Friday, July 10, 2009

Life and Death on the Prairie

As quite a few people have noted, there is a dearth of blogging and visiting and commenting this summer. I was muttering to myself about it the other night as I was looking at my comments - saying that I was missing the friends who usually come to visit. Care Bear was listening. Nothing escapes Care Bear's amazing mind. (If you haven't visited her new blog yet, it is really fun).

She said, "Well, you should go to all of your friends' blogs and tell them to come over to visit."

I replied, "No, I can't do that - they'd think I was whining."

She quickly came back with, "Well, Grandma, you ARE whining!"

Oh, my - -

But thanks for coming over to visit! I love hearing from each and every one of you.

One of the reasons we took the trip to the prairie last Saturday was because we'd heard that the wild flowers were profuse and you know how much we love flowers!

About the only town you encounter on this trip is the little town of Ault. I love this sign in the middle of the town.

I love the sight of cattle grazing on the grass. We have several feed lots in our area and it is not my idea of how cattle should have to live. It is truly disgusting and smells are outrageous. But to see these beautiful creatures enjoying the succulent grass was peaceful to me.

We never did find a profusion of flowers that we were promised, but we did come upon these lovely flowers. As I got closer to take the picture, I realized both of them were thistles. It occurred to me again how God can make something beautiful out of something painful.

The wind was blowing so hard that I couldn't catch the flower until several attempts.

It's a bit fuzzy, but I love the ladybug hanging on for dear life. Can you see it?

As we stood on that overlook of the valley, we found this variety.

We went home a different route and came across an amazing variety of flowering cacti - fabulous.

I am quite certain this is the largest anthill I've encountered - what industrious little creatures God created! If you enlarge the second one, you can see them scurrying into that hole.

Appropriately, the last thing we saw was this really old, small cemetery.

When I was a kid, there was a small, very old cemetery at the bottom of the hill from my grandparents' farm. We would go in there and visit the gravesites, imagining what it was that took a whole family in one fell sloop. I felt the same fascination as I walked around and checked out the dates and the names. And then there was the wonderful one I visited on St. Simons Island that you'll recall if you've been with me for awhile.

There was a great variety of stones. Quite a few of them just had these little brass markers.

Some of them had the marker, but family had at some point added a headstone. And this one had wooden outlines for each of the three graves.

There was this weathered wooden one that had faded writing on it, undecipherable. But someone had been here recently enough to put a silk flower, unfaded yet.

This was fairly elaborate, compared to the others.

A whole family - 2 of the children didn't live to adulthood.

This one had been visited fairly recently as well, but the glass enclosed gifts were very faded.

I cut off the date, but this was a four year old, one of two that I found.

This one was very beautiful, with another very young person.

I hope you have enjoyed our little trip to the prairie.


Hootin' Anni said...

Yep, yep,'s summer, most people are vacationing, traveling, and working in the yards/gardens. I get up early each day so I can blog before I do work. LOL

Anyway, love all the photos. There is one particular one that stood's almost the shape of a heart. [the 2nd one above 'going home a different route].

Love the cattle photos and about the Canadian Thistle [the pink] we had that on our Colorado land too. Here?....nothing so nasty. But boy howdy do I remember them.

If you missed my post on Colorado Odd Names [you inspired me with your posting of the Pawnee Buttes the other day]'s Here

Have a glorious weekend Dawn. And thanks for posting such wonderful, Colorful Colorado photos. Get it? Colorful? Colorado? That rings a bell.

Sammy said...

I love old cemeteries. The small town I grew up in had a very old one and I used to love to visit, checking out the dates and thinking about the lives led.

Beautiful flowers and great shots of the prairie. They definitely made me wish I lived near sights like that. Where I live is gorgeous, but it's such a different kind of beauty. It's nice to be able to see the different landscapes that make up our country. It's so diverse.

Well, Care Bear sure told you, huh? :-) That's hilarious! Kids really are sharp sometimes.

Have a great day, Dawn!

Needled Mom said...

My grandparents used to come visit us in the spring to go to the desert and see all the cactus in bloom. It really is quite spectacular. I guess they need to have at least one showy part of their growth!

The big white flowers remind me of a plant we have here that we call the "Fried Egg" flower (Matillija Poppy). I was surprised to see yours on our drives and did get out to check it out. The folliage is very different.

I have been to the cemetery at St Simons. It must be the same one. It makes me wonder as well what took so many at such a young age. So often the years of death are the same as if a plague went through. I should research that someday.

Have a great weekend.

Amy said...

I love visiting old cemeteries. My boys think I'm nuts.

Hope you're having a good summer

Mimi said...

You can whine if you want to...
I really enjoyed your trip to the prairie...especially the old graveyard...I am fascinated by them myself...I love to read all the gravestones and try to imagine the people who are buried there...
thanks for visiting me...and I will try to stop by to see you more often...
I have been lazy this summer...

Kristen said...

From the mouths of babes! That's my girl!

Great pictures, by the way.

Midlife Mom said...

What a lovely scenic trip Dawn! I just love all the flowers, so different from ours. When visiting Arizona we took a horseback trip out into the desert and saw many beautiful flowers. They told us not to get near them though as they were cactus! The horses seemed to know to go around them carefully.

