Sunday, February 27, 2011

Love Letters

This little guy hangs out by this log pile all day by the litter he leaves behind. I didn't get his name, so I will call him Road Apple. He kind of reminded me of a little shaggy dog I know. It's owner leaves the radio going for the horses through the day.

Is this faded happiness?

He asked around town if anyone remembered the couple who owned his land. Many remembered them from church or coming to town, but few could tell where they were even from. There were so many stories on this prairie, many came and went to new destinations. One person he thought might know was the preacher’s wife. She had a knack of remembering all that came around this tiny town. He went past the church and over to the parsonage, finding nobody. He scribbled a note and went back to get his shave.

Looking into the mirror he was amazed how much younger he felt without the wintry growth. He laughed thinking maybe someone might notice as he walked down the street, but nobody said a word. Finally he walked back to the parsonage and saw his note flapping on the door. He had an idea to check with another family and got on his horse to ride out to their home. His horse trudged down their muddy lane and he was met with a wave from the wife shaking off some rugs on the porch. She said she was spring cleaning early, he hoped she wasn’t hinting he needed to give it a try.

He told her of the letters he found and she listened with an eager ear. She hadn’t seen the husband as much of a romantic, and thought they were from not far away. She wanted to know every detail, but he told her he felt awkward reading over someone’s thoughts and shared what he could. She wanted to look them over herself, and offered to stop over and offer some cleaning advice if he wanted. He laughed looking at a sketch he had shared the last year in a homemade frame over their fireplace. Her husband was his authority of fixing things and had helped with a number of projects already. She told him she would ask around and let him know if she found anything.

Riding back through town he looked to see if his note was still up and saw it fluttering. He rode out past the river looking at the ice flows floating on the swollen river. A stack was up on the bank and had pushed up a lot of debris and logs with it. He saw a fun shape in this and found a dry log to work from with his easel. As he was listening to the roar and crunches he saw a tiny bird flitting close by. He laughed at the quickness it moved and walked down a tree upside down and recognized it as a nuthatch. The lines in its feathers were like someone had drawn everything on and he wished it would hold still long enough to catch all the shapes right. He added it to the corner of his other sketch as fast as he could, and off it flew. He thanked it for the moment it shared and his smile followed the little bird on a gentle prairie breeze.
Working at finding happiness
Doesn’t take much effort
Other than wanting to be
And understanding how simple it is.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Brenda Photo Challenge-RED

The Brenda Photo challenge is a monthly themed photo share . Just go to the site and look at each persons entries, or sign on to give it a try.This month it was red ,so those who read here regular realize I find some vintage buildings and people in my travels. Featured today are the Redd Brothers. Twins who are like night and day, Spike and Wellborn, we call him Well, grew up in this mansion in the middle of nowhere. Spike still maintains the family home, somewhat. He likes to take things apart and figure what makes them work, considering himself a scientist of sort.

Spike Redd

Red tag on red meat, below is a Red Angus scratching on a log.

Well Redd, the more sophisticated of the twins is a delight to be around. Rumored as one of the most available bachelors from his parts , he is a delight to be around. If one needed a companion for travel , he is waiting for the offer to have someone take him along.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Horsing Around

It was fun to watch this Downy Woodpecker come in and try to perch on this steel post holding feeders. A tree with no bark fooled both the male and female of this pair.

The spring call of the Tufted Titmouse is large for such a tiny and timid bird.

I watched this flow move from about 25 miles away in a day. This small river is over the banks at this boggy area and usually so shallow after May I have to put in farther downstream.

Eagles cleaned this deer in 6 days. By the absence of a few parts the coyotes possibly helped out.

He got out of the wagon and looked at the horses and ponies out in the field and felt like he had found a long lost friend. He made some clicking noises with his tongue and one came running toward him. He pulled a few apples from his bag and handed one to each as he walked through the gate to greet them. One tiny pony hobbled over and he had a special treat for it, some bread with sweet butter on it. It was like a family reunion as his eyes swelled with tears, happy to see these animals. A call came from the house and he walked up to greet his friend. He tried not to let him see his emotions but they were hard to put away. Their laughter made both feel years younger.

Walking into the barn he saw the individual stalls with carved name plaques put up. One stall sat empty of hay, with the plaque still up for one of the tiny ponies that had passed away. He didn’t say much other than making fun of the stately home for these beasts of burden. They had retired into the lap of luxury, their caretaker treating them like his children. The stories started up and were warmed with coffee in the kitchen. The home needed some work, but only had one person living in it, so there wasn’t an ongoing list as with his home. He told of doing chores and being a big help to his son, happy to be back out on the prairie. His friend said he was always welcome to help around his home also. Looking around he decided maybe that this might be a pleasure to do for a fellow worker. He asked where he could start, and they walked out around the farm buildings to look at the needs to be done.

