after our first 40 degree day of the new year, i am feeling the first ragged melting of winter that will eventually result in the puddles, and burst buds, and daffodil shoots of spring. i know there are several snowfalls to go. and some more below zero weather. but i can see the other side from here. land ho.
my son has discovered action movies, which means he’s working through die hard and bourne and the marvel and dc comics superheroes. he is 13 and just starting puberty and enjoys unmoved he can make himself appear about the tension and violence in these movies. he simultaneously enjoys how unnerved these movies make his mother. but then he watched the movie alien, and then the relentless and terrifying sequel aliens, whose monster looks a little like this octopus. and one night i woke up and there he was in bed with me, in need of a sidekick to help him fight off the aliens in his head.
mediterranean sea near valras, languedoc, france
i do not feel like i have any mastery yet of this photographing on black. i can feel that the compositions want to have more depth, more dimension, more shadow, and more contrast. but i practiced a very different style for the past five years. more significantly, perhaps, i had gotten very efficient at that style: the orderly, gridded, flat lay on white. so the transition to black is challenging me. i need to slow down. take more time. look at the subject this way and that. probably do fewer flat lays, and more profile shots. in a word, i think i need to play more.
dried olive branch
yes, i used to sit in the backseat and sing off-key soprano accompaniment to my father’s off-key baritone:
caviar comes from the virgin sturgeon.
the virgin sturgeon’s a very fine fish.
the virgin sturgeon is no urchin,
that’s why caviar is my dish.
my father appreciated expensive things, which he often bought, although he couldn’t often afford them. and he appreciated nonsense verse, which i will always love him for. so, papa, here’s some expensive saffron for you. it comes from the hocus-pocus crocus. i hope you’re doing a lot of laughing at nonsense wherever you are.
wild crocus (not crocus sativus however)
orb river, languedoc, france
i’m trying to remember just how casual i was about picking these dense, fragrant herbs from my husband’s little herb garden against a sun-drenched south-facing stone wall of our terrace in autignac. i was certainly much too casual, because right now they look like apparitions from another world, and i would give almost anything to have a fistful of them held up to my nose right now. and it’s gonna be a long time before anything like this will be growing in shoreview mn. ok, time to go shovel the front stoop. catch you later.
kitchen garden herbs: parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme, hyssop