Sunflower from the Sunflower State

Sunflower from the Sunflower State

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Finding Flowers


He who hunts for flowers will find flowers,
and he who loves weeds will find weeds.
 ~Henry Ward Beecher

A sea of yellow splashes the pasture south of our house with color so bright it rivals the rising sun. With some rainfall during the past month, the pastures are blooming after months of drought.
In reality, the little yellow flowers are weeds: I think they are some sort of thistle. The cattle won't eat them. And even if they did, it's too late to provide nourishment for animals who have already gone to the sale barn. But, it's still beautiful. It's as if the Master Creator has opened his paintbox and splashed on color with the wild abandon of a preschool watercolor artist. It's amazing what a little water can do.

If you look closely, there's a smidgen of purple hiding out in plain sight among their showier, brighter yellow sisters. I have a soft spot for purple.

At best, I am green-thumb challenged. I don't know the names of backyard flowers, much less the flowers that dot the Plains and bring color to our pastures. But, if my powers of deduction on the Kansas Wildflower site are correct, the little purple plant is blue sage, also known as Pitcher sage. The name honors Dr. Zina Pitcher, a U.S. Army surgeon and botanist. And, it's palatable and nutritious for livestock. 

I guess it's kind of like decorating a cupcake. The cupcake looks good and tastes good without frosting. But a little food coloring and skill with a decorator's tube, and it makes the whole thing look and taste even better, doesn't it?
A sidewalk crack by my back door has sprouted a smattering of wildflowers. They battled through cement to spring to life and decorate my path to my car. I didn't plant them, and I don't see them anyplace other than at my back door. It's like a little gift bouquet, just for me. Yes, I suspect they are weeds, too. But I'd rather see flowers. It makes life a little sweeter.

A weed is no more than a flower in disguise.
~James Russell Lowell

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