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do not go gentle into that good night

these guys decided not to mourn the coming of winter. they decided to party just a little bit harder.

unidentified mop-headed weeds (help! nettle family???)

vadnais lake trail, saint paul, minnesota

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harbingers

these sumac leaves, always joyful harbingers of the coming crisp sunny days and cool nights of autumn, also remind me that it’s time to start thinking about the holidays. each year i get one step closer to shedding the “shoulds” of holiday busyness, and spending more time in front of the fire with something aromatic simmering on the stove, the way it’s supposed to be.

sumac leaves in prematurely festive green and red

north oaks, minnesota

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  1. margie says:

    love sumac and this is gorgeous. I saw a post on facebook of a getting in the spirit advent display which was a wine rack with 24 carefully chosen bottles of wine with numbered tags. If i didn’t have to go to work 5 out of 7 days of the week I would really enjoy that by the fireplace.

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there’s a chill in the air

in morocco, we learned that handmade rugs have a plush winter side and a looped summer side. i finished this fall nature pattern and decided it looked like a patterned rug, and given the amount of texture, i guess this would be the winter side. on the other hand, i don’t know how i feel about sleeping side by side like sardines with my family on top of a mullein stalk and a row of milkweed pods. maybe a little more wine first.

collected on one september walk

vadnais lake trail, saint paul, minnesota

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  1. margie says:

    actually i have always thought milkweed seeds and thistle down would make lovely stuffing for a quilt

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time capsule

i intentionally tucked this pintade feather into an obscure page of one of my journals while we were in france, so that it could be stumbled upon later with surprise. well, surprise, surprise.

pintade (guinea fowl) feather

autignac, france

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litterbug

a red squirrel ate lunch around here, and carelessly left behind his (local, organic, compostable) lunch container. shame on him. leave no trace, indeed. has he never heard of a recycling bin?

discarded red pine pine cone scales chewed by a red squirrel who was after the seeds

sucker lake regional trail, saint paul, minnesota

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  1. Interesting to see a pine all deconstructed ! :) ox

  2. margie says:

    we see that all the time on our back deck. If you haven’t watched the series I would highly recommend the bbc shows hidden worlds. You would love it.

  3. margie says:

    the series is hidden kingdoms . just realized my error . xx

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nobody knows what happened here

this spike whitetail buck was most likely injured in some way, involving trauma either to the base of the antler (the pedicle) or trauma to the growing antler in velvet. but it’s also possible that he sustained a leg injury, and since this is the left antler, that means that his injury was either to his left foreleg, or his right rear leg. in the meantime, his body was reallocating nutrients away from antler growth and toward leg healing. i think about this tiny, relatively simple, yet mind-numbingly multivalent solution to the problem of a deer’s getting grazed by an SUV, and I wonder how we humans think we can possibly understand, much less control, the complexity of the natural world.

white tailed deer antler

upper peninsula, michigan

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all hemmed in

can you see how tightly bound up those branch tips are? not to mention the burdock burrs below, that have grabbed some of the branches and some of the caterpillar web in their velcro grip? what should be waving free in the wind is constricted and confined and a little sad looking. yes, family can do that to you sometimes.

webbed silken nest of the fall webworm caterpillar

arden hills, saint paul, minnesota

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  1. tinajo says:

    Wow, that´s just gorgeous! :-)

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’tis the season

the minnesota grouse hunting season opens today, and even if my husband doesn’t get out to walk any trails, just knowing it is a possibility seems to make him happier.

pair of ruffed grouse wings

superior national forest, minnesota

 

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focus. focus.

the cute and fuzzy hedgehog gall might look like the only interesting thing happening on this fallen white oak leaf. but if you change focus, and look down and to the left, you’ll see a lacy spot where a hungry beetle ate all the soft middle out of his bread, and left the veiny crust behind on his plate. refocus again, closer to the tip of the leaf, and see where a caterpillar widened the indentation between two of the leaf’s lobes. insects are everywhere. and they are hungry.

hedgehog gall on a white oak leaf

saint paul, minnesota

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  1. margie says:

    i really love insect art on leaves

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six legged stroller

this dapper, bamboo-hued gentleman was walking across my husband’s office window. because large insects rank high on the priority list in our household, he interrupted his client meeting to call our son Joe down to collect the walking stick. i don’t actually know how all of this went over with the client.

common walkingstick

saint paul, minnesota

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  1. margie says:

    well i had to interrupt a patients interview today to rescue a small mouse from my examining room :)

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