Some of you may wonder why anyone would give up South Texas with the cowboys in tight Wranglers, Tex-Mex food, wide open skies and a rich, varied culture for the backwoods of Arkansas. So I thought I’d give you a glimpse into one reason I did that very thing.
The scenery changes from season to season, but also varies according to the amount of rainfall and bright sun we get. An ice storm or high winds can change it irrevocably, so once in a while, I like to take a camera into the yard.
We had a lot of rain the past few weeks, and today when I stepped outside I spotted what I thought were flowers growing underneath the massive white oak in the backyard.
Who knew mushrooms could be so pretty? Or that I’d be so taken by them I’d have to snap close-ups?
I know, strange. But my mother’s a painter and I thought she might like the colors.
Past the oak tree, there’s a forest—all ours—but I rarely walk past the fence this time of year because of the snakes, ticks and chiggers. Still, I snapped the back fence with the flowers growing up against it. You can see a hint of the pond in the background.
The flowers are pretty, but not planted in a formal bed. The bulbs were plopped into the ground at the fence edge and left on their own. Every year they streak upward. Usually, there are more, but the high winds knocked many of them over.
I went ahead and opened the gate to the woods, just to get a better picture of the pond. Right now, vegetation is choking the banks so it looks smaller than it is. There are fish in there, nothing large, but kids still like to drop fishing line in there and catch something.
I came back through the fence and looked back toward the house. It’s a modest home. From the front it looks like there’s only one story, but there’s a daylight basement in the back. The perspective of the photo makes the pump-shed in front of the oak look huge and the house very small, but it’s quite a distance to the house from where I shot the picture. See the oak? It’s down the hill from the house, but it still towers over the roof. We fear one good tornado will fell the tree against the house, but the oak’s been there more than two hundred years. We figure it deserves to live out its natural life right where God planted it.
See the top of the door on the bottom floor of the house? Most of the view is cut off by a retaining wall, but that’s my door. My office is just inside. Whenever I need to think about a scene I’m writing, I head outside to clear my mind.
That seem like a good enough reason to give up the cowboys?