Red Spider Lilies
By Nikki Pelezo / Dirt Roads
You wouldn’t notice the old home place, it’s in the middle of a pasture, down one of those old red dirt roads here in East Texas. No foundations are left and the cattle have grazed the land clean. They say Mary Elizabeth and her husband settled here back in the mid 1800’s, and like most westward traveling folks, her family didn’t stay here in East Texas very long. Just long enough for Mary Elizabeth to try and make this red dirt place a home.
Not much is remembered about Mary Elizabeth, she lies buried in the family cemetery way back in the woods. She was 44 years old when she died and that is all the information that is known about her, except her home. Her cabin remained for 100 years after she died, but has now long since reverted back into the land. What was memorable about her was her green thumb.
It seems that whatever Mary Elizabeth planted it flourished for years to come. Here it is 2011 and her legacy still remains for all of us to enjoy.
When she came to East Texas she brought plants, bulbs and seeds of all kinds. She brought the “Seven Sisters” rose that, they say, attached itself to her chimney and provided her neighbors with a source to be passed on into this generation. Her antique snap beans are planted every year in the same red dirt she first encountered.
Usually around the middle to the last days of September the red spider lilies, that Mary Elizabeth planted, come up out of nowhere and transform her land into a glorious riot of color and beauty. When you drive by the old place you can see the outline of the old cabin in red spider lilies. You can see the outline of her walkway to the dirt road lined with red spider lilies. You can see the outline of the path leading to the old cemetery blazing with red spider lilies.
She lingers here still and we thank her every time we see her old home place transformed from pasture to Eden. What a wonderful gift.
As you travel along on the old canopied dirt roads, usually around the last two weeks of September and the first of October, you’ll see the red spider lilies blooming their way into Fall. Don’t miss this little bit of heaven.