From Pipi’s Pasture: The prairie flower
Life can be hectic for everyone. Take ranchers, for example. This time of the year there are cows to check and to move from pasture to pasture, fences to repair, livestock water to check (and sometimes to haul), hay to put up, and then all the chores to keep the household going. If this is coupled with work outside the ranch, there’s even more hurry, hurry, hurry to get it all done.
I was thinking about this on Wednesday as I sat waiting for my college literature students to finish their finals. I had to check cow water on summer pasture the next day and to make plans to move the cows across the road soon — when some creek crossings are replaced. All this and more.
I enjoy everything about my work — well, almost everything — but sometimes it is the seemingly little things that I come upon on a daily basis that give me the most pleasure. That’s where the prairie flower comes in.
Each spring I plant lots of pots with a variety of flowers (you’ve already read about the marigolds). I look forward to shopping for the flowers and trying to figure out which colors to put together. So a few years ago I came across some light purple violas with elongated “faces” that bloom on long stems. Their name is “Viola Corsica” or “Corsican Violet,” but when I saw them they reminded me of a prairie flower. I could just vision them blowing in a breeze, among other spring flowers, on the prairie. So “Prairie Flowers” is what they came to be.
I bought a bunch of the “Prairie Flowers” and planted them in several pots, among other pots of pansies and assorted flowers, and kept them up on the front porch where the deer couldn’t reach them. Each spring since I have purchased the violas and enjoyed them all summer long.
However, when I went plant shopping this spring I couldn’t find the violas at any of the nurseries. In the end I bought an assortment of other pansies. Because of the rainy spring, I was late in transplanting the flowers into pots. By then some little pansies were coming up in last year’s pots on their own. Could some of these plants be my “Prairie Flowers?”
As I planted a small geranium in a last year’s “Prairie Flower” pot, I was careful not to disturb the little pansy plants. I did the same for other containers. I watered everything. I watched, and then — bingo — one day a “Prairie Flower” blossom appeared on a stem in the geranium pot. Then there was another.
Then a flower showed up in another pot, and the other afternoon when I came back from feeding Pipi and her pals, I saw several flowers in a square container that had been planted with an assortment of other pansies. My “Prairie Flowers” apparently seeded themselves last fall.
The other day my husband Lyle asked me why I always pause and look to the left when I walk down the front porch steps. He thought something might be wrong, but, in fact, everything is just right. I’m just taking a few minutes to enjoy the pots of flowers off the porch. When I walk back up the steps, I take a few minutes to enjoy the “Prairie Flowers.”
I hope that you take some time to enjoy some of the seemingly small things in life, too.
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Many Craig residents may not be aware of it, but there is a poetry group that meets once a month at Downtown Books & Coffee.