Mellow Yellow Overload

Now, for something completely different. I did a fun (to me) project yesterday that didn’t require any human contact nor leaving the property where our office is. I decided to see how many different yellow flowers I could find in the weed/wildflower collection known as our empty lot. As you can see, I managed to fill a whole screen in iNaturalist!

Most of the field LOOKS purple, because there is so much storks-bill growing in it, but when you look closer and closer, the yellows dominate (purple is in second place, with field madder and a little patch of grape hyacinth that must be left over from when there was a house here – I plan to replant them in the “flower bed” I’m making).

What have we got? Let’s take a look. Many of these flowers look really similar, but are different sizes or have other subtle differences.

Common Dandelion. Taraxacum officinale. Delicious and nutritious. Bees love them.

False Dandelion.
Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus. Plus a tiny wasp and tinier beetle.

Prickly Sowthistle Sonchus asper. It’s everywhere. And very prickly. Note that there are aphids or something on it.

Smooth Cat’s Ear. Hypochaeris glabra. Looks like a teeny dandelion on a very long stem. Compare to the first dandelion and you’ll see how small it is.

Cutleaf Evening Primrose. Oenothera laciniata. Smaller than most evening primrose, but a beautiful buttery yellow.

Crete Weed. Hedypnois cretica. I thought it was a dandelion, but look at the leaf and the cool petal shape.

Woodsorrels. Genus Oxalis. I’m not sure which one it is, but it’s certainly oxalis. Sour tasty leaves!

Bur Clover. Medicago polymorpha. It’s about finished blooming and starting to make burs. Yellow is a hard color for my camera, and I couldn’t get a good shot of these.


Straggler Daisy
. Calyptocarpus vialis. Lots of leaves, tiny flowers. They are pretty up close, though.

I got a lot of bugs and other things, but I’m just going to leave this parade of yellow-ness alone, in all their glory. I’ll see what other themes I can come up with over the next few weeks as all the flowers bloom away.

Playing! Fun! Okay!

Today’s word for UU Lent is play. Great choice, since Lee and I are taking a birthday present road trip to visit a new place and see some relatives. It’s my gift to him. We hope to get Lee relaxed and me out looking at water. Fun.

As you can see, he’s thrilled.

I’ve always tried to incorporate play into my life. Some of the goofy stuff I do, like weird hair colors and holiday-themed nails are play for me and a way to encourage others to bring some fun into their lives.

Tina really enjoyed making these St Patrick’s Day nails.

My two main sources of fun at this point in my life are the Master Naturalist activities and my animals. I learn so much in our MN meetings and classes, and I have fun sharing it with others.

Boy did I learn a lot about plant ID a couple weeks ago.

The dogs and chickens make me play. They can’t help it. But true play is when I’m with Apache and Fiona. They both love to play, and I love going along with them. They just like to hang out together. Like yes, when Trixie the farrier came, we spent most of the time cuddling and nuzzling.

My guys.

Apache loves when Trixie comes and he gets to get in those weird positions and then feels better. I think he thinks they’re playing.

Today’s Instagram post shows a horse playing!

Riding just exhilarates me. It’s the best playtime ever.

One More Way to Play

I must admit that some aspects of our work renovating properties is like play. I do have fun picking out colors, fixtures and such. And Chris and I tend to play pretty often. Yesterday, we decided to check out the well behind the Pope Residence.

Look! Water!

It has water in it. We are now working on ideas for what we can do with that. We both admitted we had wanted to look in there for a long time.

I’ll have a Pope update soon. Until then, here’s a hint of what we hope will be the next project.

Hmm. Looks like a house…

Maybe We Need More Passion? Maybe I Need Less?

The UU Lent word for today was passion. I saw that and said to myself, “Whoops, I don’t have a lot of that at this stage of my life; I’m just trying to get through every day.” I wonder who else among us feels that all their passion is just drained from them? Why would that be?

Sure.

Passion is supposed to be strong emotions that inspire and motivate you. Many writers (especially of memes) encourage us to do everything with passion. Sounds exhausting to me.

Passion Bites Me in the Butt

I’ve had passions at various stages in my life. There were one or two relationships that were that way. That led to bad decisions along with poor self esteem, and in some ways I felt like I lost myself. I could do without that. Then there were causes and activities I felt so strongly about that it became a passion. They motivated me to do much good work, but when I became too attached, it led to deep disappointments and feeling taken advantage of.

So much passion. Not wasted.

Passions have always led me to disappointment or defeat, whether in the interpersonal or organizational area, anyway.

Huh. Maybe I wasn’t going about passion in the best way. I betcha there are people who can be passionate about things without the burnout and negativity. I think I’ll talk to people about that today, and I invite you readers to chime in.

In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy my hobbies, groups, and interests, but keeping a bit of distance. I declare I can still do good work with my Master Naturalist group, the Milam Touch of Love, and the Friends of LLL without being consumed by their missions. I say that to manifest it, I guess.

But I Do Love My Mother

When I was writing my Instagram post on passion, I realized that the strongest attachment to anything is probably to the preservation and flourishing of wildlife and plants around me. My strongest feelings come when I look around me at the birds, the trees, the animals, the water…the planet we live on is amazing. I want to keep it healthy so that if I ever have descendants, they can enjoy it, too.

I saw this buck and a younger buck near the Bobcat Lair.

Sure, this one can also lead to disappointment, but not defeat. I’ll keep striving to keep Mother Earth my focus.

And Those Pesky Friends and Relatives

Speaking of passion. These two have it.

