The Greening of the Canyon

The Greening of the Canyon

The snow and rain earlier in the week have made for rapid green growth throughout the canyon bottom. I was down by the river this evening playing in the plants and gathering Horsetail and couldn’t help but snap a few pictures of the absolute glory of spring in the Gila. It’s just the beginning too, the Cottonwood leaves are still little, the Smartweed just emerging and the Cockleburs growing like the crazy weeds they are. I also gathered up some of the invasive Russian Thistle, roots and all, to bring back up to the cabin for an evening snack. I just cut the roots off, chopped up the greens, and through them in a pan with brown rice vinegar, a pinch of brown sugar and butter. Cooked for about fifteen minutes, they were tender, crunchy and truly tasty. A very nice use for such a very vigorous plant. Loba and I also have plans for thistlekraut this week since the last flood brought us so many new Russian Thistle babies. Yum.

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See the tree in the river there? It’s an Alder that fell in during the flood, but is miraculously still growing!

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Aren’t the cliffs gorgeous? It’s all volcanic rock in a blanket of Juniper and Piñon Pine. Down by the river, there’s big old Cottonwoods, red stemmed Willows, silver barked Alders, Box Elder Maples and even some Red Osier Dogwoods. And now, thanks to concerted efforts earlier this Spring, there’s Hawthorns and Elders as well!

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