Highlights of Highlands

After years of saying I was going to, I finally made it out to a friend’s with my camera to take some photos of her Highland cows.

As usual, I’m left wondering why I put it off so long!

Tilted

Once again, we’re entering into the slow season. Or at least we’re supposed to be, and like everything else these days, it feels more catty whompas than usual.

Unfortunately for this perfectionist, it turns out catty whompas is inevitable. Whether it’s today, or decades later that it catches up to you, like it has these buildings.

Once, they housed my children’s great-great grandfather and their great-great grandmother beat rattlesnakes out of the eaves with a broom. Now, they house pigeons and memories (and probably still snakes). Bit by bit, the wind will continue to blow them away. But for now, they’re a reminder that life is more tilted than straightforward.

Angles

You know that thing you drive past all the time? The thing that might take you several days to realize is no longer there if something happened to it?

Well, there’s a tree that you can see when you drive north out of town. You crest a hill and the gravel grade lies out before you and the tree is just off to the horizon. It looks like bushes because of the rolling field.

A friend asked if I would take a photo of it for her. Sure, I said, thinking that it would be a quick snapshot with a long-range lens.

Then, like every time I pick up my camera, I got curious. And drove around said tree’s field, and was reminded that beauty is everywhere. Granted, it’s in the eye of the beholder. But everywhere. And oftentimes, surprising. This tree that looks like a bush from the road is actually a three-tree oasis in the middle of a dryland farm field. I’m sure I knew that at one point. My hurry to get from point to point had made me forgetful, though. Who knows how long until I forget again? Until another tree is three?

Charge Up

Harvest is here. Early, thanks for the drought and the high temperatures.

We knew it was barreling toward us so we got out of town for a few days. And then we got out of town for a few more. Spending time in the great outdoors was just what we needed to totally relax and charge our batteries for the weeks ahead.

Flowers

I really love flowers. To the point that my husband thinks I’m a plant mom. Which is funny because I can keep exactly zero indoor plants alive. My outdoor flowers fare much better. So this time of year finds me in an exceptionally good mood thanks to my flower beds, as well as the fields of flowering crops scattered around the countryside.

This year, we grew Camelina for the first time.

And my perennial favorite — flax!

Acclimatization

Winter broke us in with a dusting.

Then it got serious with a few inches and bitter temperatures.

And I can’t stop laughing and shaking my head whenever I see the meme: “If you love winter, you’ve never had livestock.”

Here we go again!

Unfurling

It’s fitting that after months of isolation, we find ourselves unfurling into what will be normal-ish as nature too morphs into spring finery.

I feel claustrophobic yet free from busy, grateful but frustrated, peaceful and furious — unable to avoid the tension of the contradictions.

A recent hike was like salve to my soul.

A reminder that I’m never quite sure what spring, summer, fall or winter will be like, only sure that they will come. And that even when they are blistering hot, or bitterly cold, or seemingly never ending, there are things worth experiencing — and learning — in each of them.