View of the Reno Sparks night skyline from Rancho San Rafael Regional Park
View of the Reno Sparks night skyline from Rancho San Rafael Regional Park

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The plant world is a bizarre and an amazing realm, one that captures my curiosity and visually strikes me. The structures, personalities and abilties of this type of life are unmatched compard to anything humans have developed. What knowledge we have, in my eyes, is limited. The movement, perception, and maybe a feeling we get, is all far from understood.

To try to explore plants I feel we must understand the known: the facts, the structure, the terminology. The following is a brief look at some of the studies I have performed while serving at the May Arboretum at Rancho San Rafael Park ( through the Nevada Conservation Corps). When it comes to my own understanding, I have only begun to scratch the surface. There is much more to learn. My resources range form verbal/botanical guides and Native American tradition and literature to the patient mentorship of horticulturist and botanist.

The effects of these plants are not necessarily proven by modern nutritionists or scientists and results vary from person to person. Though I have nibbled on some fruits and eaten some blossoms, I discourage the use of any of these plants without the guidance of a specialist. Some plants can make you very ill or worse. Another problem with scavenging in the wild is some of these plants have spent many years developing just to flower or bear fruit. Harvesting from the outdoors is called "wildcrafting", which is illegal in some states. Some of these plants have become more scarce as more people become interested in natural forms of medicine and seek them out. Go to your loal herbal medicine nutrition store before considering wild sources.

I have had a great time rediscovering some of the plants in my own backyard and looking just a little beyond the surface. Enjoy.

Opening slide

Pinyon Pine


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Wilbur D. May Center at
Rancho San Rafael Regional Park
1595 N. Sierra,
Reno, Nevada U.S.A.
(775) 785-5961 Fax (775) 785-4707