Field Notes - Plant Collectors Documentary / by Roland Dahwen Wu

«Allá, donde el aire cambia el color de las cosas...» (Juan Rulfo)

I've been filming a documentary about the practices and philosophies of plant collectors. Last week, I had the good fortune to accompany a group to Arizona and New Mexico, where I spent five days filming, traveling from Tucson to Mount Lemmon, from the Peloncillo, Chiricahua and Dragoon mountains to the border town of Douglas, Arizona. We saw fields of yucca, opuntia, agave, cholla, ocotillo, oak, pine; sun turned to rain, sleet, and snow.

In the remote regions, we saw very few vehicles, save for border patrol agents and ranchers. The group collected seeds and cuttings, reaching elevations up to 8000 feet. Sean Hogan of Cistus Nursery organized the trip, and I've filmed Sean on previous trips to Mt. Hood and the Siskiyou mountains in Oregon. My goal for this project is to document an array of collecting practices in differing climates, geographies, seasons.

A few trip photos from my phone, below.