Barestem Desert Parsley, leaf venation pattern, [ click photo for next . . . ]
(Lomatium nudicale), Snake River Country
In the Sagebrush steppe, at about 1000 m., the small,
egg-shaped, erect, solitary leaves of Barestem Desert
Parsley are some of the first green signs of Spring.
A member of the Carrot Family, it is one of some 16
different Lomatiums that grow in the Northwest. They
are all perennials, and prefer dry, rocky soils.
I'm a student—a lover really—of leaf venation patterns.
I'm always on the lookout for leaves of interest as I
walk about, doing my fieldwork. Especially, if I'm lucky
enough to find them on clear day without too much wind
and backlit like the one above. This light flowing
through the green plane from above really is a miracle,
bringing the form in all its beautiful detail alive,
much like an old-fashioned Kodak chromachrome slide
we remember to hold up to the light, or a poem we
remember to read out loud . . .
On the road in the American Northwest.
Perhaps poems are simply paths
we make in walking, sometimes,
even when headed the wrong way;
These things—gifts, one picks
up and passes on,
along the way.
A NEW FRIEND
Before I could remember
how to say I was walking,
he leapt out of his car, speaking
perfect English, throwing
my pack in his trunk.
“You can stay with me.
But you’ll need a car, some
cash, and a date, perhaps.”
How could I refuse?
The idea that I must walk
the whole way
went up in a puff of smoke
on the sound of tires
quite used to losing their grip
three or more curves down the road.
(The Italian Alps
from ON PATHS
Please visit my picture-poems.com MOUNTAIN WATER
print gallery. Above is a set recent images.
I might just mention here, following the ethical principle,
First, do no harm, I never use cars or snowmachines. I
do everything on foot, bike or ski. I think this in a
deep and direct way affects my work, and how I see
the world. So all the photos above were approached
on foot, including all the in between spaces, sometimes
involving journeys of weeks or months.
I would not want to work any other way.
All Photographs & texts by Cliff Crego © 2011 picture-poems.com