earth day

i photographed this maple blossom after spending an entire evening watching migratory warblers fluttering around the top of the sugar maple next to our rear deck. but that’s not the story i want to tell. the story i want to tell is about how i photographed this blossom over a period of maybe 5 minutes, and as i scrolled down the 20 or so resulting photos on my computer, i could watch the blossom head gradually droop a little bit more in each frame, like one of those old decks of cards that show you a short movie when you shuffle through them fast. it reminded me of how short all of our lives would be without water, and then in a bigger way, how short our existence will be, and how much beauty will be lost, if we don’t take better care of this earth of ours. my unoriginal but heartfelt earth day thoughts, for what they are worth.

sugar maple blossom

saint paul, minnesota

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home

today in the backyard we watched two robins stalk toward each other and then flitter up in the air like fighting cocks, over and over again. they must have been exhausted by the end of the night. but they kept fighting and walking away, and then coming back to fight some more. one of them had decided that this piece of ground was home. and the other had decided that the first guy was wrong. and home is not something you take lightly.

assorted bird nests

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new growth old growth

new growth old growth
my eighty-one year old neighbor, bruce, knocked on the door today to give this gift. he had a 70 year old spruce tree in his yard that was leaning too far over the power lines and needed to be cut down. when the power company felled the tree, this bud-laden branch full of pollen was at the very top, and bruce thought of me. i wish i knew a better way than a photo to celebrate the tree’s beautiful final act of rebirth.

black spruce male pollen cones

turtle lake, shoreview, minnesota

  • adrianna fox says:

    The tree will live forever in your photograph, your poetic tribute. Bruce knew what to do, and so did you.

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arrival

arrival
each april i watch the weeping willows in our neighborhood turn a brilliant chartreuse as the long flowing switches fill with sap. there is one that hangs over the road at an intersection i pass through daily. it’s like driving through a car wash. i passed it twice this weekend on the way to and from my mom’s house and each time i said to myself “i should stop and grab some for STILL.” and of course, i didn’t. so, today when i finally did stop, it came as no surprise to see that me beloved catkins had already started to go to seed. instead of jaunty little ears of corn on the cob, they look like anemic caterpillars. after four years of STILL blog, i am still surprised at what a difference a day makes in spring.

weeping willow branches with catkins

turtle lake, shoreview, minnesota

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special occasions

special occasions
today is sort of a holiday in our household. tax day. the end of a short, very intense season for my tax preparer husband. we’re not very good about special occasions, as it turns out. we don’t do much for birthdays or christmas, to say nothing of the holidays like valentines day and mothers day, manufactured by the national retail federation. if we were good at special occasions, we would probably go out to eat and order champagne and martinis tonight, but instead we’re going to build a fire and open a bottle of southern french wine, because what we’ve really been craving for the last 11 weeks is not a blow-out celebration, but a resumption of a satisfying routine. it sounds boring. but the thought fills me with an electric thrill.

(unidentified) flowering spring shrub

  • janice says:

    I’m glad to know that I am not alone in not celebrating the traditional special occasions.

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