re here today and gone tomorrow.

I had a snow poor childhood.  December was White Christmas on the radio and brown Christmas in the backyard.  One winter our family left Louisiana wearing t-shirts and awoke at a Holiday Inn in Kentucky to find white stuff all over the family Impala.  Dad was in a hurry to make miles, but he let us throw some snowballs first.  It was the first time any of his children touched snow.

It snowed once in my childhood in Allen Parish.  January, we kids excited like Christmas morning, Mom worried about us catching colds, pneumonia or the boogie woogie flu.  By 10AM most of the snow had melted but for a surviving layer beneath a big oak.  My brother and I rolled up a few snowballs to “save” them and put them in the freezer.

They were white cannonballs by the time Mom needed the space for frozen TV dinners.

The highlights of winter in Louisiana are the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras, both of which you can often enjoy in summer attire.  We’re one of the few states where you could almost plan an outdoor wedding in March.

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Ever watch a horror film where the bad guy just won’t die?  That’s summer in Louisiana.

On that one winter day when we layer up our clothes we’ll say, “Summer will be here soon,” and sometimes it’ll happen the very next day.

Eighty-one is a place where locals bring their out-of-town guests so we often find ourselves talking to people from far away.  Somebody from Canada, they loved our food, but oooh the humidity.  It was March.

There’s “good” summer, school is out, baseball, fishing, loooong days, plenty of time to get things fixed, built, and settled.

The problem with our summers is that it’s like that kid you grew up with who wasn’t taught to share.  Louisiana summer wants the whole calendar, and failing that it’ll steal from spring and steal from fall.  I’ve had roses and petunias still in flower at Thanksgiving.  My big bougainvillea had flowers on New Year’s Day and Fat Tuesday last year.

I’m a Louisiana boy, and a Louisiana summer is just natural to me.  I figure breaking a sweat walking from here to the mailbox is the price you pay for wearing t-shirts in January.

When I was a kid the old people would shush you if you complained about the heat…but if you got sneaky quiet and listened to what they said, seems all they did was oo ye yi about how it-didn’t-used-to-be-hot-like-dis.

Having now crossed sixty, I guess I have earned the right to do some oo ye yi-ing myself.  Truth is, summer is either getting hotter or I’m getting softer.  I spent all day – I mean all day – of my summer childhood on open cab tractors, a big bucket of metal going 4,5 even 6 miles an hour, trapping heat and blowing smoke over my gimme cap.  Just a year ago I watched some roofers do some repairs on a metal roof in July and I thought, no more, not me, no way…  It’s not that I want to, it’s that I want to be able to…

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Louisiana doesn’t really have a fall.  We have football season.

Fall is that time of year when mothers offer gold, frankincense and myrrh to the school bus drivers who take their beloved offspring away.

For nuisance plants, nothing tops the pesky tallow tree, but it is about the only tree pretending to give us fall colors.

It’s a sad thing to brag on, but our best fall color probably is the yellow of school buses.

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The more candles on your birthday cake, the more likely you’ll consider spring your favorite season.

Spring has a grace to it.  I’ve never yet earned a spring, but every year I am given one, as if I matter, as if what-I-did-with-last-year is not held against me, as if a certain Someone is cheering me on, maybe this will be the year,  waiting for me to either drill roots or launch a flower.

I’m long past the spring of my own life, but I appreciate these yearly young-again nature plays that God puts on free of charge.  I’ve heard of old people willing themselves to live through their last winter, just to be able to enjoy one last spring, and I understand.

Spring is for all of us mutts, who need a lot of do-overs.  Spring talks to me, says, “See, the yuck does end.”  It says Fresh Start, Get In At The Beginning, Maybe You’ll Get It Right This Time.

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This edition of Uncle P’s Bedtime Stories is brought to you by Eighty-one, where we know that life has seasons too, each important, all part of one.

Other Bedtime Stories can be found on the Eighty-one Facebook page.  Uncle P can be reached at

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