i still think that repeated still blog images would lend themselves beautifully to wallpaper and seasonal wrapping paper. can’t you imagine a sitting room in an early 20th century house with white wainscoting up to about head high, and this pattern of carnations on a black background filling in the wall the rest of the way up to the ceiling? can’t you imagine someone with a june birthday getting a package wrapped in this pattern, tied up with a floppy pink bow? i can. i don’t have anything specific in the works, but i’m telling you i’m thinking about it. i’m thinking about it.
dusty pink carnations (dianthus)
foraging and parenting
this snow on the mountain looks a lot like queen anne’s lace, which in turn looks distantly like cow parsnip, which could in some cases be confused for water hemlock. when we were much younger and our daughter was a toddler, we spent a week in a cabin on a placid central minnesota lake. we walked trails and gathered plants and mushrooms and berries for identification, and occasionally for pressing in our flower press. we knew, as the saying goes, just enough to be dangerous. one day our daughter had fallen asleep for her nap, and we began identifying a sheaf of various plants gathered during that day’s walk. we came upon one that looked like a large and more substantial queen anne’s lace and began working through our wildflower book. the entry for water hemlock, which was a clear match, began, “water hemlock is probably the most poisonous plant in minnesota and among the most poisonous in all of north america. ingesting even a small amount can lead to seizures, respiratory paralysis, and death.” we had given our daughter a bottle, and she had fallen asleep on my husband’s shoulder we could have gotten our hands near her mouth in any number of ways. we raced to her side, and shook her awake, then watched her for the next hour, our hearts pounding, thinking of ourselves as perhaps the dumbest and most careless parents in minnesota, and among the dumbest and most careless in all of north america.
i am officially disappointed that such a thing exists. false shamrock? what’s next? fake leprechaun? pot of fool’s gold at the end of the rainbow? danny (is not my) boy? air kiss the blarney stone? the bad luck of the irish? when irish eyes are frowning?
wood sorrel (aka oxalis aka false shamrock)
a little down under up north
a former grad school classmate from sydney mailed this to me a few years after we graduated. he was a wildly adventurous intellect, capable at the same time of being an emotionally available friend, and as a result, this is one of the very few artifacts of my 20s that has passed through all the filters of the intervening years, all of the purges, and moves, and clutter clearing, and tossing. a little bit of australia in minnesota, a little bit of the past in the present, a totem of thoughtfulness.
peek a boo
i can’t help but see this little baby acorn, with its beautiful artichoke pattern, as an excited hide and seek player, sure that she is completely invisible, and at the same time, ready to scream in fear and burst tension as soon as she is discovered. i have always been attracted to the kind of purity and transparency that you see in animals, and toddlers, and the occasional beautiful, unguarded, and very rare adult soul.
immature acorn of a northern pin oak
rice creek trail, shoreview, minnesota