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ORRIN MORRIS: Primrose-willow vulnerable in current drought

Morris artwork for Oct. 7

Morris artwork for Oct. 7

This has been a very dry fall week. Some of the trees are losing their leaves before the usual frost that causes the brilliant colors of this season. Some shrubs and trees appear to be in the last stages of survival.There are many opinions of what is occurring and why such is happening. Some people explain weather changes as the whimsical nature of the natural world. Others see it as the result of irresponsible management of natural resources. Then there are those who declare the extremes of flood or drought as God's punishment for the victim's sins.

I grew up in Nebraska during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl Days of the 1930s. We had extremes in weather as bad as and, at times, more severe than today. Sometimes the weather seems whimsical and there is plenty of evidence of irresponsible management of resources.

However, when it comes to declaring what God is doing or not doing, I make no claims to have inside information on His intentions. I do know I am a sinner who falls short of what God created me to be. In fact, all of us are sinners surrounded by a sin-filled environment.

Once we grasp the significance of our weakness and God's grace shown through Jesus's life, death, and resurrection we rejoice in John 3:17, "For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved."

Oh yes, what about the weather? I view the hand of God is loving and gracious because He"causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous" (Matthew 5:45).PRIMROSE-WILLOW

Ludwigia decurrensThis is an annual that reaches up to 5 feet in height. Its branches extend upward at a 45 degree angle. The leaves are thin, lance-like and rather sparsely distributed along the stem and branches.

The stem is hairy and winged, that is, there are two thin extensions running along the stem that looks like a tiny leaf that never got free from the stem.

The blooms are golden yellow with four petals as pictured. They measure about 1 inch across. The primrose-willow blooms for three to four months from July to October.

The stem and branches are reddish-brown. The plants along my driveway are in a wet bog. According to Wilbur Duncan and Leonard Foote in "Wildflowers of the Southeastern United States," published by the University of Georgia Press, there are two related species that grow in swamps and form floating mats that can clog waterways.

Because of our current drought, I have only seen a few primrose-willows this year. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plants website, www.plants.usda.gov, this wildflower requires lots of moisture, and the seeds, though abundant, do not regenerate very well. That does not bode well for the future.

God, who loves us all, seeks to establish a close personal relationship, a friend-to-friend association. May all of us recognize His nature, that is, His longing to enjoy intimacy with His creation, the greatest of which are each of us. May that knowledge and that relationship motivate us to join together in worship this weekend.

The color image of primrose-willow is available on blank note cards at Nature Seen Gallery and Frame Shop in Olde Town Conyers.

Orrin Morris is a retired Baptist minister, local artist and art teacher. Notecards are available of the wildflowers published in the Citizen. His email is odmsketchingpad@yahoo.com or call him at 770-929-3697.