Blue

blue 002The only blue in my yard is not a desert denizen, but agapanthus (which are from South Africa, and also called African lily), which I fell in love with at Balboa Park in San Diego.

Creosote

Yesterday I trimmed the creosote that has grown so huge near my bedroom patio that I can’t see all of the critters back there.  Striped the leaves off the branches and sent them to my cousins  now in North Carolina (previously in Phoenix where he finished his degree in naturopathic medicine) so that he can make medicines from them such as his Healall Salve.  (I have blogged about them quite a lot.1)  She kept referring to it as chaparral, so I googled it.  This from Wikipedia:

Larrea tridentata is known as creosote bush and greasewood as a plant, chaparral as a medicinal herb.

When they visited me in Tucson, I’d always send them back to Phoenix with armfuls of cuttings.  But yesterday it was 101° (feels like 95°) and I was sweating in the shade, filling the cardboard box, and missing them.  (Only in Arizona would a weatherman say Today’s high is 101°, a little cooler.)

Packrat continued

A friend and retired English professor has written a poem, dedicated to her husband, the first section regarding a mouse, the second a packrat (which is why she thought of me!)

Bone Knowing – To Lee
 
1.
I wake in the dark in our weekend bed, freeze,
say, “There’s a mouse on my shoulder.”  Half-waking, you say
“There’s no mouse on your shoulder,” but being you, reach for
your flashlight, shine it, say, “There’s a mouse on your shoulder,”
grab your boot and flick the mouse onto the wall so swiftly it is dead
or stunned.  You take it outside, we marvel, laugh, shudder,
get ourselves back to sleep–we must leave in the morning.
Decades later I know body and bone that there can be
a mouse on my sleeping shoulder.
 
2.
One on each end we lift the board from the once-high pile
and there she is, on her hind legs, shaking, a mother packrat
standing guard over a nestful of pink and white babies.  With one motion
we replace the board and leave our task wondering why
we thought we must restack that wood that day.
The next day we resume, anticipating correctly only
packrat debris where they were.  Brave enough to confront us,
smart enough to move her young, for her short life she knows body
and trembling bone that the final board can be lifted.

1https://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/pima-college/
and https://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/signs-of-spring/
and https://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/entomophagy/

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One Response to “Blue”

  1. Lyn Says:

    Thank you for the poetry.

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