Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Walking Minnesota, smelling Utah

The North Shore...The desert Southwest...bound by the juniper.

I'm headed to the Southwest in a few days. We'll be in Phoenix for a week, then I'm road-tripping back home through SE Utah.

My mind is already making the leap to the desert country. Which is why I went to Minnesota Point yesterday evening. I was drawn to the dry sands and the shifting dunes. Along the way, I found the juniper bushes. Brush your leg against a Minnesota juniper on a sunny spring day and you smell Utah.

Our juniper is Juniperus communis, the common juniper. You find it in abundance on the sandy dunes of Duluth, and occasionally on rocky outcrops of the North Shore. In Utah, it's J. osteosperma, the Utah juniper. Both have the waxy cones that look like blueberries. Both thrive in dry, sunny areas.

I love the desert, the slickrock, the canyons, the sunshine. How cool is it that I can step out my door and get a whiff of it right here on the North Shore.

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