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the blue jays are molting, it must be august

this is one year’s worth of blue jay feathers found during two weeks’ worth of walks. i don’t envy the blue jays their balding heads and plucked chicken complexions this august, but i’m grateful for the feathers they are leaving behind as they molt.

blue jay feathers

saint paul, minnesota

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  1. Lähetä viestejä jɑ suudelmia, flirttaile jа deittaile.
    Flirttaile siis villisti јa sovi hdti tärskyt unelmiesi kumppanin kanssa.
    He odottavat yleensä, että olet sinkku, mutta onn eivät aina.

  2. Anne Field says:

    I love the contrast between your Languedoc-Autignac photos and your back-home-in-MN photos. You inspire me to pay more attention on my own walks. Thanks!

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august-greens
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a sense of what goes where

my friend michelle has an designer’s eye, and it shows in this beautiful bouquet she brought me. look at all those greens in just the right places. looks simple, right? now you do it.

bouquet of august greenery

minneapolis, minnesota

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tattered pride

glimmer is molting, and she is hiding, behind a veneer of injured pride, just how totally pissed she is about the whole damn thing.

glimmer, our 17 month old golden buff chicken, molting

saint paul, minnesota

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  1. Charmian McLellan says:

    She’s a real looker! Beautiful bird.

  2. LW says:

    hang on girl, it happens to the best of us!

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freckled

the clover in my front yard is all delicately speckled. while the clover in the back yard is not. i wonder why?

clover

saint paul, minnesota

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  1. Traci says:

    I rather like the speckled variety.

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on being a native

i am a native minnesotan. born right here in saint paul. i just tallied it up, and i have lived here forty out of my fifty years. and the last three of those years have been spent in a state of heightened awareness of my surroundings as a result of STILL blog.  and yet today i notice groundnut vine for the first time ever. it’s native. so am i. it lives on the moist banks of shorelines. i live on a shoreline. it’s a vine. i have a thing for vine tendrils. it’s such a cliche, but nature really never does stop unfolding herself to those who take an interest, does she?

groundnut vine

sucker lake regional trail, saint paul, minnesota

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shrek ears

walked past this ginkgo tree in northeast minneapolis. saw shrek ears. had to photograph it.

ginkgo tree branch and leaves

northeast minneapolis, minnesota

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  1. Manisha says:

    Such a funny observation but right on!

  2. Donna says:

    I love this.

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all the trimmings

 

my daughter cut the grass this morning, and as usual, the scent went straight to my limbic system, sending me back  to half frenetic, half lazy childhood summers spent rolling, sitting, lying, sliding, running, and falling on grass, before dads came home and filled the neighborhood with the smell of gasoline and mown hay with their droning mowers before sitting down for the evening cocktail. suddenly it occurred to me that in all of my back yard stalking and sleuthing, i had never taken a picture of the grass i walk over most days to get to “the good stuff.”  as george orwell said, “to see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”

grass clippings

saint paul, minnesota

 

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”

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  1. Traci says:

    how is it even possible to make grass clippings this beautiful? lovely, as always.

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teeming

i’m not sure why the three finds above, all discovered on a short walk, none showing any signs of life, reminded me so vividly of how much life is on display around here in august. partly it’s the contrast with the parched mediterranean basin we just left behind, after which, any temperate zone would seem almost tropical. but for whatever reason, carrying this colorful little handful back to the car, i couldn’t look anywhere that wasn’t bursting with life. ducks cruising across the lake, bumblebees crawling over the coneflowers, clumsy looking swallowtails flopping through the tops of the cottonwoods, a toad short-hopping it across the asphalt trail, goldfinches swooping along the lakeside willows, and a cackling kingfisher keeping three or four trees ahead of me, one eye on my progress, one eye on any interesting movement just below the surface of the lake. maybe being away for a month has given me back the temporary gift of wonder in a familiar place.

one walk in august: monarch butterly, dragon fly, blue jay feathers

sucker lake regional trail, saint paul, minnesota

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mop headed susans

i have only been on two different trails since i got home, but they were both thick with these mop headed black eyed susans, swaying long-haired in the breeze like hippies at a Joan Baez concert.

black eyed susans

sucker lake regional trial, saint paul, minnesota

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foreign home

after a month in our French foreign home, i have come back to a foreign home–a minnesota that is so lush and green, so free of thistles and thorns, so unselfconsciously abundant, that i feel a little bit like a stranger here.

a mid-august collection of greenery from my yard

saint paul, minnesota

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  1. LW says:

    another print-worthy piece!

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