THE FRAGRANCES OF OUR MINDS

There are things that triggers memories. Maybe its a song, place, or person. All can bring up memories long-buried, but smells– fragrances really do conjure up strong remembrances for me.

There is a farm about four or five miles from us. When the wind is just right…well you get my drift! I remember the barn lot where I milked cows, held new kittens and waded in sucking mud during the rainy days, of my youth. The images of me feeding my 4H steer and brushing his shiny red coat float above my head.

When our neighbor, up the road, cuts fresh alfalfa in the summer I remember my dad hauling heavy square bales from the field to our barn. Our Mom would bring out fresh squeezed lemonade and sandwiches for the men when a much-needed break was taken. Dad and his hired help, which included some cute-buff teenage boys, would enjoy the short recess under a shade tree.

Fresh brewed coffee brings me back to my Mom’s kitchen, where she would enjoy a cup, or two while sitting at our shiny formica table with its yellow plastic upholstered chairs. Grandma made the old-fashioned coffee–cowboy coffee, we called it. She’d just poured the ground coffee in pot of water and let it come to boil. Problem was…she had to watch it closely, or there’d be hot coffee all over her stove top!

Smoke from the recent fires around here brought back cool fall days of burning leaves in our yard, or a weenie roast with friends. The smokey smell hanging on our clothes and hair long after the event.

This morning my husband brought in some Lilacs. Our bush doesn’t usually produce a lush crop, but this year, for some reason…they are beautiful!

When I took a whiff of the lavender clusters, I was back in my Mother’s yard– to springtime in Iowa, and the sweet perfume floating on spring breezes through the weathered window panes of our farmhouse.

So, I set about trimming the woody stems…a bouquet for the kitchen table and one for my husbands studio. The aroma now floats between our two spaces and make me sigh, and remember.

KRE

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Sunflower

Kansas is known as the “Sunflower State!”

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Helianthus annuus, the common sunflower, is a large annual forb of the genus Helianthus grown as a crop for its edible oil and edible fruits. This sunflower species is also used as bird food, as livestock forage, and in some industrial applications.

When you drive through the countryside, here in Kansas, at this time of the year, you see their bright faces waving in the breeze all over the state. They bend and twist in the wind as if dancing to their own inaudible tune.Wild sunflowers can pop up just about anywhere. With all the rain we’ve had this summer, they are abundant in ditches, pastures–where ever there is dirt, you will find the sunflower!

I love the sun, and anything that symbolizes the blazing ball that heats our planet. I have images of the sun hanging all over the place. Maybe I was an Aztec Princess, in another life!

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Being a sixties girl, I worshiped the sun. I have age spots to prove it! But, no matter the consequence I always loved the way the sun made me feel. It’s the same way with these delightful flowers.

You can’t help but feel happy when you see a sunflower, with its bright yellow petals and chocolate-brown center.

If you know where to go, you can visit these fields of magnificent blooms. Sunflowers are not just unique to Kansas, but are scattered across the county. The rows of yellow sunburst follow the sun’s arc from horizon to horizon. I often think of Van Gogh’s lovely Sunflower paintings, with the juxtaposition of blues and yellows in thick, vivid oils.

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Want a lift, and a shot of optimism? Bring some sunflowers into your space. There are no side effects, and a whole lot cheaper than meds!

KRE

Van Gogh images from the internet. 

 

 

Five Eggs And A Gerainium

This familiar looking plant, in this hanging basket, is a geranium.

 

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What’s interesting about this geranium is, it’s also the home of a bird…a soon to be, mother-bird.

Last year I had hanging baskets and a sweet mama bird laid her eggs in it too! It was so much fun watching the day-to-day developments, so naturally I was thrilled when this year’s basket became a bird nursery, also!

I’m not quite sure what kind of bird it is, I think it might be a finch, she doesn’t hold still long enough for me to get a good photo. Every time the front door opens she’s out of the nest like a shot!

 

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My grandmother always said if I touched or interrupted a bird’s nest it wouldn’t come back, and the babies would starve.

My granny would be happy to know I’m very careful when I water the geranium, I don’t want to flood the perfect little bed she’s created. It’s quite a feat to only water enough.

And, about this nest…it is one of the most perfect creations I’ve ever seen.

It is a woven miracle, a piece of art that would shame any weaver!

Nature is so…so…wonderful!

I’ll keep you abreast of nesting news!

KRE

Eye-Candy From Kansas

This summer, in Kansas, has been “A horse of a different color,” as they said in, The Wizard of Oz.

You might wonder why I am so excited and grateful for this summer as opposed to others we’ve had…well, if you live in the plains of this great land you know what I’m talking about.

It can be a very harsh place for plants, animals and humans. I can’t imagine what our forefathers and mothers did when there was a drought or prairie fires. 

So… when we have a summer like this one, I’m truly grateful and happy!

 

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Early spring was dry, then June came along and the rains started, and we’ve had gentle rains ever since with cooler weather (70’s in mid-July) than we usually do. 

AND, this is the big one…very little tornado activity!

 

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This tree was almost dead the past three years, but this year it came to life, and what a beautiful display it’s sharing!

I even gave it a huge one day.

I guess that makes me a, “Tree Hugger.”

 

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Anyway, I wanted to share some of the beautiful foliage and flowers around my yard…AGAIN!

So, enjoy the eye-candy that is 2014 in Kansas!

KRE

First Day Of Summer

I walked around my yard this morning, and I was pleased, so I thought I share these pictures with you.

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We’ve had a wonderful, wet June, with cool nights which makes for beautiful flowers and trees. The past three years my Golden Rain tree looked like it was about to “buy the farm,” as they say. We’d had a few dry years that stressed many of our trees. The Golden Rain had a hard time holding on…well, this year it perked right up and “voila”… it’s gorgeous again!

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I could stand and smell my lavender plants all day, it’s my favorite!

 

I love perennials and always look forward to their return each year. It’s a guessing game each year as to what made it, and what didn’t!

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Looks like my Coneflowers are taking over again. They are prolific little devils, and demand sun and space. I’ll have to do some transplanting with the lilies this fall.

 

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These lilies were a gift of sorts from my neighbor many years ago and they are still going strong. They are very hardy and can withstand the heat and wind Kansas dishes out! I think of my mother when I look at their brilliant orange petals. We had them everywhere when I was a kid, on the farm, and they fill roadway ditches everywhere in Iowa, and Kansas.

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Russian sage is in bloom now too!  It’s one of those clean fresh fragrances I love.

All-in-all, things looks pretty good! Let’s see what July and August bring.

Happy summer!

KRE