blank feature image
japanese-knotweed
details
foraging

this photo feels like the first harvest after the root cellar has been emptied, or the first soaking rain after a drought. as of this morning, i was quite out of old images and new ideas for STILL. our recent polar vortex had prevented any walking with a puggle, so I hadn’t done any gathering for a week or more, and the target pitch i’ve been working on has been an all-consuming, all-hands-on-deck cramming-for-finals kind of effort. so, when i saw forecasts in the 30s today , i grabbed my gathering basket and headed out for an emergency forage. if the volume of stems on my kitchen floor tonight are any indication,  i may have overdone it a bit in my anxious enthusiasm. i guess we’ll know more when i’ve started to triage by color palette. meanwhile one of the items too big to fit in my basket was a six foot tall stem i had never seen before. when i got home, i set about deconstructing it, as you see above, while my hubby (@sjrhoffman) worked some Google magic to identify it as Japanese Knotweed, which is, of course, an invasive species in MN. i’ve been doing this long enough. i should have guessed. at this point, any striking stands of meter high wetland weeds that i haven’t noticed before are almost certainly going to turn out to be invasive species. the one advantage of spending twenty minutes carefully deconstructing this plant is that i will forevermore be able to identify japanese knotweed. now i just hope the rest of the stems in my basket are familiar.

decontructed japanese knotweed in winter

grass lake, saint paul, minnesota

comments
  1. Dede says:

    Target will be lucky to have your artistic talents!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

blank feature image
baby-white-pine-mjh
details
soft and strong at the same time

this eighteen-inch-tall front-yard white pine will be completely buried in snow for most of the winter. then, in spring, like a dog emerging from a lake, it will sort of shake itself off, and let the sun do its work.

white pine with snow

saint paul, minnesota

comments
  1. LW says:

    I love a bird’s eye view.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

blank feature image
Paper-Wasp-Mountian
details
tectonic uplift

when i first took the the time to look closely at a paper wasp nest, what popped into my head was “it looks like geological strata.” i don’t know why it has taken me until now to experiment with geological forms. just kinda, i don’t know, slow i guess.

wasp paper nest collage

paper wasp nest from island lake trail, saint paul, minnsaota

comments
  1. Angelica says:

    It does look like geological strata; the texture on this is awesome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

blank feature image
tall-blue-grass
details
pick up sticks

where’s the black stick i can use to start lifting these off the top of the pile, one after another, while my younger brother cries because he’s no good at this game? does pick up sticks even still exist? i hope so. younger brothers need to be taught a lesson.

dried autumn prairie grass stems

rice creek regional trail, saint paul, minnesota

comments
  1. Leslie Ann Rice says:

    Yes-Yes-Yes they do and I am playing with my Grandson.

  2. Margie says:

    I love that game and was pretty good at it in the day

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

blank feature image
boxelder-seed-wreath-2
details
circling

i have spent three years with still blog related ideas fluttering down around me. this target pitch has encouraged me to gather them up, and put them in some kind of order.

wreath of boxelder seeds in winter

mineapolis, minnesota

comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

blank feature image
line-of-striped-stones-2-copy
details
different shapes, one direction

we all want the same thing, in the end. to be a little bit different. and to fit in.

striped beach rocks in a well behaved line

bretagne, france

comments
  1. margie says:

    have a beautiful sunday

  2. This is amazing. Your work is very inspiring to me..

  3. LW says:

    i love those lines on rocks. in fact i just love beautiful rocks in general. love how you put this together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

blank feature image
nest-with-stone-eggs-mjh
details
hard cooked eggs

it is too cold to safely walk the the dog, and besides i have been distracted with gathering materials for my pitch to target next week, so i have turned to my beloved collections for my daily nature inspiration. do any of you collect egg shaped beach rocks?  i love finding them. if you ever happen upon a makeshift sand-nest on a beach filled with baby beach stone dinosaur eggs, you’ll know i was there. my signature graffiti.

nest with beach rock eggs

rocks from lake superior, nest from saint paul, minnesota

comments
  1. Susan says:

    Thank you. For every post.

  2. Candice says:

    I collect heart shaped rocks found along the English Channel.

  3. margie says:

    of course i do that

  4. Sandy says:

    Is there a particular place around Lake Superior where you find these beautifully colored and speckled rocks?

    • Hi Sandy,
      Unfortunately there is no one perfect beach. We frequent all the beaches within an hour or so of Grand Marais. This small collection of five speckled round/egg rocks represents probably 10 years worth of looking!
      There are a lot so speckled rocks, but very few perfectly round or egg shaped ones. But it is worth the hunt…it is so fun when you find one! Like blue or red sea glass :-)
      Mary Jo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

blank feature image
coyote-paws
details
at rest

this coyote on the side of the road was completely intact and peaceful looking. the violence of his end could only be guessed by the awkwardness of his slightly twisted posture. i like this image of his rear feet, casually crossed, as if taking his leisure where all his striving finally came to rest.

coyote

saint anthony village, minneapolis, minnesota

comments
  1. Prairie girl says:

    This image is simply beautiful…and sad. But, like you said, there’s a sort of peacefulness along with it. Thanks for sharing a lovely favorite creature of mine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

blank feature image
prairie-sage-mjh
details
it’s okay to ask for help

i was driving home from dropping off joseph at school today, mentally preparing a pitch for target, while listening to a podcast by debbie millman, when her guest happened to mention that artists and designers need to know that it’s ok to ask for help. so after preparing to soldier through a morning alone, i instead sat at my computer and used up a few lifelines. i feel stronger and better prepared after asking for help.

prairie sage stem

rice creek regional trail, saint paul, minnesota

comments
  1. Charmian McLellan says:

    Beautiful, elegant prairie sage. Just this week I’ve asked for help with a website. Can’t “go” it alone.

  2. Dede says:

    I don’t care what Target wants to use your images for-I’d buy them in a heart beat. I’d decorate my world with these images!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

blank feature image
driftwood-and-beach-rocks
details
framed

i will be waking up on wednesday to -35 deg F windchill. but we are stout and sturdy minnesotans and our school district doesn’t cancel class for anything less than -40 F windchill. which means i will be in the car when you read this. i will be thinking about beaches, and i thought maybe we all should.

beaver sticks, drift wood, and beach rocks from lake superior and the mediterranean sea

minnesota and france

p.s i promised i would update you on the call from Target corporation. i talked to them today by phone and i have been invited in next week to pitch the “Home Products/Soft Goods”  managers some STILL related product ideas. fun! i’ll let you know next week how it goes.

comments
  1. Robyn says:

    LOVE this image!!

  2. natalie says:

    :: mary jo, you take my breath away! thank you! this image is luxury. it’s class. it’s creative. it’s unexpected. it’s harmony. it’s amazing. i think you’re the bee’s knees! good luck with your target pitch!

  3. Jenny B says:

    Wow! I can’t believe how quickly they moved- they know talent when they see it:). Best of luck to you

  4. LW says:

    Love, love, love this image. Please make sure Target keeps your integrity. YOU are worth EVERYTHING!

  5. THe light is especially beautiful on this one, LOVE it!
    Can’t wait to have Still linens in my home! :-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *