In praise of slow

I’m fortunate to have reached the age where going slow is possible. No more 9-5 workdays, with attendant child-raising (as wonderful as that was for us, and now is for our kids) …

P loves accessorizing
J and J
J and J love their rough-and-tumble lives

These days, keeping in step with the slow food and slow cloth movements, I eschew fast-track solutions like Round-up herbicide and weed my driveway by hand, even though it’s over 300 feet in length …

and when I recently set my sights on removing invasive Malta star thistles, I pulled each one up by the roots and then put them on the burn pile rather than composting (in hopes of destroying the seeds) …

Afterward, I picked up the phone and took a picture walk for Grace and others who enjoy that sort of thing. Be forewarned, I took quite a few …

and then downloaded them en-masse into WordPress … where I now discover it is difficult to insert text. So, I’ve inserted captions below each picture instead …

a new baffle, meant to slow the water from future gully-washers as it races down the east trail
heavy cedar mulch (actually Ashe Juniper) covering bare soil from last week’s rain
Prairie Verbena, the seeds washed down the trail from higher ground last year
the Seussian bloom of a Sensitive Briar (or Brier, if you prefer)
our own “Fields of Gold” with thanks to Sting for the tune that wafts through my mind whenever I walk the floodplain in springtime
Bitterweed setting seed as a butterfly flits out of frame to the left
remnants of last week’s rain on the floodplain
Mountain Pinks beginning to make themselves known
tart Agarita berries, ripe for the picking and eating
prickly pear cactus budding and blooming
Stonecrop living up to its name
a Rio Grande turkey track, with my hand for perspective
Texas Storksbill, as large as I’ve ever seen it on the floodplain
another Prickly Pear bloom showing off
a glowing patch of rock lichen
a new-to-me bloom … its name needing to be found
Texas Thistle … and if you’re wondering at how many plants carry the name Texas, all I can say is it’s a big place
a non-live oak oak that has self-seeded … a rare thing, so we’ll hope it continues
the super-abundance of spring rain has everything reaching up to the sky
ripening dewberries beckon to be eaten
Mealy Blue Sage stopped me in my tracks with its intense color
I checked on another new-to-me flower-in-waiting ….
and last, a lighter shade of Mealy Blue, with the normally recumbent Pink Evening Primrose climbing its stems to grab some sunshine

One final thought … as I walked the trails taking pictures, I considered how much I love blogging. True, these pictures could have been posted much more quickly on Instagram, but I get so much more pleasure in telling the story of how they came to be … giving them context … going slow.


27 thoughts on “In praise of slow

  1. Lovely! Such a different world down there! WordPress is a pain with getting text between pix. I finally discovered that if you hit on the picture (and get the edit or remove command box) and just hit return then, you’ll get the cursor below the picture.Trying to position the cursor below the picture without that step just doesn’t seem to work. And don’t try and combine captions with regular text if you plan to edit — before you know it, everything’s a caption, or nothing’s a caption but in really weird text.


    1. P.S. I just discovered that WordPress timestamps blog posts when you save them to draft without updating the timestamp when you publish. So, for the sake of the Kindred Spirits list, I’ve updated it manually.


      1. Is that why the damn platform sometimes dates a post weeks ago? It happened a few times and I didn’t correlate it to using a draft. I am very careful to make sure something gets published in real time since, sometimes even going so far as to google the site and make sure the recent post is at the top.


  2. Aw Liz, I love strolling with you, even if it is with me late at night in CA in my pj’s! I believe the Sensitive Briar is a plant I’d seen in Santa Barbara years ago! Thanks for sharing that here. I have never seen a prickly pear in bloom like that! Wow! It is beautiful 🙂 And I agree, it is all about the telling of ‘story’, even if very few ever read it.


  3. Slow allows us to see in a deeper way what is before us and in Texas, there is a bonanza of seeing in every direction, from every aspect of the land. Liz, I love how you take us on these excursions into your land and how you give us words that tell the story that unfolds before us. Living in the Texas Hill Country, I came to know of some of the land’s offerings but when we left, I knew I had barely scratched the surface. The first time that I saw a field of Texas bluebonnets, I marveled at the sea of blue. The first time that I saw prickly pear cactus, I let my joy overcome my good sense and reached out to touch the flowering buds, the cactus leaves and was rewarded with a thousand, or what seemed like a thousand pin pricks as tiny cactus spines embedded in my fingers. The more I rubbed, the deeper the pain…learned a valuable lesson: know what you are touching before you touch!!


    1. Marti – I am still shedding whisper-fine glocids (I had to look that up) that embedded in my finger over a month ago when I accidentally brushed the back of my work glove on a prickly pear pad!

      And oh, you would love the swaths of wildflowers that have transitioned from bluebonnet blue to Indian paintbrush orange to Bitterweed yellow and most recently blanket flower gold. I’m always amazed at how so many wildflowers share the land, each taking their turn in the sun.


  4. I am so glad you prefer blogging! Your narrated tour through your incredibly diverse wildflower universe is so much more interesting with annotation. I always want to hear (read) what you have to say.
    The picture of P as fashion plate made me laugh.


    1. Dana – I guess we are part of a small, but dedicated community … and yes, P is learning how to dress herself by doing it her way, much to our ongoing delight


  5. Hi Liz and thanks for such a lovely wander…rich and rewarding country with so much beauty. I like slow (wish I was better at it, but I am much bette than before). Taking time to be, is grand, and the land offers you space and time. Love the kids’ shots and your words – blogging is more a story for sure and I am grateful a number of folk persist! Go well.


  6. Hi LA – what and extravaganza of colour and diversity – spring has hits its straps in your neck of the globe – we are not quite in your league with the weed eradication – we do pull heaps but also do a bit of poisoning I’m sad to say. I agree with you blogging does give the context. And a great place to share the process. Thanks. Go well. B


    1. B – love that new-to-me expression “hit its straps” … a great mental image

      And I confess, we do use pest control poisons around the house as I am none too fond of the scorpions that inhabit our area


  7. Lovely to visit all these flowering plants with you during this Flower Moon. Just glorious!
    I have a thing with bindweed, have never used herbicides either, always cut or pull by hand. The other day I realized my strained & sore back felt BETTER after I’d been hunched over weeding the bindweed for a couple of hours. Shocking!


    1. Peggy – yes! I too have recently realized the benefits of weeding to my back aches … and have found that old pizza boxes make the perfect platform from which to work, sparing my knees from the underlying rocks and discouraging tiny critters (ants particularly) from joining me


    1. Patty – thanks so much for coming by … Parker reminds me very much (in the best way) of my own second-born child: she WILL do things her way (please note the shoes, which are on the “wrong” feet, but not by her lights)


  8. Frank and I both got a giggle out of Parker’s “get up!” As always, thank you for sharing the landscape pictures which warm my heart.


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