Usnea Monograph by Kiva Rose Bell-Hardin | 52

When the rains arrive in the Gila, the whole landscape deepens in color and space. It’s as if the land, plants and all, takes a deep breath and fills itself out. Mushrooms pop up out of the forest floor, Morning Glory vines spiral upward and the annual Sages burst from seed to flower in the span of only a few weeks. The trees themselves seem to swell and darken with the moisture, and the lichens that live on them often quadruple in size before fruiting wide open. The Usnea is especially beautiful to watch, the delicate and usually dry threads expanding into soft, flexible tendrils that dangle from every Pine and many Junipers.
— Kiva Rose


Kiva Rose Bell-Hardin is an herbalist, teacher, author and river restorationist living in the Gila Wilderness on a an 80 acre botanical sanctuary seven jeep-sinking river crossings from the nearest paved road. For more from Kiva, visit her blog "Kiva's Enchantments"