Sunday, September 7, 2008
Peter, Paul and Mary, wherever you are, call off the hounds. The search is over. The flowers have been found alive and well in Arkansas. They are sharing a rural environment with a neglected old Farmall tractor on Arkansas Highway 222 between Donaldson and Lono.
It’s not at all unusual to see farm equipment under the circumstances in which you see this tractor. The nearby residence is occupied. When the tractor was retired, the owner did so with apparent good intentions. Perhaps he (or she) believed the old workhorse might see use again and carefully put a Miracle Whip jar over the exhaust stack to prevent sky droppings from falling into the guts of the engine. Unfortunately, successful as that stop-gap was, we are all familiar with the far terminus of roads paved with good intentions.
On the other hand, the flowers are sending an annual signal. They are telling us that fall and winter are not far away. Football tells us the same thing, but you don’t have to buy a ticket or turn on the tube to receive the signal from the flowers.
For reasons unbeknown to me, every year about this time, yellow flowers abound. They explode with their yellowness in pastures, roadsides, ditches, and just about anywhere else where little attention is paid to landscape manicuring. And not just the ankle-high variety in front of the tractor. Black-eyed Susans and all of their cousins, some three and four feet tall, abound in the same locations.
In the spring, you see whites, pinks, and other pastel flowers brazenly broadcasting their availability to pollinating bees. With the exception of daffodils, the earliest harbinger of spring, you see few yellow flowers. I’ve often wondered why, but have not lost any sleep over it. Nevertheless, it would be nice to know.
I’m a fan of these yellow flowers. They are telling the world, or at least this neck of the woods, that if left alone, they will announce the change of season with a spectacular visual symphony. This unfettered performance underscores the mentality I share with thousands of others who eschew yard work like we shun exposure to measles or impetigo.
N O T E S:
Most of the time, there is more to the Photo of the Week story than can be told in an essay. And most of the time there are more pictures to be seen. Presuming that some folk will enjoy being privy to this trove of information, I have created a blog, “Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,” where I am showing and telling “the rest of the story." There are also some blatantly commercial mentions of some of the things we do to earn our beans and taters. Click on the Weekly Grist logo and go to the blog. — J. D.