Blazing Stars Wildflower of the Prairies

Summer on the prairies is a continual feast of beauty.

c.e.hollis

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July finds us half way through our summer season in Oklahoma.

The prairies are roaring with life. Grasses are shoulder high and in them bees buzz and bumble from flower to flower. There are birds in the mix and butterflies everywhere. Wasps, cicadas, and walking sticks, preying mantis, grasshoppers and leafhoppers fill the windswept stems and grasses with life. Gnats fly in their little swarms. Dragonflies and mayflies add to the business going on. Flies, beetles, honey bees, and work the flowers. The noise is immense––like city traffic yet with no vehicles, voices, sirens, or horns. Maybe a tractor humming along to the same song cutting hay somewhere.

Cows and horses graze the pasture lands and hawks circle overhead. A crow caws his unloveable sound and flies from tree top to treetop. A meadowlark perches on a barbed wire fence and sings for the sheer joy of life. The scissortailed flycatchers balance on the telephone wires and mockingbirds investigate the honeysuckle vines.

Bright butterflies––Satyrs, Tortoiseshells, Hairstreaks,Sulphurs, Monarchs, Admirals, swallowtails, and spotted buckeyes work the meadows. Sunflowers move with the sun and follow the light.

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Fences sag under the wight of wild roses, Queen Ann’s Lace, honeysuckle and trumpet vines. All sorts of plants fill every spot so a person like me could never ever learn all the names of them. There are short plants with pink flowers, yellow flowers, and white and purple blooms down in amongst all the other taller plants. There are cone flowers–– white pink and yellow.

Creeks meander through. Roadways and fences make the other divisons. Pastures, orchards, towns, and meadows sprawl across the prairie lands and life is home there and thriving.

A person just passing by has no idea the amazing numbers of plants, flowers, types of grasses, insects, bugs, spiders, snakes, turtles, frogs and other little animals that live in a piece of prarie. He might, yes, notice a deer, a bison, a bull or a horse, but he might miss the rabbits, the mice, the caterpillars, the armadillos, coyotes, possoms, foxes and cats, the critters, the prairie hens, the sparrows, the egrets, the ducks, the wild hogs, raccoons, skunks, the quail, the owls, and pheasants––the innumerable living things that roam, creep, crawl, fly, bustle, hide, climb, nest, and burrow there.

Like a segment of ocean the prairie is teeming, full to overflowing with life!

Summer’s Many Memories

Summer on the farm means bouquets of wildflowers.

Summer means a vegetable garden.

Canning tomatoes on a hot afternoon.

Cows seeking shaded places.

Summer means a trip to Porter for fresh Glohaven peaches.

Summer means roses and butterflies on zinnias.

Summer is waterlilies on the pond.

It’s farmer’s market flowers.

It’s grandkids coming to swim.

Summer is dripping sweet ice cold watermelon, and flags flying high on the Fourth of July. It’s geese at the park, brown-eyed Susan’s, bright sunshine, a feast of color, and roadside flowers.

It’s the sound of laughter, fireworks popping, cicadas and leafhoppers making their music, the happy sound of children shouting and laughing at the swim pool, and the constant rumbling sound of farmer’s on their tractors making hay.

It’s the sight of green garden rows, roses, herons gracefully stalking their prey in the shallows, dogs napping on shady porches, and little girls in brightly colored sundresses.

It’s the vinegary smell of pickles boiling, the scent of lilacs and crepe myrtle, the musty smell of wet swim towels on the clothesline, the smell of a peach cobbler baking, and the unmistakable scent of suntan lotion and bug spray.

It’s the flavor of that first sliced garden tomato, the salty buttery taste of corn on the cob, the sweet of sugary watermelon. It’s the smoky flavor of hamburgers on the grill, the mustard and sweet relish on a hotdog and the delight of blueberry ice cream churned by hand.

Summer is the heat of sunshine streaming on your neck and shoulders, the soothing movement of a porch swing or Grandma’s glider. It’s the cooling rush of plunging into the swimming hole water, the refreshing rush of cold lemonade inside your chest, and the surprising touch of a butterfly landing on your sleeve or a firefly captured in your hand.

Summer is a season and loving, laughing, and living!

Bloom Where You’re Planted

          What are the conditions we humans need to blossom?  To me, it seems as if there should be many blossoming moments in our lives, when the conditions are right for us to burst from our tight buds and become our best beautiful selves. And so it is in the garden.

Maria Rodale

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I suppose we try to bloom where we wish we were planted or we  hoped to grow. So we struggle. We find ourselves in situations which are not where we want to grow.

Wouldn’t every thing in our lives be brighter, sweeter, and more fun if we chose to be content? If we decided to take what opportunities and circumstances we were dealt in life and make the best of it? And if we went beyond that even to bloom awesomely where noone expected us to thrive?

If we would bloom even in the hard places, the dry days, the harsh conditions, we could bring happiness there to ourselves and to others. Then there would be blossoms in alleys, in ditches, in sidewalk cracks, even on rooftops and in isolated spots. In those places where nothing good can be, there would be us, there would be me, glowing with vitality and beauty and all the world would be brighter and the world would grow larger too.

I have found flowers growing in watery drainage ditches, in dry spots beside the highway, in crevices in rocks, on eroded hillsides, in pastures where animals graze, in weed-chocked meadows, in among old rusted vehicles in junkyards, in overworked fields, in the woods, in the sand along a shore, on top of trash heaps, in manicured closely-mown lawns, in hot dry dessert places, on worn pathways, beside concrete parking lots.

Life goes on even in the restricted and untended places. Better it should go on in joy.

We all come to those places:  jobs we don’t enjoy, unhappy marriages, costly homes, houses in disrepair, difficult family members, nonprogressive schools, untenable neighborhoods, dreadful diagnoses, or other situations where nothing should grow—much less bloom. I want to face off with those spots and come out the best beautiful bloom possible.

To do so I will need God’s grace and God’s help. Because what seed can grow without a hand to plant it and soil and light and rain? And what flower can bloom without God’s blessing?

 

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Barefoot in the Prairie Grasses

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Coneflower Prairie Squaredance

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Pink Prairie Posies

Taming the Wild Prairie

Little Rose Bush on the Prairie

Rock Creek Buffalo Ranch

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