Interestingly, the puccoon waits until late in its season to produce seed from a second flower, this one tiny and not easily seen. I learned this bit of information from Anne, with whom I gave a lecture at garden club about wildflowers. Intrigued, and seizing upon any reason to view flowers, I traipsed back to the countryside in search of the puccoon. I returned with the images below.
Puccoon growing in cactus.
Puccoons growing around rocks with lichen.
Puccoons grow in sunlight, very little water, and in sandy or clay soils. The image below shows the environment where the puccoons thrive at this time, March, while other plants remain dormant.
I haven't wasted too much time traipsing to the countryside in search of flowers. In early spring, it helps to hop out of the car and wander away a bit from the road. Tiny flowers emerge unseen, otherwise. The flowers I found this morning do not grow more than an inch, and some barely a half-inch across.
Above, the Blackfoot and Huisache daisies. Cattle and deer like the taste of them.
A horse named Festus (I think) munching on native grasses (and daisies, if any, yum).
In the background, the mesquite has not yet awakened from its winter slumber.
Jordan's skill at lassoing cattle appears flawless.
This last image, particularly, shows the finesse Jordan needs to lasso a calf. He waits for the un-suspecting calf to step with its back hoof inside the loop Jordan has placed on the ground. All the while, his horse collaborates, a partner just as skilled in cattle-catching.
"It's a purple coneflower," said Charles as I walked in the door. He showed me his textbook in which he had found the name of the flower that baffled us until he looked inside this book in particular. The flower can have purple or white petals, his Hortus Third explained, and lives in Texas.
And here is a picture by Yertle8 on Amazon of Charles' authorative texbook, a five-inch thick book, highly recommended for those of us interested in plants.
I grew up hunting for food at the market and reading stories set in the old cowboy days of the southwest. Today, when I watch cowboys branding cattle, I am awakened by the significance of their work. The beef at the market? They raised it. The stories about the old southwest? They still live the lifestyle. Cowboys, known as "vaqueros" in Mexico, worked long before Texas became a state.
My observations are that most cowboys are stoic and gentlemanly; they are humorous and playful; they are great story-tellers, too. And they are sensitive, though they wouldn't show it.
Clay tells me they love to have their pictures taken, though they wouldn't show that, either.
"Don't cowboys smile?" asked MyFriendFrances, attempting to coax a smile out of them as they posed for a group photo after their morning's work. A slight lift of one side of their lips and there they had them, the smiles.
MyFriendFrances brought out her flash unit to bring light under the hats of Clay and the other cowboys.
First, they have to catch a calf. Sean prepares to lasso one of them.
Cowboys hold the calf while Clay medicates and Stephen brands.
Sometimes, a calf gets away.
Sometimes, too, they have a moment to play.
After medicating and branding, cowboys release the cattle into the pasture.
Stephen and his fine horse at the end of the day's work.
This is the photo MyFriendFrances set up with her flash unit, making the colors look rich.
And this photo I took under natural light, then brought up their faces with the dodge tool in PhotoShop.
Every couple of weeks or so, North Texas received, so far, rain. Not enough to ameliorate the drought, though enough to raise the wheat a bit and water the impending wild flowers.
A dove sits on the back of a chair during the rain.
Listen, will you? I think that . . . literature, poetry, music and love make the world go round . . . while mathematics explains things; I fill my life with them, then go walking in snowy woods. Let us go then, you and I like two etherized patients floating through life, together feeling prufrockian. DDB Jr. makes my world go 'round; during his absence, Pachelbel fills it up. One summer I sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, then through the Gulf of Finland to reach Saint Petersburg; I pursued Joseph Brodsky in its alley ways. I dream of making that two summers. I read “Biking to Electra;” found my way in a Jaguar car, and glanced at the flashing steel grasshoppers at sunset. I’ll follow K.O.P.’s footsteps after he followed N.Scott Momaday’s; find warmth and inspiration on a rainy mountain. Throw chinese coins for the I Ching. Save the whales, the spotted owl, the woman in toil. Cast a fly for trout; my memories of fly fishing under the sunny blue Colorado sky remain; I yearn to build more . . . with more trophy Browns. Listen for the swan’s calls on the Baltic Sea. Feel KKII's joy, his arms spread wide in Yazilikaya. Good night, Jimmy Durante, where ever you are.