i’m not technically speechless. i could find something to say about this feather. about the possible reasons behind its evolutionary necessity. about how remarkable it is that the patterns are so three dimensional and that they run almost independent of the grain of the feather’s barbs. but i think in this case an awed silence is the most eloquent tribute to this monument to nature’s strangeness and beauty.
great argus pheasant wing feather (Argusianus bipunctatus)
this guy tried scooting under my car on the way up our driveway and changed his mind at exactly the wrong time. i’m one of those drivers who breaks for everything, mice, voles, crows, robins, rabbits, opossums, raccoons, and deer. but i didn’t have time to break for this red squirrel, so i thought it only fair to take his portrait, and celebrate the quick, taut life he lived inside that resplendent, copper coat. i’m guessing he has scolded me dozens of times as i got in the car in the morning, and awakened me too early at many summer sunrises. i don’t begrudge him a thing.
shoreview, saint paul, minnesota
moon and tides
these were mostly gathered on the gulf coast of florida and the mediterranean beach closest to sète, france. the experiences were both similar, involving long afternoons with the kids and my husband, each of us tasked with gathering a certain color or a certain shape, and then meeting at the end of the day with our treasures. when it all went well, there would also be a number of rare sea glass finds. the only real difference, i would say, was the quality of the charcuterie and the wine on the picnic blanket afterwards, as the sun set.
sea shell collection (mostly florida’s gulf coast and mediterranean france)
in the process of deciding what to do next with STILL blog, one option has been to post less frequently with more involved or elaborate or carefully thought-out arrangements and compositions. i am about to complete year 6 of daily posts with not a single missed day, which means almost 2200 images. it puts a constant, low-level pressure on each day, knowing that the day cannot end, no matter what, without a shareable-quality photograph being created. after much thought, i have at least made a decision about this aspect of the next year. daily posts are in. i just can’t believe i could be as disciplined or ultimately as creative without having my head in this blog every day. i have tried weekly projects before, including this year’s collage project, and the loosened criteria just inevitably lead to loosened standards and deadlines. so you’re stuck with me every day again for at least a year. sometimes daily posts lead to pictures, like this one of dock covered in fresh snow, that are serviceable but uninspiring. but one thing dailiness also does is make occasional magic, when you’re not in the mood, and the sun is setting, and you grab some idea that’s been percolating unproductively for a while, and suddenly there it is. the long-awaited, unexpected, slightly weird, entirely personal, perfect image.
curly dock in winter (Rumex elongatus)
we’ve come to think of essays as definitive, outlined, thesis-driven statements of established opinion. but essays began in france as “essais” or “atttempts.” the original essayist was “trying” and “attempting” over and over to find out what he thought about himself and the world. this photo is an essay. not because it documents something definitive, but because it is an attempt to see what black and white photography might look like for still blog next year. i’m not sure it’s the answer. but i never wouldn’t have known if i didn’t make an “essai.”
garden rose flower