Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Creosote Bush: Ancient Desert Shrub That Smells Like Rain

Hardy Pleistocene Invader - Volatile Leaves - Medicine Plant - Bees Partner
article by Sandra Cosentino

"The desert is unpredictable, enigmatic.   One minute you will be smelling dust.  The next, the desert can smell just like rain." (Gary Nabhan from The Desert Smells Like Rain)

Following recent spring rains in the lower desert parts of central Arizona, my nose was overwhelmed with the heavy pungent scent of the aromatic creosote volatilized by the rain. The air was thick with palpable presence of creosote--enveloping me in a blanket of life-opening-to-moisture energy.  As a native Arizonan, this smell is a positive imprint that means rain!  I instinctively felt energized. I have always taken creosote presence for granted, but decided this spring, resin-scented day to get to know more about this iconic desert shrub.

Until we take time to really look, how little we know of the intricate lives of the plant and animal beings that surround us. Even in our urban cocoons, we are woven within complex ecosystems exquisitely adapted to our local soils, light, moisture and temperatures. On a cellular level we are in vibration with these qualities of place in every moment. Only our busy minds take us away from this direct knowing. What lessons do they have for us to thrive and adapt to change?

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