Behind the barn sat a huge woodpile and he told of how he often liked to swing the axe at his home. They set up some logs and took turns splitting the wood, showing off their prowess. It didn’t take long to tire the two of them so they went back up and had another coffee. It had cooled setting on a cold stove, but it didn’t matter. Grabbing some jerky they walked down and filled a few buckets at the well. Carrying them over to a trough one at a time, both talked a little gibberish to the horses and laughed how they each had a particular voice to use. Walking back up to the barn they talked how a few boards could use some replacement, perhaps the next time he came by.

The talk drifted back to the mine and how all the families came for the yearly picnics. It was fun to share the children’s joy and join in a variety of games. He told how his wife wished to see some of the blooms like she had above the mine when they first got there. He laughed and said to just let it go and they would return. It was just taking a nap being grazed and tilled. They each asked about families that had drifted away and shared any information each had heard. Some people never returned to this land and many ended up in the growing cities. The day slipped by faster than it had for quite some time and memories drifted across the plains on a gentle prairie breeze.
Friends make life
For all it is
Life would be lost
If we never shared thoughts
And lasting memories.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Beauty In The Land

When we watch the timid birds do we dream of flight? Do you see a primitive passion from the ages surviving as its giant dinosaur cousins did? I see the massive Rex when I watch a heron stalking a frog. I like to watch all and think of being at one with them. Every movement is an action to survive and adds to my delight of being with them. I spend hours observing these delights of the prairie, perhaps they do revive my distant imaginations. Flight patterns started with a bath towel secured around my neck with a diaper pin, a real Superman. Later after a visit to an army surplus, my first attempts to float to the ground with a cargo chute off the roof. Swan dives from a rock cliff into a cold lake. Wisdom and spirit gained from a hawk. My passion never stops.

Walking around the campus was fairly bleak. The spring season had offered a glimpse and then shuffled away as quickly as it came. Everything was wet with melt and occasionally it started to rain, and then sleet. She looked for the administration building again, she had just been there and looked around for some help. Seeing a yellow house reminded her of where she had been and she walked toward it. Just a few blocks away was her rooming house she would live in. Walking through the building again she was greeted by the lady who had given her all of her papers. She laughed at the collection of books she now had and asked her how everything was going. It was hard to tell her she was still lost in this new maze, and was going through the building to find her way back home.

She went to dinner that Sunday and met her friend she had met on the train and her family. It was nice to be in a group, but made her a bit uneasy not knowing anyone very well. She told of her reasons coming back to this area and everyone listened, even though they knew little about her tribe living around the area. An uncle offered to take her to a friends mothers home, who could perhaps offer some information she was seeking. She would look forward to this, many of the stories she had heard had been lost with the people who now lived here. She listened to all the stories they had to tell, it was a new land to their early family. There was a constant addition being added to each new tale and she marveled at the strength that this family had making new homes around the area.

Classes began the following week and she had walked the grounds daily to familiarize herself with the rooms. Her fear was to forget where she was to be and not know which class she was to be in. As soon as she made it through her first week it became funny to her how much she worried. One boy in a class always sat near her and had silly questions to ask, such as did her family ever live in a house. Finally she got the jest of all his questions and began thinking of answers to make him more interested. Instead she told him her family all worked and lived in homes just as his did. He sat away from her after that.

One day a note was on her door telling her friend’s uncle would be by the next day to introduce her to the lady he had talked about. Taking her across town they came to a huge home with a magnificent yard. The lady of the house greeted them and had them come inside. She laughed at the stories and questions this young lady had. She had her go outside and showed her a treasured chair a neighbor rested in watching her garden grow. Having her sit in it, she began to tell how this neighbor had brought flowers in from her farm and they had preserved a bit of the wild flowers in the two yards. All that could be seen were dry grasses and seed heads, so it was hard to imagine blooms as she spoke. They walked about and found a few sprouts starting to come up and she told of the spirit that they gave her to see each year. This appealed to the girl and her head swirled with the stories this lady had to share. As they spoke through the afternoon the tales from her family began to come alive and she knew she was close to a number of answers she needed. The wisdom mingled with the spirit of the prairie and new friendship soared on a gentle prairie breeze.
New thoughts
Become wisdom
And a story
Becomes a legend
Born again
In the fire of our soul.