The first couple of times I drove past this barn I reminded myself that I was working and stayed on task. The road past the barn took me to the growing fields for work where we have hundreds of acres of trees. I was in the area to meet with our tree grower to tour the fields and take pictures for marketing materials for the nursery.
However, it really wouldn't hurt to just lean out the car window and take a few pictures while driving by. Then, I saw the tire swing hanging below a giant Catalpa. Suddenly the pace slowed with a reminder of the swing my mom's parents had in their yard in Harwood, Missouri. Every now and then, we would make the trip to Harwood for a visit and family picnic. Old tin cans would be lined up on a fence and so we could practice target shooting. We would scare the younger cousins in the outhouse. And, we would take turns swinging.
On one of our visits we took a trip to the nearby Schell-Osage Conservation Area. As we sat on a ledge overlooking the land, Grandpa told us about the Indians, plants and birds of the area. Maybe that's why I love native plants so much.
Compass Plant is flowering in the fields by the red barn with the tire swing. Native to much of the United States, Silphium laciniatum was used by the early travelers across the plains. With the leaves and flowers generally on the north and south side of the stalk, it was easier to tell the direction they were traveling in.
Hanging out the car window taking pictures didn't seem the best way to capture this moment and memory. Next thing you know, my car is pulled over to the side of the gravel road and I'm taking pictures and enjoying a slower pace.