No I didn't like a raccoon in my kitchen! lol! Strange things just seem to happen around here it seems!

Yes I've done a bit of FB but blogging is my first love. There just isn't the content in FB but it's a good way to just keep in touch with a sentence or two. Yes, so many people have left blogging for it but for me blogging is my journal so I won't be giving it up soon! :o)

The picture of the cattle is so nice. I too hate to see the cattle in the feed lots. Seeing cattle in the fields reminds me of the old hymn He Owns The Cattle On A Thousand Hills.

Care Bear is a riot! Yep, kids say it like it is! D told me a few weeks ago when I was over at their pool that I have chubby legs! I told him Grammies are supposed to have chubby legs! lol!

kpjara said...

Hey there Dawn,

Thanks for coming to visit me and leaving comments. You are SO's like a ghost town during the summer!

Blessings and love the pics and the Grandbabies new blog!

Hootin' Anni said...

Hi again Dawn, you said you wondered how far we have to drive to get to the beach? Well, it depends...if we want to go to the beaches in town, it's about a 5 minute drive from our house [pending we hit the lights green]...but the photo that is on my blog today where I'm in my bibs...that's about a 20 minute drive over the causeway to the island. Then, we can go north toward the harbor and that is about 10 to 15 minutes taking the freeway.

Happy weekend to you.

Christa said...

Enjoyed reading and catching up on your blog, guilty of being a little absent lately. Old cemetaries can be quite fascinating. Your photos are very nice.
We are planning a trip from Cal. to CO. late August, driving, and am afraid of the amount of pictures I may take along the way as we do some sightseeing.
God Bless

Linds said...

Add the fact that my son's laptop is dead to the fact that it is summer and I am outside as much as possible....yes - I think it is the same all over the place! Quiet. And maybe it is a good thing.
I loved all your photos, Dawn. That trip was well worth it! Amazing what beautiful flowers pop up from the cacti, isn't it!

Maine Mom said...

I wish I had internet at home, so I could visit your blog more often! I love Care Bear's comment. :-)
Beautiful flower pictures.

Mary said...


I had to laugh at Care Bear's comment. Seems she is a shoot from the hip kind of girl. Love it.

The thistles are lovely when they bloom. Last year I had a four foot Scottish thistle in the front flower bed. It had beautiful purple blossoms on the top and my neighbour begged me not to get rid of it. I eventually pulled it out. This year the thistles were gone before they bloomed.

Enjoyed all the photos of the prairie and the tombstones are awesome. I love exploring old cemeteries and wonder what the lives of those people were like. Very hard, I know.

Enjoyed my visit and will try to drop by more often. Have a terrific week. I'm off now to check out Care Bear's blog.


Robin said...

Yes, the blogging world does seem to have slowed down. I hope it's just that people are busy and not losing interest. I still love it as much as ever!
Your visit to the prairie was wonderful. I love how you take the time to stop and notice the littlest of things. And I especially loved your analogy of how God brings beauty from pain. That speaks to me very loudly in this season of my life.
Thanks for a lovely tour!

Linda said...

It looks like a lovely trip Dawn. I'm always amazed at the cacti flowers. They are just exquisite.
Isn't it restful being in the country? I love people, but I would be perfectly content plunked down in the middle of 100 acres somewhere in the country. There's something about the quiet beauty that just ministers to me.
Thanks for the sympathetic comment :-) We're hoping the same thing - that we don't go from drought to flood the way we did in 1998. I think this heat just begins to take a toll on everyone's spirit. We can keep cool in our air conditioned homes, but somehow that heat is still oppressive.
I'm going to visit that sweet little girl.

Sharon Lynne said...

I love those thistle-like plants with the beautiful flowers. You are so right. They remind us that beauty can grow out of pain. I love that analogy...and so appreciated those pictures.

I like to browse graveyards also. It makes me sad...but it gives one perspective in a wierd sort of way. It reminds me that life is no picnic and it was difficult for others as well as myself. But life has God's blessings also.

I will post soon. I am trying to put pictures up and lost them all and have to start over.

I'm glad you came over and said hello. I've been so busy!

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Dropping by to catch up with what's going on in your world and you've been busy!

Love the tour of the prairie! I've always been fascinated with anything to do with pioneer life.

Hope you're having a good week, Dawn. :o)

Love and hugs,


Nadine said...

I've not had the normal amount of visitors either. I think it happens every summer. I'm sorry, I haven't been around. I enjoyed your trip to the prairie.

nancygrayce said...

It does seem as if I haven't had time to blog or visit! Sometimes, it takes me several days to finish one!

Beautiful scenery on your trip! I love walking through an old cemetery.

groovyoldlady said...

I'm sorry. I'm one of those who has been absent, but...I'M BA-ACK!!

Looks like a wonderful time on the prarie!

PEA said...

Sometimes it may take a few days before I have time to visit but you know I always come over eventually! lol Yup, summer time really cuts into our blogging, I know it has for me.

I just love the pictures of the wild flowers and the cemetery. Isn't it amazing the beautiful bloom a weed can have?! You know how much I love walking through old cemeteries and like you, I love reading the names and dates and wondering how they died. One thing I've seem to die way before their wives. Steve pointed that out to me! LOL xoxo