Yesterday I took a drive down to McMinnville to meet up with Liesel and Sue of Laughing Leaf Elements. So I thought I’d take some “ditch pictures”. Okay most of them aren’t ditches, but there was a lot of pulling off to the side of the road to photograph weeds. Passing motorists probably thought I was off my rocker.
The drive is almost entirely through farm country. Most of the farms have just gotten their hay in. I think recently shorn fields are really beautiful.
I think it’s partly because I love the bleached out, pale gold shade of the fields, and the way it contrasts with the sky.
And I think it’s partly because there’s this feeling of hard work completed, of something accomplished. The fields have a moment to pause and catch their breath. I imagine the farmers feeling relieved to have a big job completed for another year, and bedding and food for the animals ready to get them through the winter.
When I stopped to take this picture, the farmer was pulling out in his pickup. I gestured to my camera and the flowers to see if it was all right, and he nodded. When he got closer, he rolled down his window and told me I could take one if I wanted to. I didn’t–mostly because I didn’t have anything to cut one with–but I got a little warm glow at a gesture of friendliness from a stranger.
Wild blackberries. Blackberries are a prolific weed here. I’m sure most of you know about my affection for weeds. Even though I tend to pull them out of my vegetable beds, I’m fond of feral plants. I admire their tenacity, and the generosity of wild food plants that provide so much for the birds and the bees and the other wild things.
Teasel is one of my favorites. I’m not sure why. I’ve never worked with it medicinally (though I understand it has been found effective in treatment of Lyme Disease, among other things), but I feel a strong pull toward it. Then again, a lot of my favorite plants are prickly and poky, so I guess it’s not a surprise–and teasel heads are beautiful and dramatic when they dry. I like to use them in my Nature Spirit figures.
They’re big, tall, impressive plants, too.
Queen Anne’s Lace is another long time favorite. Even as a child I loved it; I would pick bouquets of it, which my mother would always declare to be “weeds” and wonder why I wanted to bring them in the house.
And I always wondered how anything so beautiful could be considered a weed.
I still do.