Going For The Gold

Texas groundsel (Senecio ampullaceus) ~ Colorado County

It’s bluebonnet time in Texas. Given fair weather and a healthy crop of our lovely state flower, thousands of people will head into the countryside to take photos of hills turned blue. “Going to see the bluebonnets” is a Texas tradition, and a fine one.

But bluebonnets aren’t our only spring delight. Indian paintbrush and pink evening primrose can bloom just as enthusiastically, and other plants occasionally put on their own remarkable shows.

Traveling State Highway 71 last week, I discovered acres of Texas groundsel glowing with uncommon intensity. Spread across ranch fields and filling ditches on both sides of the road, accompanied by hundreds of white prickly poppies, the flowers tossed and bobbed in the wind: an extraordinary, glorious sight.


Groundsel with white prickly poppies (Argemone albiflora)


High noon in a Texas ditch

Comments always are welcome.

Looking Toward Winter

Soybeans and silo ~ Chase County, Kansas

Whatever you’re storing for the winter — be it acorns, soybeans, apples, or nuts — be sure to choose your container carefully.


Comments always are welcome.

A bit of additional information:
After looking at photos of similar silos, it became obvious that the split in the side was common. Mike Holder, District Extension Director for Agriculture & Natural Resources in the area, told me that the space would have been taken up by a series of small doors. Before filling, the doors were closed, and then the silage was blown in. As it was needed, one door after another was opened, beginning from the top, and the silage tossed down. Most doors were wooden, and they sometimes were removed when a silo was no longer used.

Second Cutting

Round Coastal Bermuda grass bales provide a backdrop for Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)


Farmers farm for the love of farming. They love to watch and nurture the growth of plants. They love to live in the presence of animals. They love to work outdoors. They love the weather, maybe even when it is making them miserable.

They love to live where they work and to work where they live. If the scale of their farming is small enough, they like to work in the company of their children and with the help of their children. They love the measure of independence that farm life can still provide.

I have an idea that a lot of farmers have gone to a lot of trouble merely to be self-employed: to live at least a part of their lives without a boss.

                                                  Wendell Berry ~ Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food


Comments always are welcome.