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Beautiful Survival

Beautiful Survival

Friends - One of the traits that I value the most about the high desert plateaus in Southeast Utah is the lack of stuff. Seriously.

If you are a plant, survival here is tough. Summers are hot and dry. Winters are cold, dry and windy. Water is sparse and often laden with salt and minerals. Tough place to grow and vegetation is sparse. But for that very reason, every tree, bush or blossom that does present itself is a champion of survival.

One of my favorite flowers is a high-desert native called the Gooseberry-leaf Globemallow - sometimes called 'Cowboys Delight'. The one in my Moab front yard gives us orange blossoms, although I understand that they also can be red or yellowish. The plant is short with funny, circular leaves - some big and some small - all on the same plant. I love these tender leaves which are covered with fuzz, making them appear to glow when the sun is low. But to me, the most admiral fact about this survivor is that it actually grows bigger in times of drought. It seems to be determined not to cave in to a shortage of water, but will take super-human (super-plant?) efforts; adopting a pioneer approach to get what it needs to live. And then there are the orange blooms, and the plant's award for surviving. They are small and complicated blossoms - less than ½ inch in length. They are also very short-lived, so you have to get out and admire them when you can. Honey bees recognize that too, and they are quick to scoot in and get the available pollen load.

In order to extend that blooming life for a bit, I decided I needed to paint one. Beautiful Survival is done in soft pastel, and is available for a donation to a good non-profit organization of your choice. I am particularly fond of the Lane Community College Foundation Esperanza Scholarship Fund (named after my granddaughter), and do have other suggestions, but most definitely will consider choices that you may have.

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