Today I am feeling like that proverbial dumb blonde. And, I am paying tribute to the smarter red-haired stepchild.
Prairie Fire: In spring, the red rock canyons of Southern Utah are ablaze with the crimson flowers of the Indian Paintbrush. I just can't get enough of their brilliant beauty - which is partly why I ditched the rest of the group and set off on a poorly marked trail, thinking it just couldn't be that hard to find my way back to camp all by my lonesome.
I've watched the news reports of boy scouts getting lost in the wild and (happily) being found days later not far from camp.
Apparently, they were hunkering down and waiting to be saved. I'm not really big on hunkering. I'm more of the overreact and create a nice state of confusion kind of gal. Which is what I did when I realized that I had no idea where I was.
While I was wandering around out there, hoping to find a familar landmark, I was getting madder and madder at Big Red. AKA Bad Dog, AKA homing pigeon. He simply would not keep up. Instead, he kept hanging back and walking the opposite direction of where I was heading. (The direction I knew, for sure, was wrong.)
The only saving grace of getting lost in the desert is that if you can shimmy up to the highest pinnacle you can almost see to the Gulf Coast.
Once I sweated my way to the top, and looked down upon this broad expanse of nothingness, I saw Big Red sitting precisely on the spot that pointed to the trail that would take me back to the safety of my camp.
So, here's the deal about Big Red. Everybody hates him. He's loud and annoying and he practically invented flatulence. Plus, he snores like a truck driver. But, in a pinch, he's pretty reliable. And, I for one, have a new-found respect for his navigational skills.
Set your garden on fire with Indian Paintbrush. Grow it by seed from Wild Seed Farms. Plant it in the most inhospitable part of your yard (where it never gets watered,) and marvel at the tenacity of this low-maintenance perennial. If it does well here (picture below) it will do well anywhere you care to plant it.
According to local legend, even Butch Cassidy frequented this historic site, The Smith Cabin, where we camped. I was worried about getting lost in this wilderness forever. I imagine Butch was much cooler in a crisis. He probably just wanted to get out of here without shootin' the sheriff.