Daily Photo

Delicate flower with a tough name—Rockbreaker

This flower is a Saxifrage. Here is another. And another. And another. These plants have similar names but are different in essential ways. In the same way a county person or an outdoorsy person are types of folks often confused for each other—people often think these words describe the same type of person but they don’t.

A wonderful woman I know is outdoorsy. She kayaks, rafts, hikes, bikes, plays volleyball and goes for long walks. She is constantly playing in the rural landscape and is in the best shape of almost anyone I know. But she is not a country woman.

I am a country woman but not outdoorsy. I love the countryside and I do go for long walks but I can spend whole days curled on a couch with a book and feel satisfied. And, I have lived around ranches and out in the boonies most of my life, I have picked up a few points of view that aren’t common in most of America and aren’t necessarily held by outdoorsy folk.

The simplest way to illustrate this is to give an example. One day my friend took her two beloved dogs on a walk in the desert. When she came back, she described how, as they topped a hill, the dogs had spied a herd of cows grazing. Excited and barking madly, the two happy creatures bounded madly after the cattle. Reluctantly she called them in because, as she explained, she worried the dogs might get cactus spines in their feet.

If you are a country person, there is something you would be thinking about long before you worried about thorns. What is it?


Answer:  No country person would let their dog chase someone else’s animals. We’ve all been raised on tales of sheep with their throats ripped out, horses hamstrung, and cows with broken legs. We’ve seen baby fawns taken down and torn apart by packs of normally friendly family pups. We don’t want to cause that pain to another animal. We don’t want to financially cripple a hard working farmer whose prize ram is worth more than a new pickup.

She’s not a bad or thoughtless woman. In fact, she’s funny, intelligent, and caring. She just hasn’t lived with the practical consequences of life in rural areas long enough. If she stays around ranches, she’ll learn about dogs… (and maybe even about guns.)


Speaking of guns, I’m willing to bet that country people are some of the few to be willing to cut this woman some slack. Not that I agree with her but I’m willing to bet she’s neither crazy nor mean just country raised.

CONFESSION: I stole this piece from a year ago.