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no exceptions

my husband just finished a two day writing seminar. he came back after day one to describe an ice breaking exercise, during which all the people in class were forced to say one interesting thing about themselves. in a group made up of 50 or so very typical and mostly nondescript upper midwesterners, steve came home confirmed in his recent conviction that “everyone is interesting. everyone.” on a related topic, i found these leaves on a lowly little nondescript weed in an unremarkable trail-side thicket. they left me wanting to know more.

lowly weed leaves in late october

sucker lake regional trail, saint paul, minnesota

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  1. margie says:

    i believe everyone has a story to tell and of course in my profession I hear many of those daily. Humans of new york really illustrates this well.

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nature knows

i have three favorite color pairs: black & white, navy blue and white, and my current crush, yellow and gray. here is what color psychologists have to say about the classic yellow and gray combination: gray is practical, timeless, solid.  yellow is sunshine, laughter, happiness and good times. i’ll take that in a favorite color pair. in fact, i’ll take that in a best friend.

yellow hawthorn leaf on gray wasp nest paper

island lake trail, shoreview, minnesota

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  1. margie says:

    yellow and grey is one of my favourite combinations too.

  2. And mine as well … add a splash of navy & I love it even more ! Have a great weekend, Mary-Jo & family ! oxox

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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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  1. it makes me think of a Seuss illustration somehow, the great big stripy leaves, crooked stalk, and the itty-bitty berry…Love it.

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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

 

comments
  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

comments
  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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