Sunday, May 27, 2018

Sunday drive...

 Gumbo Lily
 
 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.

20 comments:

  1. How perfect! I love the idea of a Sunday drive in the country. One time we were getting into the car to go to church (remember I grew up at the golf course?) and there were fifty or so cows walking down toward the 9th hole. I think we called who we thought they belonged to, but I was bummed we still had to go to church. Ha ha!
    The killdeer eggs are gorgeous, aren't they?

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    1. Too bad you didn't get to help put the cows back into their pasture! Yes, I do love to see killdeer eggs....and chicks.

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  2. I enjoyed today's post so much. Truly there is so much beauty to see if we only take the time to truly look.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed this post. There is truly so much beauty everywhere.

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  3. I loved reading this, Jody! And I *love* the sweet photo you are using as your blog header! Nature for me lately, has meant listening to birds through my open windows, sitting outside on the balcony to read, watching the changing sky, stargazing, watching the tide go in and out in the bay. I haven't been out to the beach lately or on any hikes (though I do walk in town), but I still thoroughly notice, and enjoy the nature that is around me. I miss the nature my family enjoyed in the high desert, but nature anywhere points to the glory and love of God. :)

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    1. I remember your High Desert Home nature discoveries, but you have them right there on your balcony too, and that is having eyes to see. All points to God, yes, I agree with that.

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  4. I get so much vicarious thrill - yes, that word is just strong enough - from looking through your attentive eyes at that hourly changing field and roadside, because I know a similar experience in my own explorations -- but your sightings are all different, and your descriptions of your encounters are alive and personal. Thank you, Jody!!

    My own Oenothera is blooming now. I wonder if I might be able to grow another species of it here...

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    1. Gretchen, I know what you mean when you say "thrill." I know it too. I find that same thrill when I see those flowers and naturely posts on your blog too.

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  5. Hi Jody, I love your drive and all of the greengrass. I love seeing it after reading about it for years. I love that you know all of the names. No, I had never noticed that killdeer eggs all face towards the center. They are nesting around here too. Its so lovely to see the green when we are already so brown.
    What a gift God has given you. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and appreciating things around here. It's just such a wonderful time of year when things are actually green and growing.

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  6. Hi, Jody. I'm two days late, and it's a very rainy Tuesday here, after an even more rainy Monday. Quite wet, and the ditches are full to overflowing, and the ground is mushy. My poor chickens. I loved seeing the gumbo lily flower! Now I know why you named your blog as you did. I don't know how you do it all - we find there is a lot to do on a tiny "farm" of 4 acres. I can't imagine having so much land and so many animals to care for, but you both do it beautifully. I'm glad you now have beautiful green vistas to enjoy.

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    1. Thankfully, we have help here with two of our sons& families on the ranch with us. This is all we know, ranching, and so it's what we do.

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  7. Thanks for the gumbo lily photos. I miss them. Growing up they were always found at a special spot on our ranch. I love the Emerson quote. I'm always looking at the same spots to see what has changed. Thank you again for the great year inspiration. My mother in law was excited to help with the challenge.

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    1. I know what you mean, Bonnie. The gumbo lilies grow where they grow and nowhere else. I love it that you are still into the Big Year Bird challenge!

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  9. Love that quote and love your attitude and outlook! Those eggs are something else...

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  10. I love the symbolism behind the gumbo lily. Deep tap root. Blooming where they are "planted". Thank you for giving the bloggy world beautiful images and words to nourish our hearts and minds :-)

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  11. I enjoyed our Sunday drive, thanks for taking us along. The Killdeer nest are beautiful, looking forward to the Killdeer babies.
    Amalia
    xo

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  12. I loved hearing about your ranch wanderings. It brings back pleasant memories of working outside with my hubby on our little farm. The wind is whistling through the pines outside my window and robins are chirping joyfully. We can all find some bit of nature to enjoy and wonder at the beauty of God's creation. I was just "talking" to Michelle Vaughan on Facebook and we were trying to remember how long ago we all met on your Coffee Shoppe messageboard. We reckon 17-20 years ago. Isn't that incredible? So glad we're still in touch. :)

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  13. I love that you have lived so long on your land but still find so much Joy in it. That is such a blessing. Clarice

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