Can you see the Killdeer nest?
Killdeer eggs close-up.
Sons fixing water gap in border fence.
I love taking a Sunday drive with my Honey. It's usually a drive over a familiar trail out in the pasture, but to me, it is always new, always changing, and there is always something to see that hadn't been there before. I love the Emerson quote which I posted recently: "To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture that was never before seen, and which shall never be seen again."
As we drive along, my eyes catch movement -- the movement of birds and their flight patterns, of grasses and wildflowers waving colors in the breeze. I see deer and antelope and I look to see if there might be any fawns or kids near them because it's almost time for them to give birth. Then my eye catches sight of a steel spool for barb wire laying in the fence line. It fell out of the Ranger last summer while the men were fencing there. We stop to pick it up and throw it in the back.
Initially, we went North to check on cows and calves and to see the sheep, but there are so many things to see this time of year. Spring brings such color and beauty to eyes that have been a long time looking at snow and gray skies. For instance, there is greengrass which is different from the grass any other time of year. Greengrass comes in the spring. All grasses that come up in the spring are greengrass. Yes, they all have their individual names, but together in the spring it is greengrass because it is very soon when the greengrass matures and turns brown and stays that way until snow and until the next spring. Because of the winter's heavy snow, we are seeing a wildflower explosion! There are flowers that we haven't seen in years because there was not enough moisture in the ground to bring them up; or the plants may have come up, but there was not enough moisture to bring forth blooms. I pictured the gumbo lily, commonly called white evening primrose (Oenothera caespitosa) which is just coming out now. It is one of my favorite prairie flowers, and this blog is named for it. The gumbo lily always comes up here because its tap root is very deep, and in our clay gumbo soil, there is moisture down deep. Right next to the gumbo lily is the yellow flower that is one of the very first to come out on the prairie. We call it wild parsley but it is also called Desert biscuit root. It's leaves look similar to carrot leaves and so it is also called carrotleaf lomatium. The deer, antelope, and sheep love to graze on these and the wild onions which are some of the first forbes to come on in spring. History tells us that American Indians ate the wild celery's enlarged roots raw or dried and ground them for flour (therefore, biscuitroot). This reminds me of how the early settlers would pick dandelion leaves in the spring to eat for greens. Can you imagine how hungry they would be for fresh, green foods?
As we drive along, I see a Killdeer on the ground playing hurt, dragging a wing. I know that trick to lure us away from her nest. We drive up and sure enough, there are four eggs in a sort of nest of stones and pebbles on the ground. Did you notice how all the egg points point toward each other in the center so they won't roll away? How do they know to do this? God has given them that instinct. There were Curlews and hawks and killdeer and coots all out and about today. We even found the cows and also the neighbor's cows in our pasture. Hubby radio'd the sons to come up with a couple of steel posts so they could fix the big hole in the fence where the water was once high and moving and now has receded. It's one of those Sunday chores that happens on a ranch. I remember many Sundays when our family would be heading to church down the gravel road and find the bulls out and have to turn around to go home.
I hope you got a chance to enjoy a little spot of time in nature today. Tell me about it if you did.