Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Reprieve and A Wander

The sun! The sun, and in its wake the whirring millions of mosquitoes. This morning, for the first time in several weeks, I awoke to sunlight through the curtains. A glorious gift! When I stepped out the back door I was greeted with an unusual fishy odor, not unlike that of a morning at the lake cabin. It made me laugh, that this land so shrunken with drought could smell of lake.



   

My gardens are 'out of their banks', much as the our creek was a couple of days ago, and lovely Lady Larkspur is in full bloom. Nothing makes a country garden so sweet as spires of blue, pink and purple Larkspur filling in all the bare spaces between the larger plants.  (If you wish some Larkspur seed, I will happily send you some. Leave me a comment to that effect. Ian, I assume you have Larkspur over there in the motherland, but would gladly send you some if you like.) 
    At the bottom of the picture you can see some of my beautiful Gallardias, the flower we call "Indian Blanket", Oklahoma's state wildflower. This year I did not 'clean up the beds' where the Gallardia grew, wanting to see if they would seed themselves back. In the middle of May I noticed tiny round leaves pushing up through the spiked puff ball that holds the seeds. Hooray, Hurrah! I was being too quick to sweep away last year's debris I guess. Fantastic. From now on I will have these bright treasures in abundance.

       Here is a funny tale for you. Yesterday I took advantage of the drying south wind and fired up the mower to clip the running paths through Maggie's Wood.  All went well, but I did notice quite a few thistles in need of clipping before they went to seed.  At the end of the mowing I discovered that my phone had fallen out of my pocket somewhere along the way. Ah, the drunkard's path with no key to the house, once home. 
      I sent my daughter an email, asking her to call me every seven minutes. I slowly walked all the paths, twice, looking to the left and right, listening for the ring. I found my clippers first and so was able to behead all the purple thistles along the way. Finally, after almost an hour, I was able to locate the phone, a mere forty minutes before the skies opened again and the hard rains fell. Whew. A bit of luck (thank you for the millionth time, St. Anthony).
       I have in my files (yes, I do have files believe it or not) the plans for a wonderful circular labyrinth which I intend to lay out there, in the midst of the prairie grasses and flowers. It is drawn, the widths and turns figured and waiting to be stepped off by family and brought to life.  However, I have come to love this labyrinth of paths as it is right now, winding from tree to tree, meandering into a quiet circle of saplings, some turns taking you nowhere. It is more a maze than a labyrinth, truth be told. 
     In the beginning I mowed it so as to have access to the watering system and then wandered off task to cut down some groupings of thistles that were too large to cut with a knife. I have become quite fond of it, this casual prairie labyrinth of mine. Now, after nearly five years of growth, Maggie's Wood is full of all manner of wild flowers and grasses. Unseen creatures scurry off with a fading trail of rustle as I round each turn. 
      This ribbon of path in the prairie grasses allows you to be in the midst of wildness without wearing yourself out with walking through two foot high growth. You can see where your next step will land and choose which path to follow. Sometimes a path will take you on a short journey, only to return you to the exact spot where you began. There are young trees along the way, waiting to make your acquaintance and white Yarrow nodding a welcome. I will have those people who helped plant this young wood back out for an evening in the golden light one of these days. They might enjoy seeing how their labors have helped restore this little space of earth to its native roots. 
      Now I am off to scoop up some spilled gold in the driveway. A round bale of alfalfa hay has fallen off someone's pickup spike and sits, rain soaked and tumbling apart, on the oil well road. I am hauling it over to the wood to feed the trees and mulch them from the heat of July and August. I feel like an ant, scurrying around some spilled sugar, rushing it back to the den. TTFN
     

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