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it’s official

a couple soaking rains and two days in the 70’s (low 20’s C) and minnesota went from looking like the tundra to …

a collection of mid-april greens

vadnais lake trail, saint paul, minnesota

 

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raspberry

i see these trefoil raspberry leaves as the closed fists of winter, unclasping into the open palms of spring. i want to shake their hands.

raspberry canes with spring buds

saint paul, minnesota

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  1. As Leo says:

    Beautiful shot. Always a fan.

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a spring walk

i always find feathers on this trail, i said to my friend kristin today, as we set off from the vadnais lake parking lot. so many feathers, in fact, that i sometimes bring a bag with me, because feathers are hard to pinch between your fingers in a way that is both firm enough to keep them from slipping free and fluttering to the ground behind you, and delicate enough not to tear up their delicate barbs. today, i did not bring a bag with me, and was rewarded for my lack of presumption with a particularly awkward double-pinched-semi-armload of feathers both detached from, and still attached to, their owners. i carried them gingerly back to the car, and then carefully into my bedroom, and sort of let them all fall onto a sheet of white tagboard, and they fell just exactly like this. well, that’s actually quite beautiful, i said to myself. and went to find my camera.

wild turkey feathers, one owl feather, and a sparrow

vadnais lake trail, saint paul, minnesota

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after the rain

we had our first heavy spring rains this weekend, so buds were bursting all over minneapolis and saint paul today. these tiny blue scilla were lining my driveway this morning for the first time this spring. i bet our bees are already carrying saddle bags of blue pollen back to the hive. which is quite the day brightener to think about. but nothing really compares to the fact that today is April 15. the united states income tax filing deadline. as of midnight tonight, my tax preparer husband will take off his tax hat and put it on the proverbial hook until next january. and he will replace it with the far more dashing hat of writer and family man. happy Tax Day everyone!

scilla

saint paul, minnesota

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  1. mary says:

    These are so lovely. They almost look transparent.

  2. Margaret says:

    Color! Beautiful!

  3. Erica says:

    Stunning translucence–really nice lighting. And happy tax day. I love that it has such a different meaning for your family than for others.

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a brilliant red that blends

in the three years since i have been doing STILL, i have previously found only a single cardinal feather. they are either especially tricky to spot or cardinals are lonely and reclusive molters. but yesterday on a walk with my friend kris along sucker lake, the faintest reddish glimmer in the grass materialized into a single battered cardinal feather. something about the feather seemed to speak of struggle, so the two of us clipped on our csi badges, and, over the course of a 10 minute investigation, painstakingly gathered the forensic evidence above. the evidence all pointed to a cardinal’s having had a very bad day in that spot. my feather collector’s elation at such a find couldn’t quite outweigh my birdlover’s remorse that something as ethereally beautiful as a male cardinal had ended as somebody else’s meal. i hope the tattered dignity of what remained of him does him justice.

cardinal feathers from a single bird

sucker lake regional trail, saint paul,  minnesota

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minimalist monday

minimalism = reduced to the necessary elements. the branch holds the cone that holds the seeds to make more branches to make more cones that will make more seeds. nothing more.

austrian pine branch

vadnais lake trail, saint paul, minnesota

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  1. Carol Sommers says:

    That sums life up just about perfectly. love this.

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harbinger

this guy is already 10 inches tall, when the grass is barely green around here, and most of the trees haven’t burst their buds. so far, i have spent this spring fighting the afternoon tireds, as another seasonal transition takes its toll on my alertness and pep. i clearly need a root system with packets of nutritional energy pods, if i’m going to compete with this daylily for springtime perkiness. now i just need to decide if i want to compete with anyone for springtime perkiness.

daylily in early april

saint paul, minnesota

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  1. Remei says:

    La primavera es maravillosa en tu blog!

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wonder

steve and i talk about wonder a lot. i’m not sure we always know exactly what we mean by it, but we trust the word. we have had a recent streak of happiness and creative good fortune, and i think we attribute a lot of what is going right in our lives with the word wonder, with a capacity to be delighted by simple things.

assorted april twigs

saint paul, minnesota

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  1. Cathy H. says:

    I love this! I may have to see if I can do some nature writing!

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a white sportcoat . . .

. . . and a pink carnation . . . i’m all dressed up for the dance . . .

pink carnation

 

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phases

when i say black-eyed susans, you think of elegantly oval yellow-orange petals in a halo around a pregnant black center. yes but these, too, are black-eyed susans. golden tan, brittle, elegantly spare. they are just in a different phase of life. when i say “woman,”  what do you think of?

black eyed susan’s in april

vadnais lake trail, saint paul, minnesota

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