Same goes for my family and intimate friends. My passion about keeping them safe and happy won’t go away. This is where I am learning to have passion but still detach. I can’t make people love me or treat me well, but I can care about them anyway, just not so much that I curl up in a little ball of sadness. I guess I should be grateful to my estranged son (tiny photo earlier in this post) for helping me with this hard lesson.

I intend to keep going, keep caring about the world around me and those I hold close, so I’m not going to let passion lead to defeat again.

Love to all.

Bio Blitzing and Mental Gaps

Today’s big activity (and ONLY activity, thankfully) was to go to a local park and do our very first bioblitz in Milam County. That’s where you find as many plants and animals in a specific place at a specified time. I had a lot of fun, though there was a lot of cat herding involved and I didn’t do a very good job of trying to teach what I wanted to teach. If you want some photos and such, visit the blog article I wrote for the group.

The sun even shone a little bit.

I enjoyed hanging around with my old and new friends, and sure found a lot of plants that were hard to identify, but I guess that’s part of the fun. If you want to see what plants, animals, and birds we found, you can visit the little project we created for our bioblitz.

Nature’s bird bath.
Chickasaw plum is one of the first trees to bloom here.

After the blitzing, we came back to our office, where it was warmer, to talk about uploading our findings, then a few of us had a quick lunch. There I was a bit disturbed at myself. I could not remember things. The entire topic of the mind blindedness I wrote about just last week completely escaped my mind. I blanked out on the names of a couple of people I knew, too.

More and more often I find myself coming up with a big hole where I was certain a word, fact, or memory should be. I’m not declaring myself to have dementia or anything, but it sure is annoying. It’s hard to know when you’re just tired, and it’s normal, or when there’s something actually wrong.

So, if you know me, let me know if I’m drifting off.

Look. Insects doing it. I actually typed “insexts” at first. They are crane flies.

ANYWAY, I did get to take my friend Dorothy to see the Pope House, and there we found beautiful stairs! I was pretty excited and ran up them.

Stairs! Indoors! Safe! photo by Dorothy Mayer

The steps themselves are really pretty. Chris made them bull-nosed, so they have a lot of class. I can’t wait to see what next week brings. Until then, I am officially resting, reading, and maybe even knitting for a while. I hope I remember what I’m doing.

Those steps are gorgeous, and nice and deep, too.

The Introvert Party Girl

Fact about Suna: I’m what they call a “well socialized introvert.” That means my system functions as an introvert, with all that need for alone time and recharging, but people perceive me as an extrovert. In fact, I’ve been laughed at many times when I reveal what I score on personality tests. Hmph.

Right now, as you are no doubt aware, it’s party season. Like many of us, I’ve been invited to a party or two or three. Most are work-related or volunteer things, but even I have a few purely social events I can make it to with my weird schedule (I am invited to many things on weekends in Austin that I can’t get to; the ranch life does require some sacrifices.)

Maria is the queen of selfies, as you’d expect from the youngest book club member. She knows technology!
The collection of glass trees in the windows looks beautiful when the sun shines through it.

So, I went to parties two nights in a row this week. They were good parties, full of laughter and fun. Our book club ladies had a great time talking without the bother of discussing a book (ha ha). We had a lot of adventures trying to open wine bottles with less-than-ideal openers, and also spent a great deal of time admiring our neighbor’s beautiful collections of trees. She’s my tree decor role model!

And last night was the annual Master Naturalist party/December chapter meeting. That one was harder, because there were a lot of people there I didn’t know, which makes me vacillate between not wanting to talk to strangers and feeling like I really should mingle and be friendly.

Continue reading “The Introvert Party Girl”

TEAM: It Sorta Has “Me” in It

Well, apparently I did NOT have an original thought on this topic.

How many times have you heard the saying that “there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’?” More than enough, I’m sure. It hints that we should all be selflessly working together to achieve our organizational goals, a thing that totally goes against the annoying American worship of independence, yee haw.

I admit that I have always wanted to be a member of a team. Gosh, if only I wasn’t small, chubby, and extremely slow, I could have even been on a sports team at some point in my life. But, though I was very accurate at kicking and throwing a football, girls couldn’t play on those teams (and my distance sucked). As a young adult, I was politely asked to stop participating on my husband’s volleyball team, because they were actually competitive. Sigh.

Continue reading “TEAM: It Sorta Has “Me” in It”

Planning to Be Interesting

While I have little exciting to report today, I sure planned to be interesting later! I think that counts as good news.

I did a lot of work for my volunteer jobs. The best part was planning for next year’s Master Naturalist activities with our Vice President, Donna. She hates computers and I love them, so we are complementary.

The back of Donna as she talked about bluebirds

We even made a survey to ask the members what they want to learn about next year. The one person who has filled it out so far is me, but then it hasn’t gone out in email yet.

Carlton wants his fellow pound puppies to get to run around like he does.

Lee and I then went to Tractor Supply in scenic Hearne, where I not only got horse and chicken supplies, but also scoped out supplies for the dog run our family and business are going to build for the Cameron dog pound.

We even got an invitation to do a dog adoption day at the Tractor Supply store! Thus, I did work for ALL my volunteer jobs! Interesting!

The evening has started well, too. As I walked back from horse feeding at dusk, I heard the sandhill cranes above me. I guess they were heading to the big lake by the old Alcoa plant.

Imagine cranes here. They are too high to photograph.

Then I walked through the field as flocks of Savannah sparrows took off at my approach. Their wings were beautiful to hear.

Ahh, autumn.