we used to play a game as kids called pick-up sticks, where we let a handful of tapered sticks fall into a pile, and then took turns trying to lift one at at time off of the pile without disturbing any of the others. it called for strategy and a steady hand and i happened to be very good at it. the willow twigs above remind me of the beginning of a game of pick-up sticks. except i can’t ever think of a time when they fell into the shape of a stylized christmas tree. that took a different kind of strategy and steady hand.
river willow twigs
white bear lake, mn
removed from its very pedestrian home on an urban boulevard, this grass stem suddenly looked quite romantically wind-tossed when i got it home, even while taped perfectly still against white tagboard. where are the moors? where’s heathcliff?
grass stem and blades
east 7th street, saint paul, in front of the (delicious) swede hollow cafe
depending on how i look at this figure, i either see a comical vetruvian man with a headdress of fruit, stretching his limbs like a strange combination of the jolly green giant and carmen miranda, or else i see a bulbous tropical snowflake. in either case, it looks like something trying, and failing, to be taken seriously.
pinwheel pattern of black-eyed susan, succulent leaves, woodpecker feathers, highbush cranberries, and unidentified blue berries
the pot in my kitchen, my front yard, and saint paul, mn
as i started taking apart yesterday’s photo, i got only this far before i was interrupted. when i returned, i liked what i saw. it looked like a giant coffee cup ring on my kitchen floor. the thought of having mid-morning coffee with giants made me smile. i wondered how they might react to my bossy chicken, glimmer, joining us. which made me smile even more.
lake superior beach rocks
grand marais, minnesota
as i look at my collection of lake superior beach rocks above, i wonder what it is about collecting that is so satisfying. i collect rocks. and feathers. and eggs. and seed pods. some people collect ticket stubs, wine labels, tattoos, and matchbooks. i get the same thrill finding a nearly intact robin’s egg shell, as others do snagging a catherineholm dutch oven at a thrift sale. is there perhaps a collecting gene?
lake superior beach rocks
near grand marais, minnesota
a collage of bird treasures–nests, wings, feathers, eggs, and talons
saint paul, mn, northern mn, and languedoc france
my husband brought me this stem after spending an afternoon walking grouse trails in northern minnesota with my brother. he knows me. from the segmented jester’s hat seed head, to the delicate curve of the stem…it was love at first sight.
wild lily stem found in a bog in far northern minnesota
chippewa national forest, minnesota
this piece of kindling, no more than 2 inches in diameter, sits in a pile of firewood beside my fireplace. each night it catches my eye. there is something about the way it fractured. it looks like the simple drawings of the earth in my son’s picture books: molten core, volcanic vents, mantle, and crust…
kindling from my wood pile
saint paul, minnesota
it helps to know black spruce from white spruce, according to my husband, because when you’re winter camping, standing dead black spruce will burn so readily and cheerily, that it can mean the difference between a night spent shivering in a cold tent, and a night spent in the cozy warmth of a crackling wood stove.
black spruce pine cone
found in my front yard, saint paul, minnesota
i have mixed feelings about corn and its many overuses, but i have no ambiguous feelings about popcorn. i love popcorn. so when my csa farmer put three ears of popcorn still on the cob into our final farm share of the year, i was thrilled. i haven’t tried it yet because we were told to let it dry a little longer. my mouth is watering in anticipation.
popcorn on the cob
hogsback farm, wisconsin