Monday, July 15, 2013

Becoming a Brassica Fiend

Everything in Vegas screams for your attention. Coming down I-15, I was overwhelmed by billboards
for flashy casinos, strip clubs, and of course, Celine Dion. Not to mention the pyramid-shaped hotel and casino topped with the brightest light beam in the entire world. It’s a strange place for anyone, but it’s no wonder that coming to Las Vegas a new six-month crew member for the Nevada Consevation Corps, I felt both awed and confused. My imagination was running wild in anticipation, but as I pulled into the Mojave Field Station, situated only minutes from the center of the madness, I was greeted warmly with tools, backpacks, and beards. Nice. This is what I had in mind. I’ve found my home. J

Becoming a part of the Super Crew, running under Nora’s wonderful direction has been great; not only are we the biggest crew, but we also all possess our own secret amazingly awesome super powers. We are also brassica picking fiends. One the first day, I was very eager to join this new brassica picking crew, and was slightly afraid that I would mistake the bumpy, hairy leaves of the brassica (Sahara Mustard) for some other native plant. Within an hour, however, I could easily distinguish teeny little brassica plants instantaneously. Within an afternoon, the sight of the little yellow flowers and branching stems jumped out at me from under Creosote bushes and on hillsides. Within a few days, giant, unpluckable brassica plants plagued my dreams.

Although not so pleasant in my subconscious while trying to drift peacefully into sleep, the Super Crew was soon to discover that the brassica does sometimes choose to grow in some pretty convenient places. The third day of our first tour, we picked brassica at Sandy Cove, a nice beachy area along Lake Mead only accessible by boat. Yep. That’s right. I said boat. Nothing like a brisk wind in your face and some pirate lingo to brighten up the morning. The little plants also like to grow along the wash that happens to lead to the Arizona Hot Spring.

Although being since warned by many of the preexisting members of my crew that my expectations
were have been set way too high by my first week of work, I am ready and eager to see what my next
few months in Las Vegas have in store!

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