Lois Dawson paints the fence

Posted on August 24, 2010


On Sunday I was driving along east of Torch Lake in need of bucking up. Maybe Lois Dawson would like to go for a walk. When I got over there, Gary was washing windows and Lois was in the kitchen. Maybe this was not a good time.  No, it was a fine time.  Here, I should bury my nose in this bundle of sage.  It would make me feel better.  Wait a minute while the beans got started, and we’d go.  (Lois and I would go.  Gary would stay and tend the beans.  He looked suspiciously contented when we left.)

Our walk took us up sandy Meggison Road. Miss Sadie and the Cowboy followed their noses through the underbrush, traipsed through the creek, stared in astonishment at Greg Karam’s chickens. Lois and I looked for dinosaur tracks, checked the progress of the wild grapes, and waded into the Joe Pye weed and goldenrod. We made some guesses about what some other things might be, and took some pictures. I came home refreshed in spirit with a container of tasty beans for my supper.

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Shortly afterward, an email popped up. Lois had been consulting her library. Enjoyed our walk today, much like the herbs it was uplifting. The plant with the funny seed pod is Cranesbill. Why? Because the pod resembles a crane’s bill. You saw that one coming didn’t you. The pretty clusters of white flowers are virgin’s bower. The vines grow up to 15 feet long and as we saw “bower” over other plants and small trees. The blue spike flowers were culvers root. I’m sure you already figured all these out. I love books, you can’t go wrong.

So there. The fence is painted yet again.* There is no picture of the blue spike because it was in such poor focus it made no sense to include it. Next time we go for a walk I will be Photographer’s Assistant and Lois will take pictures. Assuming her camera dries out. It seems that she was out and about, and got distracted—but that’s another post entirely.

*For those of you new to these precincts, I am fond of Mark Twain’s famous passage about Tom Sawyer whitewashing the fence.  I admire Tom’s ingenuity.  I aspire to it.  Thanks to Babs Young’s weekly photos and frequent contributions from Katherine and Bruce the Weatherman—and now Lois!—I am getting good at having a “nice, good, idle time.”