pick three things
eight years ago our family fell in love with a tiny village in a forgotten rural corner of languedoc in southern france (my long time followers will know all about this). ever since, we have been going back and forth as often as we can, spending anywhere from two weeks to six months in an unfashionable, slightly impoverished corner of mediterranean france. earlier this year, my husband sneaked off for a quick writing-related visit, and he came back with these three pieces of contraband, slipped through customs, that happen to be a three-part sensual distillation of that part of the world for us: wild fennel, wild thyme, and lavender. in the north woods of minnesota it would probably be cedar, balsam, and spruce. i’m so curious: what are your three primal plants that define where you are from?
wild fennel, wild thyme, and wild lavender from autignac, france
some of you may be old enough to remember when we got our television signals by putting big aerial antennae on our roofs that pulled in tv signals and sent them via coaxial cable to our large (21 inch!) console televisions made by companies named sylvania, rca, and zenith. the antennae looked very much like the spurs at the end of these oak (i think) branches. one of the best decisions i’ve made in 54 years on this planet, was to get rid of our tv about 14 years ago, and to trade antennae pulling in tv signals, to antennae pulling in sunlight.
bare (oak?) branches against a white sky
fireworks the STILL way
we have lots of new visitors here at our quiet little corner of the internet lately, since better homes and gardens featured my home in their november issue. for those of you new to STILL, let me first say “welcome!” today’s organic fireworks are for you. you might have been expecting a halloween related image, but seasonal holidays only occasionally find their way onto STILL blog (just managing expectations here.) i make a STILL blog image every day, and have been doing that for the past 6 years, going on 7. the truth is, i often don’t know what day of the week it is, and holidays have a habit of sneaking up on me and catching me by surprise. certainly i will never keep you current on current events. but if you’d like to start your day by looking at one thing at a time, gathered from nature, and usually arranged in a way that i hope makes you want to linger for an extra second or two. if you want to spend a little time in a place where the only noise is silently exploding alliums, then welcome home.
allium in late ocotober
i took a lot of photos two days ago. the light on the lake was perfect. i was awake early. it was a white overcast sky. my son was fishing and there was fog on the lake. i probably took 15 photos worthy of STILL blog. but i showed them all to my family, scrolling forward and backward, and everyone picked this one as their favorite. why? i don’t know. it’s not pretty. it’s not complex. it doesn’t invite reflection. it isn’t engaged in a dialogue with the history of western art. it just . . . works? i don’t know. i think i agree with my family, but i don’t know why. i think the reason is . . . because.
white oak branch with leaf
organic and graphic
yesterday we had a morning fog that was so thick it didn’t burn off until mid afternoon. it was splendid. like a giant light box. the perfect conditions for me to photograph everything and anything i wanted to against a soft white sky. look at the mottled colors of those birch leaves. look at their varying and similar shapes. look at the long bud spurs alternating along the black twigs. look at the shapes of the white spaces between all of them. look at the effect of the whole, and then look at whatever detail catches your eye. look.
paper birch branches with autumn leaves