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Eye of the Beholder
Monday 12th of September 2011 07:32 AM

By Kim L. Fritzemeier

KFRM Central Kansas Reporter

Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line

When is a weed a flower? When is a flower a weed? When a wildflower is in your pasture, it may be a weed. But it doesn't make it any less beautiful.

I went with Randy last week for a 4-wheeler expedition to check the grass levels at our pasture on the Ninnescah River. Even though the grass has struggled to produce during this extreme drought, there are still pockets of color in the pasture.

After I posted photos of wildflowers from our trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, a fellow farm wife reminded me that Kansas has its share of beautiful wildflowers, too. Yes, we do. This year, the "crop" of wildflowers may have struggled to grow - along with every other green thing in Kansas. But our 4-wheeler trip still revealed some hidden gems in the pasture.

After looking through the Kansas Native Plant Society's website, I think this purple-pink plant is the Rocky Mountain beeplant, peritoma serrulata. (But don't quote me: I'm certainly not a plant expert.) But it makes sense after seeing the bees buzz around the pinkish-purple flowers. The butterflies seemed to like it, too.

Maybe they thrive in drought conditions because neither Randy or I had noticed them before and their showy blossoms would be pretty hard to ignore.

The white "flowers" along the banks must have gotten some sustenance from underflow.

This looks pretty until you realize that this fish swimming in the stream was hardly covered with water.

There's certainly nothing beautiful about that.

We did get 0.25 inch of rain Saturday morning. It certainly wasn't a drought-busting rain. But the fragrance was better than any perfume, and it left us with a smidgen of optimism ... kind of like finding treasures in a pasture.

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