i don’t know what this is. i didn’t have a vision for it when i started and i didn’t try to impose a vision as i pulled it together. it looks like an apple or a maybe a nest. i’ve been operating at capacity for a long time. i could use a little bit of nesting. my hands made a nest of tangerine leaves almost in spite of me. it doesn’t have to make sense. but it does make perfect sense.
dried tangerine leaves
really, who knew?
in minnesota you can machine harvest wild rice and the grains are generally black and thin and very brittle and slightly bitter. or you can hand harvest them, as the anishinaabe have done for millenia, and then you can winnow them by hand and then parch them over a wood fire, and you get a mellow, mottled, and, to an extent i have never noticed until today, incredibly multi-hued collection of rice grains. this spectrum of colors was pulled at random from a single bag of hand harvested wild rice. i can’t stop looking at it. by the way this is experiment #2 in finding a still blog way of looking at food. it’s one of my favorite images in months if not years, because it’s beautiful and because it is so fundamentally about my home.
northern wild rice grains (Zizania palustris)
i’m going to need a dumpster soon if i don’t start reducing the waste i generate by creating even a little bit of order in one corner of my house, from among the piles of entropy-driven matter in my basement.
woven summer stems
i know most of you will find this hard to believe but i don’t consider myself a professional photographer. that’s not false modesty. i’ve watched true professionals walk into my house hauling suitcases full of equipment and create perfectly composed perfectly lit photos in every conceivable condition. i can’t do that. i have my methods and i only use natural light, so my range is limited. today however, my husband interviewed a very influential chef named jeremiah tower, and i was called on to take photos for the magazine where the interview will appear. i needed to master a new rented camera, two rented lenses, and a flash in about an hour. friends, i didn’t do half bad. it’s never too late to learn, i guess. i felt quite professional-ish.
peachy-bink bits of dried summer botanicals
the problem of winter
i walked past this stalk of berries maybe fifty times this summer, and every time i thought quietly to myself, “red baneberry” and kept walking. then i brought some foreign stalk onto my house in winter, and the berries were a darkened wrinkled bluish, and they all fell off at the same time to reveal this beautifully graphic bottlebrush, and it took me half an hour to identify them as the quite obvious red baneberry of summer. i’ve gotten pretty good at trees, but woodland stalks in winter are strangers to me, even though they are like family for the rest of the year.
actaea rubra (red baneberry)