Fireworks and Wildlife at Heart Haven on Mary Ann’s Mountain

Published July 9, 2015

My three brothers and I have been getting Mother’s home in Abingdon ready to put on the market. It is now officially on the market and Mother, in addition to we four, is happy to have this task behind us.

While traveling back and forth either to Abingdon or to Wise every day from my little home, Heart Haven, on Caney Ridge, I was reminded about another week in 2009 when I wrote on the family website about how wildlife was alive and well on the mountain. Well, I can report that this is still true.

One night I was awakened from deep sleep by what I thought was a flashlight outside my bedroom window. My blinds were closed, but allowed bright lights not seen before through the window. I lay in bed for a few minutes before opening the blinds and realizing that the movement of lights was coming from the brightest stars I’ve ever seen on the mountain. I had never before seen the stars twinkle so much . . . so much that they seemed to be sending a coded message. As if the stars weren’t enough, an explosion of twinkling lights in the hay field to the front and side of the house provided an evening of awe. Fireflies enveloped the entire area with a splendid show. One might believe that Christmas had come in July as the fireflies darted over the fields and inside, around and up to the top of the trees. It was interesting that the fireflies travel no further than the tops of the trees. I suppose they didn’t want to interfere with the show the stars were putting on as the stars covered the entire sky seemingly all the way down to the treetops. The number of fireflies was much diminished from 2009. In 2009 the sound of fireflies hitting my windows like rain pellets awakened me from deep sleep. This gives me cause to wonder if something dreadful has happened to the population and that this mating season will fail to produce the babies needed to perpetuate this wondrous display of fireworks that rival the lights seen from the town of Clintwood on the Fourth of July.

Turkeys . . . the turkeys are increasing in population! Two turkeys didn’t mind me and Cousin Andy as we watched them stroll across my yard and down the hill into the woods. Andy and I counted at least 16 babies, so tiny they had to have been born less than a week. As we listened to the mama talk to her babies and give commands, it was quite the show. Some babies obeyed the commands, while others ignored Mama and continued to peck at the ground and dart 1, 2, 3 at a time back and forth to Mama. The mama was very patient and finally gave a command that must have meant, “Come now!” It was comical to see all those feet zoom to their mama in compliance.

Debbie, no snakes this time—at least, none that I stepped on or met face-to-face! There is a new fawn still wearing its spots. We think it is living in the hayfield, but haven’t seen the doe. The family will lose its protection when the hay is soon mowed.

The stars were probably sending the message that Mary Ann’s Mountain is still a beautiful place to be when the heart needs solace and peace. Mary Ann’s Mountain is indeed Heart Haven!