Fentress, Texas- Nature
The book is set in a small Texan town (Fentress) that is prone to chronic heat waves. The town is surrounded by greenery, farms and fields. Callie Vee (Calpurnia Tate) often explores San Marcos River. The river was separated from her house by a crescent-shaped field of five acres of feral, uncleared woods. There is a thin, clear path created by dogs, deer and other animals. There are high bushes of sticky burrs. There are “bags” of webworms above the river like a canopy of oaks and high bushes. Around Calpurnia’s house there are hundreds of insects that gather around the porch (grasshoppers, fireflies, spiders etc.).
Callie Vee’s Grandfathers’ Laboratory
The Laboratory is really just a shed that used to be part of old slave quarters. Instead of a door there is an old tan burlap flap. Scattered around the laboratory there are various beakers filled with peculiar smelling liquids (from Callie’s grandfathers “experiments” on how to distill pecans into whiskey) in assorted colors. There is a large ruined armchair with stuffing oozing out of it. Further into the laboratory there is a library, a dim room with heavy velvet green drapes and a tall double window. Next to the window there is huge leather armchair and a table with a reading lamp. There are books stacked and scattered on the floor and in pecan wood bookshelves. There is a large oak desk with strange random objects on it: a blown ostrich egg on a carved wooden stand, a microscope, a carved whale’s tooth etc. The walls are covered in formal portraits of Callie’s ancestors, and labeled shallow glass cases displaying different insects. There is a black bearskin rug camouflaged on the floor in the array of books, research papers, specimens etc.
Calpurnia Virginia Tate (Callie Vee Tate)
Callie Vee is almost 12 years old (Eleven and Three Quarters). She had (she secretly began snipping it off during the summer, against her mothers’ will) blonde hair...