“Discover the hidden qualities of what is at hand.” These words, spoken by Japanese samurai and philosopher Miyamoto Musashi, are the words John “Bluebird” Crossman lives by.
A primitive arts expert, Bluebird has dedicated himself to the exploration and study of the Sonoran Desert and its diverse resources. His mission: to learn everything he can about the desert and how our primitive ancestors survived the harsh environment.
While Bluebird loves the magic of discovery, he also loves to share his passion with others. He has worked as a teacher, guest speaker and workshop presenter in classrooms, museums and nature centers around the state. His favorite classroom is the outdoors and his favorite students are the individuals and groups he leads on his hikes and expeditions throughout the Sonoran Desert.
Bluebird’s hikes are tailored to his audience. He can discuss the desert plants, their origins, names and many uses; lead hikers among hidden Indian ruins; name the various geological formations and share their local legends; and point out animals hidden across the landscape.
Bluebird often can be found trekking through the desert (both on his own and with others) discovering the area’s riches first-hand.
“The key is the discovery,” said in an interview. Enthralled from a young age in the wonders of nature, Crossman has spent the last 35 years exploring his adopted home state of Arizona. In that time, he has learned how to make a bow and arrow from the resources on hand – bending branches into bows and notching arrows with sharp rocks. He can weave baskets from desert plants, find water in the barren desert and light a fire faster than you can find your lighter. He uses what he can find, just as Arizona’s earliest inhabitants once did, always searching out the hidden qualities of what is at hand.
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