Brandi Willis Schreiber

Writing Between Two Horizons

Filtering by Tag: Llano Estacado

Bitterweed


Last weekend I decided to walk the Llano Estacado Nature and Wildflower Trails, a 3.5 mile path that winds through an archeological site.  This area was once a dependable source of water:  a natural spring lake with miles of shallow marshlands that attracted giant creatures and the native peoples who hunted them. 11,000 years later, what seems an unbelievable myth has disappeared into the ground and all that we see now are miles of hot, dusty earth and our ever-attempts to make sense of this place.


Alone in the heat, I thought about the irony of this wildflower trail and the bitterness of lost water.  


But as I kept taking pictures, I began to realize that even in the absence of water, life endures.  

It hardens, grows stronger and more brilliant. 

As I thought this, my shutter clicked and a coyote moved across a field.


Bloom where you are planted.  I can do this, too.

Flowers photographed include globe mallow, giant dagger yucca, prickly poppy, and bitterweed.  Lucy is photographed with slender stem bitterweed from our backyard.

This is apple country.



A few weeks ago, we finally got to visit Apple Country Orchards.  Situated right off the road a few miles east of Idalou, I'd seen these orchards dozens of times driving the long stretch of 114 to Dallas.  Each time I passed it, the trees blossoming or sleeping empty with the season, I wanted to stop and explore.  I finally got my chance.



The 6,000 tree orchard is run by Cal Brints, who knew I was coming.  We ate a BBQ lunch with tart potato salad, smoky baked beans, and - you guessed it - homemade apple pie.  I had lots of questions for Cal, the first of which was, "What is the name of your dog?"  "Red," he said.



The apples in our country are some of the sweetest in the nation, he explained.  The constant sun concentrates the sugars in the apples, making them very, very good.  It was 100 degrees the day we went.



The weekend we visited, Cal was working on de-fruiting the trees.  All the trees we saw were thick with budding fruit.  Too much fruit means not enough room for the fruit to grow.

Since picking season hadn't started yet, I settled for their apple butter and fresh cotton blossom honey.  Choosing from all their canned goods was hard!