Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Draw

For you folks not from the West, the draw has nothing to do with lotteries or gun fights or poker—it’s (per Webster) “a gully smaller than a ravine,” & we have one of our own to explore. What Webster doesn't point out is that draws invariably mean water, which gives them a special standing in the Western landscape.

The draw, of course, is part of the meadow (or more strictly speaking, pasture), but the draw is its own world, enclosed & magical in a much different way than the wide open spaces around the pond, which we explored earlier here & here or the equally wide open spaces on top of the ridge, which we’ll explore later. The llamas, for instance, rarely venture into the draw because they don’t like the closed in space; however in the evening their grazing rounds typically take them to the rise just west & south of the draw where we can see them from our bedroom window.

In the past I used to mow a path to the draw in the spring & summer—
I was a bit more ambitious perhaps, & the lawn mower just seemed to move along more easily then. At any rate, the path would have led back thru that wooden gate as far back toward the wooded area as it was practical to go in a line about two mower widths’ wide.

Weenie the cat & I went off exploring on Monday afternoon. It was a gorgeous day with mild temperatures & bright sun & only the gentlest of breezes (right now we’re in the midst of a 3-day blow that’s sending trash barrels & bird feeders flying…) Hope you enjoy walking with us thru these photos.

Top pic: The wooden gate
, built by yours truly, on the north side of the fence around our lawn

The line of trees to the north & east indicate the flow of water from the springs feeding the draw. The rise to the left is the area the llamas come to graze in the evening.

A stand of cattails. Eberle & I do need to clear the draw out sometime this spring. Cattails are quite lovely & graceful in a way, but they are tenacious & they do spread rampantly.

The reddish stalk in the center of the picture is a blackberry shoot. There's quite a stand of blackberries in the draw, & we really look forward to berrying in the late summer - to someone like me who loves blackberry cobbler, the few scratches & scrapes are well worth it for the end result!

Weenie fords the little spring-fed creek that runs thru the draw

We - I should say "I" - couldn't go as far up the draw as I expected because it's quite overgrown. Talk about a "thicket!" This is taken looking up the creek at ground level.

The view looking back from the draw - that's our old house straight ahead & the corner of our new house off to the left.

Weenie demonstrates that she could continue bushwacking beyond where yours truly can go - there are a lotta thorns on those branches.

The creek.


  1. I love it that Weenie goes for walks with you. Cats, in my experience, go off on their own. What a good cat you have.

    And I love the meadow pics. It'll be so fun to watch the season progress.

    The gate you built is beautiful. That first picture could be a painting.

    Thanks for taking me along on your walk.

  2. Thanks Reya:

    Weenie is an odd cat. She's actually very afraid of all humans except Eberle & I, & she's lived outdoors all her life. But she does like to hang out with us & follow us when we're doing things outdoors.

    So glad you liked this.

  3. I enjoyed that walk so much, thank you for sharing it with me. And blackberry cobbler sounds so good right now. Do you have a recipe to share. Costco is selling them right now and I know it would not be the same as your blackberries, but it still sounds so good.

    I loved the pictures and wish I could have really been walking there. I love how the cat goes with you, this is really great.

    Take care and God bless.

  4. Thanks Mrsupole:

    I'll check with Eberle & perhaps we'll post a cobbler recipe-- we're overdue for a recipe post. She's the baker in the household.

    Glad you enjoyed the walk.

  5. For some reason I was envisioning Steinbeck's Travels With Charley (and I haven't even read that)!


  6. Fresh blackberries! Mmmm. It's about time to dust off my blackberry oatmeal muffin recipe and repost it. Now I've got a huge craving! :^)

  7. Hi Kat & Willow!

    Kat: I've never read it either, tho I read a fair amount of Steinbeck in my youth. What do you think: "Travels with Weenie"?

    Willow: That sounds great-- I'd love to see the recipe. Thanks!

  8. Blackberry cobbler is lovely. We make something called bumbleberry pie or cobbler, when the blackberries come on. It's a mix of blackberries, early apples, and whatever other berries are around - usually raspberries and/or blueberries. Nothing beats it. I like the word 'draw.'I looked it up and only found 'a shallow depression that water runs into.' I wonder what the etymology is.

  9. Hi Mairi:

    Bumbleberry pie sounds great. I don't know the origins of the word "draw" being used in this way. I do know the term is particularly associated with the U.S. West (& possibly the Canadian West, too); it appears in various old songs & stories & is in common usage out here; it wasn't a term that was used in New England where I grew up, & I don't recall hearing it in Virginia either. I'll see if I can find out anything about the origin of the use.


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