Monday, April 5, 2010


I know, I was crazy to do it. But my son managed to turn 18 a month ago, and I'd never shown him Sequiodendrons in California, not to mention redwoods and incense cedars (and all the other Californian dendrophantasmagoria) and now that he's something of a tree nerd, that's tantamount to child abuse. So 11 days, almost 3000 miles....the fantastic tableaux of Western America spun by our windows. Bryce on ice....or perhaps better phrased, ice on Bryce was the hardly the first aha! We drove through hundreds of miles of postcard views by then, but Bryce stops you in your tracks. At nearly 8000', there wasn't a lot in bloom up here (there was more and more as the coast approached).

I am a plant nerd first and foremost. But Bryce never ceases to dazzle and even make the likes of me forget chlorphyll for the nonce. I can't imagine anyone who could climb out to Bryce point on a balmy March day like we did and not be humbled by the sheer extravagance, the noble baroque excess Nature can perform when she feels like it. Rococo is not enough. Frankly it can only to be summed up with one word: Churrigueresco. Come to think of it, that's a pretty good word to describe Jesse's hair that day!

To paraphrase Ogden Nash, Bryce is nice, but ice on Bryce is paradise.


  1. Not quite hendecasyllabic but Jose Benito of Churriguera would be proud to have his name affixed to the description of this land of frantically baroque and proliferative fractal-like geometry. It is a botanical idosyncracy that the most desiccating landscapes have some of the finest evergreen plants, to wit: Mahonia fremontii, Paxistima myrsinites, Shepherdia rotundifolia, Juniperus osteosperma, Ceanothus martini, Arctostaphylos patula.

    Jesse might enjoy ‘The Wild Trees’ and then on to ‘A Splintered History of Wood’.

  2. Hmmmm. I seemed to have missed this comment at the time (I'm not notified about posts, and keep finding them after the fact)...I shall certainly pass the book references on to my chlorophilic cellulose afficionado offspring of the anemoanimated pilation aforementioned (had to keep up the Churriguerescocity)...

  3. Someone else just loaned Jesse the Wild Trees book: I presume you are not Lainie Jackson? Serendipity again!


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