Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Mighty Juniper

When most people think of trees, they picture mighty oaks or stately elms or flowering dogwoods ... 
not scruffy junipers that look like overgrown bushes. In many parts of the desert southwest, 
junipers are the only trees that grow, so we make the best of them.

Juniper trees provide great protection from the wind.

This time of year, they also provide plenty of pollen. I'll never forget the first spring I lived at the 7MSN. 
I looked across the pasture one morning and was convinced that every single juniper tree was on fire. 
The smoke was actually pollen exploding in bursts, or pollen bombs as I've come to call them. 
Before I snapped the picture above, I shook the juniper branch just a bit. Poof! Out came the pollen. 
You have no idea how happy I am that I'm not allergic to this stuff.
It's another secret weapon we New Mexicans have for keeping the population in check.

There is one mighty juniper in the corral that the herd loves to gather 'round.

It's big enough to block the wind for all of them...

...regardless of the season or who "them" might be.


  1. aw, hi Lyle. made me look for Deets!

  2. I love junipers and frequently I'll stop and look at them up in our pinyon forest. Some are very old!

  3. Unfortunately, I am alergic to juniper pollen! Jiniper lives for hundreds of years. The cows and other critters sometimes eat the juniper leaves on the lowers limbs and you get nicely trimmed topiaries on the plains. And the abundant Juniper makes for excellent firewood:

  4. Dave Gibbons3/8/12, 6:41 AM

    It's great to see a picture of that handsome dude, Lyle again. I'm one of those people who stays away from New Mexico when the junipers are pollinating. I tried it one vacation and couldn't keep my eyes open. The quick medical center got me cured enough to leave. Ah, wonderful memories (Lyle) and not so wonderful memories (juniper allergies).

  5. Ah, yes. The perfected New Mexican butt to the juniper position. What a wise herd. It's always nice to see the herd together -- no matter who "them" might be. They live on at the Rainbow Bridge and in our hearts.

  6. So.... I was curious about who the might 'jumper' might be. I guess it's time to clean my glasses!

    I love the odor of junipers!

  7. Lump in throat here...

  8. Nice post! I love these pretty junipers, and the crew certainly are using it well against that wind!

  9. Lyle :(. Miss his dappled self. Almost everyone has their butt in...someone is turned around.

  10. Oh wow. Sweet Lyle. I didn't expect to see him today...what a nice surprise. :-)