setup. reinforcement. payoff.
six years into still blog and you can’t really talk anymore about the spare and simple elegance of the prairie grass stem. you need to find a new frame of reference. i’m choosing the classic structure of a three-part joke. setup. reinforcement. payoff. wile e. coyote buys the acme dynamite kit. wile e. coyote waits for the roadrunner and presses the TNT plunger at just the right time. nothing happens, the roadrunner speeds off, and wile. e. coyote goes to investigate the dynamite, which explodes in his face. it’s just exactly like a split stem of winter prairie grass.
prairie tall grass in late winter
i want a single tree in my yard that produces gardenia flowers, lilac clusters, raspberries, strawberries, sweet cherries, fall maple leaves, honeycrisp apples, hazelnuts, lily of the valley, joe pye weed, blue flag iris, morel mushrooms, and magnolia seed pods. my needs are simple. any plant geneticists out there???
a soft spot for quince
historically in the u.s., a well-considered orchard would always have one or two quince trees. quince are loaded with pectin, and were coveted for pies and preserves. but when commercially available pectin became available, the quince tree grew out of favor. in southern europe, however, they are still revered and grown in large numbers. the floral scent of the fruit n fall is one of my fondest memories from living in southern france. i am sad to say i have never seen our village gardens festooned with these sumptuous pink blossoms. as most of you know, my husband is a tax preparer, and we make most our income for the year in the first four months of the year. so, as long as we have kids in college and a mortgage to pay, we will be stateside in the spring, dreaming of almond trees, quince trees, and olive trees all in bloom.
she was paying attention after all
my daughter sent this to me from palo alto. you always wonder whether anything you’re doing really rubs off on your kids, or whether they are simply the product of the workings of genetics. after six years of still blog i would have said that she supported what i was doing, was maybe vaguely proud of a mom who had forged a mid-life artistic career, and sometimes loved, sometimes hated our occasional creative collaborations. but yesterday my girl noticed a white sky, and knew right away what to do with it. today’s still blog honors her generosity in sharing a still blog moment with me from halfway across the continent.
palm tree on stanford campus
what i see in this asymmetrical ink blot are veins and arteries and blood clots because i just heard a story from my husband about a client of his who had a stroke last year. i doubt that herr rorschach would find this psychologically indicative of anything except the fact that i just got an hour of my husband’s time over a glass of wine in the middle of tax season, and i’m happy about it. though not, of course, happy about the client with the stroke. of course i’m not happy about that. why would you think that would make me happy? do you really think i would be happy about such a thing? you don’t even know me. why are you analyzing me like this? i’m fine. i’m totally normal. omg, leave me alone.
winter sunflower stems and seed heads