Beauty is only a drive away

By Lynn Moncus: QCS Columnist

Although the countryside between here and Oklahoma City is beautiful and was really showing off with a profusion of wild flowers, this woman from lma could hardly wait to grab Aggie and take our Sunday trip into Quay Valley To see our grand mesas in all their glory let us know we were home and that all was well.

The blinding, spring green had been dulled by the onslaught of heat, but the cholla cacti and the yuccas were adding their natural beauty to the pastures. “The candles of the Lord” always make us happy as we watch their glowing blossoms and see how outstanding our state flower really is. The winter snows had caused them to be more prolific than usual. We had to stop on several occasions to admire them and to take their pictures.

Of course, the forests of chollas blooming in such masses caused us to stop even more times because they just had to be enjoyed and captured by the camera. Trying to capture that kind of beauty isnt really possible, but the pictures can serve to remind others of how their home area looks at this time of year. Even though the cactus spines can cause a lot of pain, they serve the purpose of protecting those delicate petals and add to the mystery of their beauty.

Last week, the prickly pears were just beginning to show off and will be more noticeable on our next drive. Again, their delicacy always amazes me, but I know enough after all these years to admire the beauty without feeling the need to touch it. I was watching some bees at work on the few blooms we saw and hoped they were enjoying the very sweet nectar. We can guess that nectar goes into making those pears so tasty and can look forward to picking one or two just to savor their flavor. In the event, you haven’t tried that, you really should, but be sure to be very careful because the spines on the napolitos are very sharp, and the very fine ones on the pears can cause a body to have a sore tongue for several days.

We used to munch on those pears in the canyons and would sit in the shade of a rock while doing so. We learned early on how to avoid the big spines and how to rid the pears of the fine ones by rolling them in the sand. We were even pretty good at spitting the seeds although they are not as much fun to fight with as are choke cherry seeds or watermelon seeds. Well, we had to have some kind of entertainment!

Varieties of wild flowers should begin to appear in the pastures now. Quite a few were showing us where to look and were attracting our attention as their colors shone against the grassland.

This is a wonderful time to drive around in our county. Let’s try to find the time to enjoy the beauty and to appreciate our home territory.