We head down the old farm road at her house, drive around the pond and over the dam. The car, being a new hybrid, is very quiet, so we did actually see some birds... A Kingfisher, Bluebirds, a Northern Harrier, a flock of Purple Finches, Song Sparrows... Even though we were moving, the loudest noise was the that of the raindrops coming in the wide-open windows and hitting inside of the front doors. SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT splat splat SPLAT splat.
On a grassy hill above the pond was a big patch of gray. "That's the patch of Indian Hemp," my friend said, "It was covered in butterflies this summer...but what are those yellow leaves in the middle of it?"
Before I could say I didn't know, the beautiful new hybrid headed off the clear road and up the hill. We plowed through grass plumes that towered over our heads - other plants scraped and scratched along the undercarriage.
"So," I said, "this Lexxus is an offroad vehicle, right?"
"Oh, yeah," she said. "It's an SUV."
"Alrighty, then," I said. We headed toward the Indian Hemp patch and rolled right into the empty, gray stems as tall as the car. All the leaves had long since fallen off so we drove a loop through the stems. The yellow leaves she'd noticed were from a Indian Hemp plant that hadn't lost its leaves yet for some reason. As she pulled away I noticed seedpods. "Oh, look, there are seedpods! They're split open. See the seeds?"
Another donut circle brought the car right back to the same Indian Hemp seedpods dangling from the bare stems. I leaned out into the rain and picked a few.
After hiking with Daisy today I sat at my counter to draw the seedpods in my journal. "Next time I'm driving," I thought. I mean, even though her car is an SUV, somehow it makes more sense to use my ten-year-old Jeep to go offroad.