Brenda & Tam’s Great Adventure

(This happened on September 5, 2018)

This morning I went to visit Brenda

Brenda and her husband Fred and I chatted over the after-breakfast table (I snagged a couple of bacon slices…sigh)

Fred left to work around the farm, while Brenda and I went for a wild ride in her 4-wheel farm utility vehicle, her two dogs ran around us, baying at the fun

Brenda confidently took the vehicle off the road, onto field edges, through woods on vague paths with tree branches whipping, trying to pull us out

She showed me what oak trees look like, ash trees, maple trees, and her personal big-rock-patches (piles of rocks), and she found an old hickory nut for me

She stopped so I could run a fox-tail weed head through my hands, so soft

We saw butterflies, white, yellow, and then a monarch… and

Brenda took off to hunt for milkweed, the plant that monarchs lay their eggs on

She drove back over the field edges, but no milkweeds, drove slowly down to her mail box, looking intently at all the weeds at the side of the road.

I learned what Stinging Nettle looks like ( I have the dried leaves in tea bags!), still no milkweeds.

She turned around and drove back past the chicken coop, then abruptly stopped

Milkweed on my side!

She got out while I hung out the side of the vehicle to investigate the milkweed (now I know what it looks like)

Found one with a gorgeous monarch caterpillar, about 1 1/2 inches long, stocky, with a variety of colored bands wrapped around its body

We wondered, if we stretched out the caterpillar, if those bands would look more like monarch colors, but we only wondered

We soaked up the beautiful creature into our memories (didn’t have the camera)

Then Brenda drove further looking for possible chrysalises of the teenagers incubating into butterflies but

I was very hungry, lunch time, feeling like the caterpillar–gotta eat

Brenda drove back around to her house, the dogs looking exhausted but satisfied, and we said goodbye as I got into my car, with a smile on my face

I saw a monarch caterpillar.  Me.

The Lone Goldenrod

One tall colorful plant stands proudly in the empty field

having its lower body denuded yet still sporting

golden yellowish flowers on its upper quarter, surviving

determinedly against rains, winds, and now three frosts

towering above dead clumps of fallen comrades, patches of

short new green grasses, teaching me through the

kitchen window to bloom in spite of weed poisoning

brutal mowing, weather, loneliness and approaching winter

God teaches me about power, even through wild flowers—just one

Not Very Long Ago

a man took a cool-looking

tractor and mowed the field of

wildly free weeds (or AKA: August Fire

Hazard) behind our little house in Hanoverton,

Ohio; also chopping up or squashing many ground

hogs, chipmunks or whatever other living creatures

that couldn’t get away, since they had made nice

comfy homes there through almost two years

of neglect, and I know this because a distinct

odor of extinction thickly wafts our way

from time to time when the wind

provides an obliging path.