the landscape speaks

I offhandly remarked  the other day about my passion; the landscape and the plants speak to me.

On the way home we took the scenic route I asked for….through a local park called the Garden of the Gods.

I haven’t been in the Garden since October 2005 when my longtime best friend from grade school and her husband came to visit.

I had a hard time keeping up with Muse.  I wanted to ditch the car, sit, and observe.

The rains have been steady this summer.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve broken all sorts of records.  It’s as wet as I can ever remember.

By now in most years, we are drying down. The fire danger is climbing steadily.  Grasses are almost fully cured  Sunflowers have nodding heads filled with ripening seed.  Our first frost is only a month away.  And then a good freeze only a few short weeks later.

It sure doesn’t look like summer is nearly over.  Everything is still so fresh and green.  I see plants blooming that normally disappear from the landscape over a month ago.

Junipers are laden with berries.  Ponderosa and Spruce have taken a slightly darker hue from the numerous young cones starting to thicken.   Mountain mahogany bushes are thick with long tailed seeds which twist when ripened.  As the sharp pointed seeds fall to the ground, the winds twirl the twisted tail, and they bury firmly into the ground.  Shadscale and saltbush branches bend to the ground, heavy with their 4 winged fruits that will feed small mammals and birds all winter long.  Rabbitbush, with their white felted branches sport robust heads that will soon turn a bright gold.

It’s a transitional zone between the prairie and mountains rising in the west.

I was thinking not about what I said per se….just watching the landscape rise and fall, anticipating changes in the plant communities…knowing what grows here and there.  Knowing if I saw X plant, Y plant would likely be at it’s side in the thin soil accumulating in the wind and water scoured red sandstone.  Sometimes the changes are subtle, sometimes those changes are dramatic.

I had two thoughts enter and then leave just as quickly…I must have dismissed them as…normal and insignificant.

One….of abundance.  The landscape here is abundant this year.

Two…of what I do…the landscape and the plants speak to me.

I had this thought much, much later…..

Yah, I am abundant with the voices of the landscape and the plants.

The voices of the landscape and the plants need me as much as I need them.

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12 Responses to the landscape speaks

  1. 3barque says:

    Rosa, I know that landscape you write here. Also what it means to hear the voices of the land, the speaking with the plants and animals. That is a fundamental need of mine. I’ve been ‘on the road’ for months now, and that need has come back time and again in my travels. Thank you for writing this. It is beautiful. Best wishes.


    • Rosa says:

      Ahhh, B, it is so very good to hear form you.

      Yes I know you understand this which I inadequately communicate about the land here. New Mexico leaves a ripeness and abundance as well. Odd isn’t it, for such a sparse land…..that we find so much richness in it all.

      If you pass this way….and have a few moments…..get in touch.

      Be well and you take care of you.


      • 3barque says:

        Thank you, Rosa.
        Stark beauty…so very rich, yes. And magical. Truly magical. The land speaks in many tongues.
        My extended roadtrip has come to a lengthy pause for a while. I’m tired and need to settle in somewhere for some time. That, and the truck could use some tlc. *smile* gotta maintain the machinery, you know.
        You take care as well. Blessings.


  2. Sorrow says:

    I have been reading this wonderful book on Aboriginals and their dreaming.
    One of the things that has stuck with me the most thru the book, and resonated loudly with your words, is the voice of the landscape, the connection to the dreaming, the being , the voices.
    Woven together, I am most happy when I am part of the strand,
    most miserable, when I can not hear them.
    Have you read “Voices of the first day?”


    • Rosa says:

      ((hugs)) Sorrow! See you are back.
      Have not read it but it’s now added to my must read list.

      Yes I am not happy when I am not part of those voices in the landscape.

      I wrote something years ago…..about the voices….I have come a long way since then *smile*


  3. Michelle says:

    Oh I loved this.

    I spent the weekend in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Have you heard of them I realized a lot of things there…


    • Rosa says:

      Thank you Michelle. Yes, I’ve in the White Mountains camping when I was a kid. And through them many times on our treks. Indeed, most beautiful. I’d love to return one day. Especially in the fall.


  4. selkie says:

    you talk about your land the way I feel about my ocean. it is completion and contentment and a melding of self.


    • Rosa says:

      Yes Selkie, you are right….I do. And I do meld there. Was out today again in the mountains with Muse. Hunting giant fallen logs for the garden.
      I talked the the plants and told him of them. It was satisfying.



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