Tag Archives: Sagebrush

Pink Rain

Pink Rain, Caralee Woods, Kanab, Utah

My last post, ‘Cloud Portal to the coast’, prompted Caralee Woods of Kanab, Utah, to send her ‘Pink Rain’ photograph with this appended message,

For some reason your photo reminded me of a different kind of rain photo I took sometime back here in the desert, right out my back door.  The sun was setting and shining through some virga–rain that doesn’t reach the ground.  I thought of Prince’s ‘Purple Rain‘ and decided to call this one ‘Pink Rain.’  The photo wasn’t enhanced, and I like the fact that the sage seems to glow.

Caralee resides with her husband, Jimmy Henley, in Kanab, Utah, where they are building a strawbale compound a few miles from the town.  Jimmy and I have been friends since elementary school in the 1950s.  In the 1970s, I met Caralee when she was a book representative for Harper & Row publishers.  She came into my office at Amarillo College and called me, “Little Francis,” a nickname I had not heard since high school — courtesy of Jimmy, my old school chum.

Their website has several photographs of the guest house, main house foundation and walls, strawbales and their garden:  Building Our Strawbale Home!    The coloring treatment of their floors is fantastic: a dark copper, desert brown.  Caralee and Jimmy established a compound that is off the electrical grid, using solar and backup diesel generators for energy efficiency.  Visit their website also for the landscape vistas in her photographs.  One of these days I hope to visit them again and see the progress they have made as well as gaze at the glowing sage and pink-virga rain.


Filed under Life in Balance

Sage blooms in Abilene

Sage blooming in Abilene, Texas, September 20, 2011.

This late summer, thundershowers fall infrequently around Abilene, Texas.  Yet, some showers do fall about this west Texas city that lies close to the Brazos River and Buffalo Gap, a niche in the hills that allowed buffalo to migrate from north to central Texas in the nineteenth century, following the shortgrass and bluestem in their casual browsing.

Two days ago as I worked late at my office at Cisco College, I walked by three large sagebrush by the back entry door.  A monarch butterfly floated by, floating and fluttering as if they are playing, and landed on one of the blossoms.  But before I could draw my iPhone from my coat pocket, it flew away and out of my range to snap a picture.  Alas, I was too slow on the draw.  I followed it to a green clump of slender grasses and lost it, despite my intent search.  The monarch had buried itself from my eyes, thinking me a raptor?

Yesterday, following the blooming sagebrush and my failure to photograph the butterfly, it rained about the city, to the north and west particularly.  A rainbow emerged with the sun setting to the east.  And, this morning, the temperatures were the coolest since May, a 61 degrees before sunup.

I think, if sagebrush blooms, can rain be far behind?  And playing monarchs about the purple sage?  Not far behind either.

Three sagebrush with blossoms at the back door of Cisco College, September 22, 2011. The monarch flew and hid in the bushes to the upper right of the photograph.



Filed under Monarch Butterfly, Plants and Shrubs, Sagebrush

Sage Dancing in New Mexico

A Break on Plaza of Santa Fe, Summer 2009

A break.  This young lady has been pedaling touristas about the plaza in Santa Fe.  Her sign campaigns the La Plazuela in the La Fonda Hotel.  She is resting in front of the Ore House and Ortega’s.

The spring has been front of us for the last few weeks over here in Texas, and now we are turning our attention to the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, for the summer.  I know that snow has fallen in northern New Mexico this last week from the posts and tweets of Coffeeonthemesa, Taos Sunflower and Stark Raving Zen.  Hold fast!  Change is coming!  There exists in the near future a glorious, desert spring for you.  It’s very hard to replicate anywhere else in the world that ability to go out on the land and gently crush the leaves of sage, inhaling the pungent air it perfumes, spurring memories of ancient things, deep-thinking wellsprings of wisdom and rhythm beats of feet upon the ground–sage dancing.  Only in New Mexico.

The young lady in the photograph rests, barefoot on the Santa Fe plaza, content in her respite from toil.  Sage dancing, me thinks, be in her future.


Filed under Santa Fe

Antelope and Sagebrush

Between 1804 and 1806, Meriweather Lewis and George Rogers Clark led an expedition of the American West.

Lewis noticed not just one but several species of sagebrush. He wrote,

“[O]f this last the A[n]telope is very fond; they feed on it, and perfume the hair of their foreheads and necks with it by rubing against it.” Sierra Club notes on Lewis and Clark expedition.


Filed under Sagebrush