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choices

still blog doesn’t get labor day weekend off, so i spent a little time this afternoon vacillating between “i should” and “i want.” what i should be doing is gathering samples and arranging them on white paper. what i wanted to do was order some fries and a coke at sweeney’s, an old saint paul bar where my husband and i first met. in the end, sweeney’s won, as perhaps it should have, and instead of new samples, i went to my box of bird nests for inspiration.

a collection of nests

all from saint paul, minnesota, except one from autignac, france

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  1. The Boolean search capabilities in Google News usually are not as advanced as most of the paid subscription services.

    We appreciate your interest in XYZ and need you well on the job search.
    An anecdote in the news feature story must be written from a third person because the narrator.

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not unlike an olive

it just occurred to me that these acorns not only look a bit like olives, but they gradually turn from green to black like olives as well. on the other hand, i’m not going to go sauté some garlic and onions in acorn oil. there are limits to the similarities.

red oak acorns in green, black, and tan

saint paul, minnesota

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transition

it has taken me over two weeks to transition from france to minnesota this time.  i have no idea why. but i have only just recently felt settled. i have been trying to unravel why i have felt so off kilter for the past several weeks: age, hormones, busyness, household illnesses. but in the end, i think it has a lot to do with…believe it or not…humidity. we left a hot dry region where the wind always blows, and came home to 90 degrees, 90% humidity, and perfectly still air.  it was as if the earth had stopped spinning on its axis. i felt a lot like a little kid who has just stepped off the still spinning merry-go-round.

well, i got my footing just in time to begin another transition. summer into fall.  from a STILL blog perspective, these transition months are my favorite. so much material to choose from. so although i am personally craving ordinary routine, this is one transition i can look forward to. bring it on.

lily of the valley leaves in late august

saint paul, minnesota

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wink. wink.

since returning from france, i have been forced to hide from the late summer sun and humidity by walking primarily shaded woodland trails. today, the temperatures were sufficiently cool and the skies overcast, so i got my first chance to enjoy one of my favorite prairie walks. although i have walked this particular trail hundreds of times, today for some reason, i was quietly overwhelmed at the number and variety of grasses. all of which, appeared to be flowering.

among my favorite, were the winking eyelashes of these blue grama grass seed heads. although they look like falsies, there is nothing false or suspicious about them. i am so used to finding out that common plants i find are also invasive that it was a gratifying relief to discover that this one is a native shortgrass of the american great plains. the real deal.

blue grama grass with seed heads

rice creek regional trail

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will you think less of me…

…if i tell you that most of these were found in my home? it’s funny but i have a feeling that some of you might object in a “yech” way to the idea of this many bugs living on the wrong side of my four walls. but i have a feeling that even more of you would object to the idea of so many lovely insects who didn’t make it back out into nature to finish out their short and important lives naturally. can you guess which side i’m on?

collection of august insects: moth, cicada, bee, grasshopper, dragonfly

saint paul, minnesota

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scale

if it wouldn’t have broken one of the cardinal rules of still blog, i would have set my open hand in this picture to give a sense of scale to this two foot long burdock leaf and its foot and a half long stem. instead, you’ll just have to imagine me standing at the bottom of this picture, and the top of the leaf reaching between my belly button and my sternum.

beetle eaten burdock leaf

sucker lake regional park, saint paul, minnesota

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paint by number

this sorted assemblage of beach rocks reminds me of the dabs of color on a paint-by-number set. a couple of years ago while vacationing on the north shore of lake superior, my husband bought a paint by number set “for the kids.” the kids lost interest after 30 minutes, and steve and i spent the next several hours of a rainy afternoon concentrating somewhat intensely on filling each #4 blob with blue, #3 with green, #6 with ocher, etc. By the time we were done, the woodland scene was, let’s be clear, absolutely PERFECT.

color sorted beach rocks

assorted global beaches–but mostly lake superior and the mediterranean

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  1. Love that there is a heart-shaped rock at the heart of the pack

  2. Leslie Ann Rice says:

    I have loved your photos and details of them. I also found myself looking back to the fun of my youth. So I did a whole wall with a paint by number scene, as I pass the room I always smile just like I do every day with your blog. Thank You

  3. betsy caldwell says:

    My first thought was of a painter’s gray scale, white to black. But those greens!
    (My sons used to present me heart-shaped rocks when they found them so, of course I saw her too.)

  4. LW says:

    i love rock and this is spectacular!

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that’s galling!

i don’t think this bur oak leaf would find it particularly helpful to learn that galls are a common occurrence and don’t generally threaten the health of the tree.

oak leaf with galls

saint paul, minnsota

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pomana

today we will be commemorating the one-year anniversary of my dad’s death. he was born in romania. so we are celebrating (and that is the right word) with a romanian tradtion called a pomana.

a collection of little black feathers

saint paul, minnesota

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  1. betsy caldwell says:

    love. polka dots get me every time.

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dead heads

these poor guys didn’t want to line up straight. they just wanted to smoke a little weed and listen to the genius that was Jerry Garcia.

deadheaded geraniums

 

 

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  1. Nicola says:

    Just lovely xxxxxx
    I am so glad to have found your blog for the past few years! I am a kindred spirit where decay is beautiful to me too xxx
    Beautiful blog xxxxx
    Nicola xUk

  2. Manisha says:

    This was not what I was expecting when I clicked on the link, I was expecting dry and brittle. You’ve captured such gorgeous color!

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