Oklahoma Grass Burrs, Sunsets, and Fires

I love the look of a fire - camp fire, brush pile, fireplace fire - when it begins to go to coals and takes on deep red and blue tones, like in this image from last night's fire at my brush pile.
I love the look of a fire – camp fire, brush pile, fireplace fire – when it begins to go to coals and takes on deep red and blue tones, like in this image from last night’s fire at my brush pile.

With school back in session everywhere, my job, as usual, has gone from the pokey days of summer to the crazy “be everywhere” days of autumn.

Ada Cougar football fans raise their hands in anticipation of the opening kickoff Friday, Aug. 31, 2018 against Ardmore at Noble Stadium. The Cougars lost the season-opener 33-7.
Ada Cougar football fans raise their hands in anticipation of the opening kickoff Friday, Aug. 31, 2018 against Ardmore at Noble Stadium. The Cougars lost the season-opener 33-7.
All the Rose-of-Sharon bushes have died except this one in the back yard, which seems to be flourishing.
All the Rose-of-Sharon bushes have died except this one in the back yard, which seems to be flourishing.

One consequence of this is that working in the yard and the garden is less consistent. Some days I work until dark, but some days, like yesterday, my last assignment was at 3 pm, so I was able to mow, garden, burn the brush pile that was the mimosa that blew down in a storm, and my favorite thing, pull the razor-sharp Oklahoma grass burrs out of Hawken’s eyebrows.

Oklahoma grass burrs are universally reviled at painful to touch and difficult to remove.
Oklahoma grass burrs are universally reviled at painful to touch and difficult to remove.
Hawken the Irish Wolfhound follows me around when I work just outside the fence.
Hawken the Irish Wolfhound follows me around when I work just outside the fence.

Hawken is as curious as any dog (initially mistyped as “god”), has a lush coat, and is huge, so when he pokes his head into corners of the yard where the grass burrs grow, often far faster than I can weed-whack them, he sometimes collects them on his forehead, beard, and eyebrows. He is amazingly patient when I pull them out, which is not easy because they are deeply embedded, and razor sharp. I think it’s more painful for me than him.

Easily the funniest thing I’ve mowed this year is a can of blue spray paint I ran over last night on the riding mower. I kept it on the gun bench for painting targets, but when I moved the bench to mow the grass on that spot, I guess I knocked it off into the grass. When I hit it, there was giant “poof,” and a great splatter of blue, accompanied by the unmistakable smell of spray paint.

I heard and felt a "poof," followed by the unmistakable smell of spray paint. I laughed out loud.
I heard and felt a “poof,” followed by the unmistakable smell of spray paint. I laughed out loud.
The heat waves of July, though short, resulted in a lull in my garden. I dug weeds out of it the last couple of days, and am enthusiastic about good fall crops. I picked this cantaloupe this morning and cut it up and added some black grapes, and it was fantastic.
The heat waves of July, though short, resulted in a lull in my garden. I dug weeds out of it the last couple of days, and am enthusiastic about good fall crops. I picked this cantaloupe this morning and cut it up and added some black grapes, and it was fantastic.

The sunset was beautiful last night.

The fire goes to coals and the sky catches fire last night near the garden.
The fire goes to coals and the sky catches fire last night near the garden.
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2 Comments

  1. Good times.

    I have many less-than-fond memories of “stickers”, as we used to call these burrs when I was young. Unfortunately, they’re not limited to Oklahoma — one house on our street has a patch of them, and I’ve noticed they’ve never pulled them (to prevent the seeds from spreading), but instead always spread the seeds with their mower. Sigh.

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