Since spring began, I’ve been making an effort to pay attention to the wildflowers and plants that grow, without any human intervention, in the wild here in southwest Oklahoma. So far, I’ve captured pictures of at least 24 different plants and I know there will be another round of different plants that will bloom in the fall.

Every time my family and I venture out I’m sure to find something new to discover. We’ve watched a hawk catch wind and soar above us and then swoop down to capture something to eat. We’ve followed a horned lizard around as it searched for bugs to eat. We’ve waited (patiently) while a whole flock of wild turkeys crossed the road and laughed when one of them couldn’t figure out which way to go. One day we even came across a baby rattlesnake.

And it’s all beautiful in its own unique way.

At times my throat constricts and I have to take a deep breath to keep the tears from falling. Those times when my cup overflows with joy at just being alive in such an amazing world are becoming more frequent. And all because I’ve taken the time to slow down and really pay attention to the natural world around me.

The picture above is one I took a few weeks ago. I tried for several hours to find out what kind of plant it is but could not figure it out. So I did the only thing I could do: I asked my dad. And of course he knew. It’s an antelope horn milkweed. Mystery solved!

I’m hoping to compile all of my nature pictures and research what they are and put them together in some form. In the meantime, I encourage you to get out in nature and just take a moment to really see what’s out there.