March 2014: The Children Are Tender

Caregiving, teaching little kids to read, and riding in the pickup with Farmer John; I tweet, pin, and blog, from my home in rural Kansas. If you've landed here looking for information about my books, visit my author's page by clicking this link: A. Born. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Rain and Milkweed Blossoms

Milkweed blooms in early June, typically just at the time when the air turns heavy with  Kansas humidity.  We've had heavy rains this spring and so the moisture in the air is more pronounced than usual, but because it is new for this season--something like the pleasant sense of warmth when you step from a cool room into a sauna--it is, for this moment, enjoyable.

Milkweed has bloomed in our roadside ditches, and I always forget that it's scent is nearly overwhelming in sweetness; more heady than roses, and even more beautiful than that of lilacs. 

One of the joys of writing a novel was that descriptive scenes forced me to observe nature in minute detail as I struggled to do justice to our rural countryside. I feel strongly that the beauty of our state is underrated, and so I worked hard to help others see and appreciate Kansas beauty.  I rememeber laboring over the following passage, but I'm so glad to have this record of Kansas in the spring:

A thunderstorm riding the edge of a cold front had moved through in the night, leaving the early morning air cool and fragrant with the heavy purple scent of crushed milkweed blossoms. When I looked toward the east, I was awed to see millions of tiny droplets of dew coating the bent grasses in the pasture beyond the fence, each drop serving as a prism to reflect the angled sunlight. The hazy air was full of cottonwood fluff and swooping dragonflies, their back- lit forms creating a diaphanous, otherworldly beauty.
Milkweed--just one of the treasures of living in rural Kansas.