Sunflower from the Sunflower State

Sunflower from the Sunflower State

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Picture Postcard Kind of Morning

It was a picture-postcard-kind of morning. Blue water mimicked a cloud-free sky, complementing rain-soaked green grasses that swayed in a gentle breeze. Look up "pastoral" in the dictionary and this photo at the "Big Pasture" on Rattlesnake Creek could be the illustration.

Well, it was pastoral if you could ignore those swarming, persistent mosquitoes. But, with a healthy dose of bug spray and a trip down Memory Lane, even the mosquitoes couldn't ruin the mood.

We'll take a few mosquitoes if it means that the pasture and the creek look like this ...
August 2013
.... instead of this. 
August 2012
Just a year ago, there was not a drop of water in the Rattlesnake. Two years of drought had left the creek looking more like the craters on the moon than a viable water source in our pasture.
August 2012
On that beautiful morning, we were at the pasture to replace the battery on the fence charger. But, looking around at the scenery, it was easy to forget that we were there to work. OK. I wasn't there to work. Randy was. I did give him a hand back up the bank. Does that count?
 
He thinks that cattle got too close to the battery and pushed it off into the water. The battery is attached to the 12-volt electric fence charger, giving "juice" to the electric fence that stretches across the creek. Sometimes, when water flows and debris is carried along after a rain, it knocks down the electric fence wires between our pasture and the neighboring pasture, requiring a walk in the creek to reattach the wires. This time, Randy didn't have to get his tennis shoes wet.

While Randy worked on getting the electric fence going again, I enjoyed the view. But looks can be deceiving. These little yellow flowers may look pretty against the weathered fence posts. But they are full of stickers. Admire from afar.
As we went back to the road, some other yellow flowers caught my eye. Kansas' trademark sunflowers seemed to be winking at the sun, which was finally shining after several overcast days. 
August 2013
It was a markedly different photo from the one I took at the same bridge a year ago.
August 2012
Besides watering the pasture's grasses that feed our cows and calves, the rain has the wildflowers offering confetti-like pops of color among the green. We saw more wildflowers than cattle that morning. I guess they were all off having brunch.
A study of contrasts - hard fence post and soft wildflowers
He turned the desert into pools of water
    and the parched ground into flowing springs.
Psalm 107: 35
The desert and the parched land will be glad;
    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
    it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
Isaiah 35: 1-2a

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