The serve is good | July update for Council, ID

Lost Creek Falls in Fruitvale, ID
Council Mountain Summit

Working opposite ends of a meadow, my teammate and I were seeking out the long slender culms of Columbia needlegrass for collection. Searching for the nearly imperceptible needle grass in the haystack requires slow, methodical, combing while looking for a TV-static appearing seed-head of double-bent awns. This particular plant needed to be carefully pinched with a certain pressure to remove only the fully developed seeds. Each target species seems to lend itself naturally to one form of harvesting. Unfortunately, none this far have needed the legendary tennis racket. I have often found myself staring longingly at the racket I have brought with me, that now gathers dust on a shelf. Deep in despair I sometimes break, and try to use the tennis racket for any collection possible. Erigeron simply turns into a cloud of fluff, buckwheat is far too resilient to be beaten off the stem, and squirreltail enjoys the free dispersal. Although my dreams have yet to materialize, I dutifully pack my tennis racket at all times in the field. The ranchers of Council have started to heckle me and call out “Serena Williams!” as they drive in their side-by-sides with seemingly no purpose over the same gravel road. As a child with his blanket, my Wilson Tour Slam 110 brings me comfort during the long nights where I fear all is lost and my dreams have been wasted. As my morale rises with the sun at the beginning of each work day, I feel my resolve harden strong and airy, like the graphite-composite alloy frame of my trusty racket. I know one day my time will come. Until then I stand ready, cloth-taped handle sticking out of my pack, as I await the holy-grail of all collection methods to be called upon. I may have lost the game, even the set, but this match is not yet over.