The golden hues of parched prairie flora come to life for a few precious moments in the warm embraces of morning sun. Metaphors invade my thoughts as teased hairdos of dried-out snakeweed shrubs echo chorus lines from 1960s musicals—let the sunshine in. Prickly pear cacti spar with intruders of their realm reminiscent of musketeers in the service of their queen—en garde, mes amis! At the next turn, a chainlink cactus stretches sparkling crowns of plagiotropic stems into the blue New Mexico firmament—ready for magenta cactus roses. Next to a cattle trail ants complete a Roman mosaic of pebbles excavated from their nest, while a silver-haired medicine woman nestled within a sand sage oasis whispers of her healing powers. Wherever I stop I find botanical sun catchers harvesting the gentle first blush of sunlight.
Cooper roams the prairie straw.
Back to the medicine woman, artemisia filifolia, aka Sand Sage, Silvery Wormwood, and Silver Sagebrush. Her embodiment is a pleasantly aromatic perennial shrub of the Southwest. Native populations such as the Hopi, Kiowa, Navajo, and Tewa have used its medicinal qualities to treat various ailments for more than 2,000 years. Its chemical makeup includes the aromatic oils of camphor and eucalyptol.
© Ilija Lukić 2011
|En Garde, Mes Amis!|
|Sand Sage Oasis|
|In The Straw (Cooper)|