Little Bit of Rain

floating in air
floating in air
Despite having focused on the years between the two world wars in my studies and having grown up hearing the stories of the Great Depression, I never truly understood how horrible the Dust Bowl Days were. That is until last year ... the year it never rained when we would place all our hopes in a thin wisp of a cloud. It was then I truly began to understand how much to took for my grandparents to survive that time.

The weather experts say we are still in a severe drought, and we probably still are. The difference between this year and last is that from my back porch I can see big fluffy clouds in the sky and there's 10% chance for rain tomorrow. The bare spots in the grass are filling in, and I haven't found any dead birds but instead have enjoyed watching the babies splashing in the pond. And the fields are colored with yellows and pinks and oranges and purples again.


of a fairy song
of a fairy song

There were wildflowers during the drought. The little yellow sunflowers and Tahoka daisies toughed it out and shared their blossoms with us. That was when it dawned on me that the wildflowers and the ladies who survived the Dust Bowl Days had lots in common - their strength, their ability to endure, and to make do with the little they are given. I started working on recreating the stories I grew up hearing and accompanying those stories with my wildflower photographs and created the "Fair Ladies of The Plains."

These are the stories of my grandmothers up to three or four generations ago. These ladies survived famine and the poverty that came with being Irish in Ireland. They crossed the Atlantic in the coffin ships and faced a new type of poverty of being Irish in America, and they then came west. My great-grandparents crossed the country in a cover wagon; why in a wagon no oneknows. It was the 1920s, there were automobiles, but Grandpa Brown liked horses. The story, "Down in the Valley" is the tale of when they reached their destination. Grandpa Brown was sure he found the Promised Land - the Country of the Young - where as Grandma wanted to turned around and go back to where they belonged. Their lives would definitely had been much, much easier had they done so, but they stayed.

It wasn't until last year when it never rained that I ever took the time to consider in the difficulties that came with that decision.


freshening the air
freshening the air

But this is a new year and we welcome back all the colors from Mother Nature's crayon box. The grass is green again. So are the trees. We've only had about five inches so far this year - more than all of last year - but still far below average. However, the wildflowers make do with what they're given and are stronger for it.

For me, the best part of photography is being outside and crawling around on the ground. And with it not being 100 degrees at 8 o'clock, either morning or evening, I can go back out exploring. My least favorite aspect is the editing and processing bit, sitting at a laptop - ugh - but for full disclosure, I am sitting on the back porch so it's tolerable in batches. But anyways, I finally manage to finish editing the 300 wildflower portraits taken over the last month or so today.


shining like a wave
shining like a wave


Today's new additions are a sample of this past month. Some are from my garden, and others from fields around the house.


act of bemusment
act of bemusment


To be honest, I hated last year. It was miserable and hot and everything was filthy. It was just another bad year after a string of bad years, in which my family suffered one heart-wrenching loss after another. But in the middle of it all, I remembered that I was raised to take my blessings where they are, appreciate what I'm given and cherish the memories of those taken away. So this is the first in a new string of years and I take my blessings in these little blossoms that flourish with just a little bit of rain.