tiny pleasures

tiny pleasures

hydrangea, that ubiquitous shrub for shady yards here in the north, is one of those things that gives me pleasure disproportionate to its value. when i stop to think about why i love it so much it comes down to three unique-to-me and totally unrelated reasons: 1) my husband steve once called the little florets in the blossoms “tethered butterflies” and it has always stuck with me as the perfect metaphor, 2) i love that hydrangea is called hortensia in french–i think it is a beautiful word, and 3) i love that the blossoms, when dried, are sturdy like construction paper and don’t curl up, like tissue paper, like so many blossoms do.

do you love hydrangea too? if so, tell me about it. the weirder the reasons the better.

dried hydrangea florets

  • Ginny says:

    I love their large flashy flower heads and their color response to soil acidity. It’s cool to have pink on one side of a bush and blue on the other side, with a smattering of purple thrown in the mix. Magical! (Sorry, nothing very weird in that).

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  • Jackie Basham says:

    first reason is the same as ginny’s. second reason is because my grandmother, ma lill, had a massive hydrangea in her front yard on smith island, md. i have never seen one as big.. i always associate hydrangeas with her. i loved her so much. she gave the best back rubs; had a book shelf filled with harlequin romances, which I devoured one summer; she made THE BEST crab cakes and smith island cake, and when we visited from kansas i ran around the island like a feral child. so those are just a few reasons i love hydrangeas.

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  • Erica says:

    It’s been awhile since I viewed your images/blog. Today I tapped on it again and found joy, by watt and peace in your images. Thanks for your art – it is therapy for me today.

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  • Kimbersew says:

    I love them this time of year especially for their intricate structure. They remind me of green lacewings. And they make me grateful for my bifocals!

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  • Claudia says:

    I love them for ALL the reasons given here. And for the stillness and focus required when pruning. Stepping back and looking and being in the moment. Just like this blog!

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citrus colored mondrian

citrus colored mondrian

another take on yesterday’s citrusy subject. one of the only benefits of late winter storms is time for unscheduled free play.

clementine, meyer lemon, blood orange, pink lemon, lime, navel orange, lemon, and grapefruit peels

  • Ginny says:

    Awesome!!

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  • Patty says:

    So cheerful during another dreary MN day!

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still life with fruit

still life with fruit

well, spring didn’t exactly arrive last week like i had expected it to. as most of my american followers who watch the evening news probably already know, we are getting hammered with a spring blizzard currently dropping another 10 inches of snow on our fair state. so, rather than going out to gather a sampling of spring buds as i had hoped, i turned to the fruit basket on my kitchen counter instead. i spent the afternoon patiently peeling fruit, admiring the pastel colors, and filling the house with the scent of citrus. it was the perfect antidote to the weather.

clementine, meyer lemon, blood orange, pink lemon, lime, navel orange, lemon, grapefruit

  • janice says:

    LOVE these pastel scoops of fruit!

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a survivor

a survivor

this winter weed stem, standing about 1 meter tall, looks fragile. but it has survived all of our northern winter, including 1.5 meters of snow in february alone. but thursday may be it’s last stand. we, and most of the middle of the country, have an epic blizzard blowing in. because the temperature will be hovering right around freezing, we will probably get gifted with a mix of heavy snow and freezing rain. even this hardy minnesotan will be tested to her limits. oops, i mean it, it will get tested to its limits. a little freudian slip there.

late winter weed stem (purple loosestrife)

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now that’s interesting

now that’s interesting

you may recall that i have only two criteria for a STILL blog photo: beautiful or interesting. my long time followers will know that i usually favor beautiful. but every once in a while i see something i’ve not seen before, and although it is not beautiful, it is interesting enough earn a spot in the STILL pantheon.  this is a large, grapefruit-sized gall on an ash limb. out of curiosity i dragged my photo into google image search to see what google thought it might be. two search results came back, and neither of them was “gall”. the results were: 1)truffle (which you can kind of see), and 2) “Belle statue, Dogon Tellem, Mali | lot | Sotheby’s Art D’océan.” now that’s interesting. so interesting in fact, that i may have lost a half hour of my day learning about he Dogon-Tellem peoples of Mali in the 14th century and their carved wooden statues and their utterly fascinating cliff dwellings. you’ve been warned.

ash limb with large galls

  • Patty says:

    That’s how I lose many half hours. Dang it, Google!

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