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you look good in stripes

it was the color of those leaves that caught my attention. but it was the single little striped fruit that kept me interested. like making small talk at a party with someone in a great dress, only to find out they also have a wicked sense of humor.

false solomon’s seal with red fruit in october

rice creek regional trail, saint paul, minnesota

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place holders

sure, these leaves are pretty. and technically they each serve the purpose of identifying a particular species. but their value to me is not their perfect colors or their diagnostic qualities. i picked these up in 24 different places, and i just need to look at each one to remember the location, the time of day, and even the weather. the leaves themselves don’t even exist anymore in many cases. but those places do.

a collection of found autumn leaves

all from minnesota

 

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  1. margie says:

    i heard on the radio that photographing an event reduces your memory of that event but i experience the opposite. When i look back at photographs it triggers all sorts of memories and details that I might otherwise have forgotten. This is especially true for very old photographs of my childhood.

    • That’s interesting Margie. For me personally,I think both explanations can be true. If someone is simply snapping photos without much intention or consideration, then the camera is very much a distraction to the actual event. But I rarely take snapshots any more, and usually only take photos when I am being my most present. So, for me, it is the being present that gets burned into my memory. The camera, and photo, are incidental. So, as in most things in life, it all depends on the intentionality you bring to it.

  2. LW says:

    some photos i’d rather forget were taken (you know, the ones of you when you weren’t camera ready…) but i truly love this collection!

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the color issue

if STILL blog had a quarterly publication, this would definitely be our COLOR issue. never can i remember a more colorful two weeks.  usually our autumns are stretched over six weeks: an initial two weeks of flaming sumac leaves, followed by two weeks of yellow poplar and red maples, and finally two weeks of orange and russet oaks. but this year, the whole season was condensed into the same two week period. holy moley. nothing is off limits. everything is fair game: trees are three or more colors, there are whole rows of oaks with every tree a different and distinct color.  and i’m seeing every shade of orange that can be imagined: peach, salmon, coral, tangerine, tomato…

maple branch with red and yellow october leaves

from my yard, saint paul, minnesota

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  1. Ellen says:

    Compensation for March.

  2. margie says:

    here too and i am loving every colourful moment because we all know what november looks like

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a colorful season

because this is the most colorful fall season i can remember, i have begun returning from my walks with a standard warning: “i’m bringing more nature into the house!” my kitchen floor may or may not still be covered with ceramic tile, but no one will know until i remove about a dozen armloads of leaves, branches, bark, grasses, fungi, seed pods, wild fruits, feathers, pine cones, rocks, birds nests, wasp nests, and at least one dead red bellied snake. all i remember is how i felt last march, when i would have given anything for a spot of color that wasn’t brown or gray. ill take all this color gratefully until it’s gone.

an assemblage of october finds

rice creek, grass lake, and sucker lake hiking trails; saint paul, minnesota

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  1. betsy caldwell says:

    Like how you left your signature in lower right corner.: )

  2. margie says:

    i am imagining the gathering walks you and i could have together.

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a minnesota cactus

fifteen years ago in what now feels like a previous life, i worked for honeywell inc. on the avionics for the boeing 777. as a result, i spent a lot of time in phoenix arizona, and when i wasn’t at work, i would spend my time driving around the sonoran desert photographing saguaro cacti. i never got used to the very non-organic grid of streets in downtown phoenix, nor the lack of water there,  but i still miss those cacti.  this mullein is the closest thing we have to those strange, gravity defying spires.

common mullein

minneapolis alley, minnesota

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cross my heart

i am having fun with these assemblages of the bits and pieces of nature that find their way onto my specimen table. for several years i have also fallen under the spell of the (swiss) cross as a design element.  i have used it in journal doodles, i have sewn it into pillows, and i have even painted it on canvas. so it is really about time that i did a STILL blog assemblage in the shape of my current favorite graphic.

cross assemblage of october nature bits

saint paul, minnesota

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  1. erica andree says:

    looks like first aid for nature deficit disorder

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unwound

this fern began as a tightly wound little fiddlehead seemingly only days ago, although it was actually last april, almost half a year ago, that i first saw it emerge. today my husband celebrates his 49th birthday. when i met him half a life ago, he was a tightly wound young creature full of self-involvement and promise. he has since unwound into a looser autumn version of himself, without quite losing the shape of his burstingly passionate spring. i’ll take the latest version in all its earned imperfection.

fern leaf

grass lake regional trail, saint paul, minnesota

 

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  1. Anne says:

    There are tears of joy in my eyes. What a lovely sentiment.

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peak

R.O.Y.  G.   . . .

pin oak leaves in four colors

grass lake regional trail, saint paul, minnesota

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map of the okavango delta

in the same way that a bare winter linden tree can sometimes look like the map of a major watershed, i decided that the work of this burdock borer larva resembled the crazy oxbows of the okavango delta. of course, it also looks like the scribbling of a two year old on an etch-a-sketch, which makes it more difficult to philosophize on the recurring patterns of nature and their deeper purposes.

burdock borer moth larva trails on a burdock leaf

grass lake regional trail, saint paul, minnesota

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  1. margie says:

    i love contemplating these patterns.

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all of ocotober in a single leaf

this maple leaf appears as conflicted about the onset of fall as i am. wait, it’s still sort of summer. wait, no it’s not. well, ok, it’s sort of in-between. sure but look at how low the sun is. yeah but it just hit seventy degrees today. well, you know that won’t last for long. true, but the grass is still green. granted, but the cattails are brown. well, how about the fishermen still out on the lake. yes, but listen to all those leaf blowers on the wind. oh, fine. you win.

maple leaf in october

saint paul, minnesota

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  1. margie says:

    i love its curls and ripples

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