Enter Arizona (Photographed above), a new area of exploration for me as a budding botanist explorer. My teachers and friends Sean Hogan and Sam Hubert in Portland, Oregon were the first to spark my awareness of the diversity, intrigue, and multifaceted potential that lay in the diversity of Arizona landscapes. I visited the nurseries they manage, Cistus Nursery and One Green World respectively, seeking dwarf oak trees from Southern Oregon and Northern California for the Portland gardens that Earth Ecology designs and installs, and they continued to mention Arizona Oak species during our conversations, which went right over my head for a time. It has been fascinating observing the way Latin plant names stick in my memory, or don’t! I need context to remember them. I need a good reason to “catch” or “collect” them in my awareness, the way a young Pokemon trainer would acquire new species. Gotta catch ‘em all. Suddenly, the species of Arizona had a reason to stick: It turns out some of the Arizona species are amazingly parallel to our Pacific Northwest natives...! The patterns of our seemingly different ecosystems remain parallel in many ways.