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What’s your focus?

What’s your focus?

We get frequent questions about our travel plans.

“Where are you going this summer?”

We feel that this area is one of the most beautiful places in the world in the summer. Why would we leave? Focusing on the beauty surrounding me while just living has been high on my priorities list this summer.

Late June. Jim and I were weeding our asparagus patch. He noticed three small bees busy pollinating the delicate, small yellow flowers on the female plants.

We stopped and watched.

The fragrance from the blossoms was tantalizing. Not sure I had ever really focused on and identified their sweet smell before. That pleasant odor must be a way to attract pollinators so the plant can form its red berries, thus ensuring the species survival by seed production.

Early July. Entering Tekamah from the west. The blue flowers seen on many local highway shoulders, I have been told, are chicory. Seeing them back lit by the morning sun gave their blue flowers a captivating iridescence. I wanted to learn more about the plant, so I asked Jim to stop on a subsequent trip so I could pick a stem. I pulled and tugged. I twisted and bent. I went back to the car and asked my patient driver if he had a knife, which he did. I was able to quickly cut a stem of the almost scrub like plant with the blue flowers.

Upon returning home and firing up my computer, I wondered if this beauty had been planted by our state’s highway department. Chicory was not included in their list. Interesting.

I did a Google search. The pictures confirmed that the plant was indeed chicory, described as a “somewhat woody, perennial herbaceous plant of the daisy family.” I went on the learn that the leaves were edible. The roots can be baked, ground and used as a coffee substitute. Additionally, there are current uses as a food additive for sweetening in food manufacturing. Who knew?

Every time I drive to Tekamah, a lovely patch of hollyhocks on the north side of the highway always catches my attention. The profusion of white, pink and red flowers covering tall spikes from top to bottom is enjoyed every time I pass.

Early July. The taste of my cherry tomatoes is heavenly! I am looking forward to BLT sandwiches with larger ones. Yellow summer squash will be ready for harvest and enjoyment shortly. A recently enjoyed batch of peas with new potatoes were divine.

July 7th. We got seventy hundredths of rain last night. As working in a wet garden compacts the soil and makes one muddy, instead of heading to the garden before 7 a.m., I took a warm, soaking bath. Ahhh. A little bit of heaven. Being lazy can be very enjoyable.

Mid July. The asparagus plants have now grown into feathery fronds that bend gracefully from their weight. To weed under their arches, I was on my hands and knees. Interspersed in our bed are milkweed and dill plants. The fragrances emitted by these three species were intoxicating. I paused my weed killing to just enjoy the olfactory experience.

What about you? Are you taking time to enjoy the beauty that surrounds you? What has caught your interest?

Love gardening, learning and livin’ in Craig.

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