It is so hot and all the grasses are turning brown and crunch underfoot. The showy spring flowers have long since faded, save a few White Prickly Poppies and some Cowpen Daisies. But the sunflowers are still having a show. Some of the plants must be ten feet tall, or taller. But I was not only transfixed by the perfect ones. The fading and dying flowers are interesting too. Perhaps, more so.

Fading Sunflower







And then there were the flowers that were just budding, and you could barely see the color coming through the thick green armor. There is something so powerful and hopeful and endless about it all. They simply live fully, shine brightly, and then die in this wonderful withering way. And their total lack of significance to anyone or anything other than the bugs and birds don’t matter to them one bit. On they go.

New Sunflower








I’ll be curious to see if any new flowers are still coming. I’ve been coming to Clay County a year now. I was so preoccupied this time last year with when and how to plant bluebonnet seeds that I didn’t pay enough attention to the happenings of August and September.

Blue Sky Sunflower








If memory serves, it was simply hot and dry and we were left daily wondering if we were the world’s greatest fools to buy a ranch in the darkest spot of maroon on the drought maps. But we were happy and hopeful fools, and the flowers I’ve seen in the last year are a story of renewal. We are barely keeping up with the wild. But, God it is fun trying.

The Perseid meteor shower was also predicted to be this week. I awakened the children at 4:15 a.m. today and we went to the porch and peered at the sky, hoping. The stars were so beautifully bright. But ten to fifteen miles from the nearest TX town, we were in the catbird seat. We were rewarded with a half dozen wonderful trails through the night sky and finally wandered back to bed. It is supposed to be even better tonight but we are back in the city and the dome of light will make it nearly impossible to spot the comet rubble. Pity. Not a bad party for a time when it is nearly too hot to be outside during the day. Sunflowers and meteor showers…has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it?

(click any photo for a larger view)

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