I know I might be getting a little over-enthusiastic this month but….this month means a lot to me. Growing up most of life in west Texas, I’ve experienced a lot of first hand homophobia, both internalized and societal. I hated myself for who I was for a good majority of my adolescent life. Living in the far west parts of Texas, was never good for the mental health of a young closeted lesbian teenage girl. I honest to god believed something was sick and wrong about me for how I would think about women. I would wake up after having wet dreams about me and other girls and see myself as perverted and malicious. This was even after I accepted my sexuality.

I never thought I would live long enough to see an entire month dedicated to people like me showing pride in themselves. I am so so lucky to experience this in my life, especially so early in my life. I am not even 20 yet and I had witnessed a movie telling the story of two homosexual men win best picture in the fucking oscars. I can’t believe how amazing that is, how lucky I am to be alive today to witness that. Every day more and more LGBT people come out and accept who they are and I think that’s beautiful.

At this point in my life I have lost both of my parents and live with my sister. I never had enough time to tell either of them the truth about my sexuality, but I believe that in whatever afterlife they currently reside, they know about who I am. And I think that they accept me for who I am, for who I love. And I do too.

I’m getting emotional again, but I’d just like to say thank you. Thank you to people like Laverne Cox, to Jaden Smith, to the directors of Moonlight and Carol. People who are openly supporting, identifying and spreading the love for LGBT people. To help LGBT youth accept who they are and love themselves for it. Thank you to my loving beautiful girlfriend, Finnegan, who has stood by my side every second even after my dads passing. Thank you to the LGBT community as a whole for everything you’ve done for eachother. Happy pride month.

Rock penstemon (Penstemon baccharifolius). This thing is Texas tough. You wouldn’t think from lookin at it that it’s native to the Chihuahuan Desert of far West Texas. It looks more like somethin you’d find in the woodlands of, I dunno, Kentucky or somewhere like that. But nope. This is as Texan as it gets. It grows at the bottom of Seminole Canyon, where summer temperatures can get to be as high as the 120s, in solid limestone bedrock.

If y'all’ve seen Seminole Canyon, you’d know that just about every plant in it (or animal, for that matter) hugs the canyon walls in a desperate attempt to hide from the violent heat. Not so this penstemon. It sits smack dab in the middle of the canyon, where the sun is direct, and the pure white limestone reflects it back in a scathin, holy blaze. This in a place where the occasional vernal pools typically last less than 24 hours before evaporatin away again.

Soft as silk, yet tough as steel. It’s one of my favorite and most dependable plants in the garden.

@tx-tornado @aloneinwonder @texan-outlaw @offthebeatenpathtexas @paintedcowboy @clinicalherbalist @cactguy

Peppermint Stripe Corn Snake

The corn snake is a species of rat snake that subdues its small prey by constriction, the pink peppermint stripe is a common morph to the naturally orange and checkered pattern species. Adults can grow to be 2-6ft and live in the wild 6-8years and in captivity up to 23 years. Wild corn snakes prefer overgrown fields, forest openings, trees, palmetto flat woods and abandoned buildings. They can be found in the southeaster US, ranging from New Jersey to the Florida Keys and as far west as Texas. 

5 x 7 inches
Acrylic on paper
Aimee Lusty, December 1, 2015.

-Available $75-