Friday, January 14, 2011

Prairie Treasure









Working through the marsh, the ground swelled each place he left a footprint. It was a interesting bog, made almost like a matress in the finest hotels he had stayed in. He had heard of a tiny prairie orchid that was to be around here and searched, not really knowing what it even looked like. Someone had said like a purse, and others like a shoe. All of these baffled him, but one of the people he talked to had showed him how to find this area near a small lake.

His stomach was getting empty and he had only brought some jerky and water along for lunch. He remembered seeing a small town, and wished he had gotten something else while he was there. A fried pie would have been nice, had he not eaten all he had purchased when he woke up. The lady that made them was a queen in her kitchen, and he often wondered how she manuevered through the narrow door to her woodpile.

He often teased her, telling her if she ever lost her husband, he would marry her. Then again , all the children running around reminded him of low patience with that end of the bargain. It was a lovely family to visit, but he often was worn out when he felt it time to go home. The children would ask him to show a book of his drawings, and many times request help drawing something they really wanted to see him draw. This was fun, many times he mixed in a tall tale he had heard while traveling around this huge prairie. A favorite item he had started was tales of the banshees, a walking dead soul. Their mother always wanted to put a stop to these tales, knowing the younger ones would be in bed with her at night , frightened at the tiniest creaks.

Finding a rock to sit on, he sat thinking what he didn't have and could have, tearing at a hard piece of jerky.Chewing he pretended he was eating a steak, and sometimes it had that smoky flavor to it that reminded him of a fine cut of meat, rather than a haunch of the deer he had made it from. A jay called in alarm off to his right side and he looked at what had set off this forest alarm. The bird sat on a branch, pounding on a tiny acorn, trying to get at the meat inside. The shell dropped to the ground and he watched it hit,right next to a tiny white flower. Looking around that area he saw many more of the same bloom and realized he had found his treasure.


He grabbed his pens and set to sketching right away, forgetting how hungry he was. He made a series of detailed sketches, looking at the speciman, but also the habitat of the fen around him. This was a unique journey that had brought him here and he thanked the land and all around him for the delightful find. He decided that perhaps this jay that had set off his discovery was his woodland saint, a friend for life, and always looked when he heard one. He often said if he came back to this world in animal form, it would be as his friend the jay. His happiness when he was out on the prairie filled the air and was carried along on a gentle prairie breeze.
.
..
..
I lost my mind
And wander about
Looking under logs
Rocks,tables and chairs
Finally finding it
In a simple poem
With you in it too.

24 comments:

  1. I'm glad you found your lost mind. :-)

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  2. I've always loved orchids, especially the Lady Slipper of my childhood marshes - so delicate, as though they have personalities filled with grace.

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  3. Hi Steve, the old farm equipment and red barn in snow were my favorites today. The story was an intriguing as always. Seems you still have a lot of wnos around. Our is all gone, so we're ready for another blast which may or may not come here.

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  4. cute poem and I like the story. What on earth is a fried pie though?

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  5. Loved the image of the barn, with the interesting lighting in the sky. You have a way of capturing interesting photos, even with the flat light of winter days.

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  6. The barn and the cuppola, definitely my favorites. Well done, again, Steve. :)

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  7. very nice images!
    Greeting from Transylvania!

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  8. Prairie treasure indeed! That's the exact right words! These are all excellent, great series. That red barn in the snow - I think I want to live there :) The one above that is awesome too - great stuff!

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  9. what kind of trees are they? love the photo and story especially the part about the jay and I too wonder what a fried pie is.

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  10. Yes, these are treasures. I keep taking photos from the car, but they don't turn out like these do.

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  11. Mmmmmm fried pies were often made out of dried fruit soaked in water. Instead of baking them, you fried them. They were made small in individual servings.Some people made them as a main dish with meat and vegetables for the fillings.

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  12. Glad you explained a 'fried pie' because I was about to ask.
    Another lovely blog and the red barn is my favorite...it reminds me of my grandparents farm and while theirs was NOT that red, it was beautiful quite the same because it belonged to them!
    I hope you are doing okay and staying warm!

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  13. the Fairyslipper truely is a wonderful little flower.
    Great winter photos. We are into gray "windy"days and not one bit of moisture since Jan. 1. Completely missed the last weekend storm that hit a lot of Wyoming. Just gray windy days.
    God bless and till next time...

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  14. I do love native orchids and had never seen a white one here in Minnesota. As a matter of fact the first and only ones I'd ever seen were in your state at the famous prarie named after the groundbreaking pioner woman from Iowa State University. Ms Hayden.

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  15. I Love the flower....how Beautiful!!!
    Great story as well!
    hughugs

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  16. Hayden Prairie is a fantastic area to explore.It was the third area in Iowa to be set aside and restored in 1946.Many of the plant specimans Ada Hayden mounted in the herbarium at Iowa State sit alongside others by people like George Washington Carver, and were very impressive to look over and just hold.I did some undergraduate study there.

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  17. I think your story speaks to the human condition of searching for inner happiness. Dropping his jerkey and forgetting his hunger...that is true happiness, is it not? Very meaningful, Steve.

    Also... I love the browns and reds of your prairie. Again, I'm so glad to have found you.

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  18. I didn't grow up around barns, but I've always had a special affinity for cupolas. Great post.

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  19. Hello Steve,
    Your pics are so gorgeous. I hope you are staying warm. Take care!

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  20. Beautiful slipper orchid! A nice ray of hope for spring.

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Keep it positive and informative,I enjoy hearing from you!