Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father Nature’s Colors

OK, but I know Mother must have some counsel on perfect color coordination from Dad.  Today I say this is his idea.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Guess who has a birthday Saturday!

Picnik collage

Evan definitely is wise beyond his three years.  Of course, in the ways of growing up, he will always be a bit ahead of his peers who are first born.  His two older brothers will see to that. 

I am sure he will have a good day.  He most always has good days. 

Rain 1st day out

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These barn swallows had to be fresh out of the nest.  There were four all together.  They stayed on the clothesline while it rained about 3/4 of an inch.  Then they fluffed their feathers trying to attract Mom and Dad who were flying in with bugs for them to eat. 

A breeze came up after the storm and it cooled off dramatically.  I think these two young ones were cool.  They were probably used to being close in the nest just hours before.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ghost Rider on the Range

It was a dark and stormy night...

Snoopy, right? Only, this time it was a dark and stormy night when we drove out of the parking lot at the 2010 Symphony in the Flint Hills—rain, lightening, a real Kansas storm. How did the day end this way? It wasn't planned. Here's the story...

Symphony event planners provide entertainment after the concert. There is a cowboy band and dancing, star gazing through telescopes and, our choice, a Story Circle. All of which are activities encouraging people not to all leave for the parking lot at once.

Annie Wilson, Jeff Davidson and Geff Dawson are on hand to sing as well as tell stories and poems in the Story Circle. They never light the fire, so it is dark when Geff Dawson tells the perfect campfire story. It seems a bolt of lightening kills a cowboy while he is working cattle on his ranch. He loves the prairie so much that he strikes a deal which allows him to forever remain in his beloved hills. Many see him on his horse during flashes of lightening in the mist of thunderstorms. A ghost rider on the range.

No sooner is the story complete than this announcement, “Due to storms moving in, everyone is urged to go to their vehicle.” Even though “severe” is not mentioned, many perceive the message as an emergency. We all take off in force. The parking lot is a gridlock. Since we drove our pickup pop up camper with the intention of staying in Cottonwood Falls after the concert, getting in the back and killing a little time with food and drink seems like a good idea. Well, maybe we'll just lean back and rest while the lot clears out.

Waking with a start, I check my watch. It is 2:30 am. The huge parking lot is dark and deserted. Every car gone and lights turned off. Worst of all, it is raining, with wind and...lightening! I admit I am a bit scared. Perhaps it is the story. Quickly the top is down. The rain is making the grass slippery, we need the four-wheel drive. The cowboy ghost opens the gate for us, I know it is him.

Eight miles on gravel and then north to the overlook along Hwy 177. By then, the storm has blown itself out. We stop for the rest of the night.

Finally waking around 9:30 am, I throw open the door and there I am, looking eye to eye with yearling heifers in a row with noses touching the fence. They look like they are thinking, “This is a strange truck and why are there no cubes for us.”

After a hearty breakfast, we travel back to Bazaar and take a backroad alternative route to Cottonwood Falls then home.

The Symphony day was perfect in every respect. However, when I think back to highlights, I might most remember the cowboy ghost who holds back the rain until the day is over and then taps our shoulder to get out of his prairie.

 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kansas, Symphony and Flint Hills. A beautiful mix.

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Governor Mark Parkinson believes in Kansas.  And, he believes in Kansans.  Over 6,000 in attendance at the Fifth Anniversary of the Symphony in the Flint Hills on Saturday, June 12, 2010, were on their feet, cheering in agreement. 
In a departure from the usual formal greeting, Governor Parkinson enthusiastically extolled State of Kansas as beautiful, productive and passionate.  It's universities take second place to no others.  The farmers and ranchers who take care of its fertile soils are the Nation's best.  We may not have mountains, but we have majestic rolling green hills of grass such as those surrounding us. 
Whether stung by the recent events surrounding university sports or caught up in the atmosphere didn't matter.  It was a rousing welcome to an even more rousing concert, the beauty of which put an explanation mark to the day and evening.  As the 2010 Symphony Field Journal States, “...we all come to greet our lives...to acknowledge how fortunate we are to be alive in our world...to take our place in the midst of beauty.”   Beauty of land and music.  A perfect marriage.

My intention to Tweet the Symphony meant writing about a day involving all my senses in less than 140 characters at a time. It was challenging and not too embarrassing--other than misspelling “Phog.”  (A lady who sat beside me riding to the site worked with Mr. Allen while attending KU).  Still, one of my first entries sitting on a bale overlooking the concert site observing “other than far off electric poles, all in sight is green hills” to the last of there is “no sunset, yet dusk settled over the hills like a soft blanket” did cover the beauty of the day.   Typical of me, there were food, beverage and weather tweets.  And one about Johnnie and his line.
No tweeting during the concert, but I did wonder to myself who would have thought Lyle Lovett and the Kansas City Symphony would blend so beautifully. The Orange Blossom Special violin solo by Marvin Gruenbaum certainly had mass toe tapping appeal. And, even untrained listeners like me get the musical symbolism in "Buckaroo Holiday" from Rodeo by Copland.

The fun, excitement and adventure did not end with the last note of the concert though.  Tomorrow, Cowboy music, poems and a middle of the night escape.
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