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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wordless

wordless
there are only so many things you can say about vine tendrils. i have a feeling that my words to describe my love for them will run out long before my eyes tire of looking at them. there may be some wordless vine tendril posts in your future.

vine tendrils

languedoc and minnesota

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quince

there used to be quince trees scattered across the united states. when you settled a new area you grew a garden and like as not, you planted a quince tree, because quince are full of pectin, and you need pectin for jams and jellies and pies. then in 1913 somebody patented commercial pectin derived from the apple pomace left over from apple pressing, and quince trees were gradually ignored, abandoned, or cut down. i don’t necessarily want to wait for a quince tree to mature before i make my next strawberry jam or freeform rustic apple tart, yet it feels as if something has been lost in the absence of the quince tree in the back yard, that gave such beautiful blossoms in the spring, and promised such sweet pleasure to be stored in the larder all fall and winter.

quince blossoms

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