Posts Tagged ‘china bayles’

“Flowers are those little colorful beacons of the sun from which we get sunshine when dark somber skies blanket our thoughts.” – Dodinsky

Travels With Maggie

Echinacea, or purple cone flowers. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Echinacea is more than a pretty flower. It’s also a popular herbal health supplements. My fictional friend, China Bayles, or her creator Susan Wittig Albert, could tell you a lot more about it. In fact they probably do in one of Albert’s cozy mysteries, which I’ve been reading the past year.

China gave up her depressing life as a former criminal defense lawyer to run a quaint herbal boutique in the fictional town of Pecan Springs. The rural city is located in the Edwards Plateau landscape not too far from Austin, where for one reason or another, China’s always getting involved with dead bodies.

I read Albert’s books because I’ve come to know and care about her characters, because I love her descriptions of the hill-country landscape, and because she’s more into the who-done-it genre of Agatha Christie than the detailed blood and gore of so many of today’s murder mysteries.

I want to be able to figure out who the murderer is in a mystery book before I’m told, and to do so without upchucking my lunch.


This bee was enjoying the echinacea as much as me. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I also read Albert’s books – the current one being No. 13, “Dead Man’s Bones” – because plants fascinate me, and I want to learn all about them and their names.

But this day, one in which I was working in the entrance kiosk at Lake Walcott State Park, where I’m a volunteer campground host, I was simply into the purple cone flower’s beauty.

Echinacea plants were blooming all around me. They were at their peak, deep pink in color with petals all still attached – and I wasn’t the only one attracted to them.

Bees were busy exploring their tastiness while I drank in their beauty. The bees were particularly interested in the flower’s large cone, so much so that they ignored my presence when I got close to them with my camera.

I think I got some pretty good shots? What do you think?

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