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i never tire of seeing the bold blue jays.  yes, they tend to  bully the other birds off the feeder.  but their bright blue plumage is such a treat in winter.

they don’t seem to easily give up their feathers either. for i find very few of them.  or perhaps it is because everyone else is picking them up and taking them home too.

saint paul, minnesota

 

 

 

  • i absolutely love this photo. it is gorgeous. i once heard that if you see a blue jay when pregnant it means you are having a boy. both times i was pregnant i saw blue jays the day i found out – had three boys! (two were twins).

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    • still says:

      What an incredible story. Three boys! Fun. I have never heard that. I am going to see if I can track down the origin of that story. Thanks for sharing.
      Mary Jo

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pretty poison

my husband and I picked these dramatic berries on a walk along the mississippi river, just before he left for a winter camping trip, he proceeded to spend  3 nights in a tent in the snow, wearing long underwear that had been contaminated by the lovely, cream colored berries that turned out, in the end, to be poison ivy. steve’s lividly-welted and inflamed torso is the only STILL blog related casualty that we know of so far.

along the banks of the mississippi river, saint paul, minnesota

  • janine says:

    Beautiful berries and artfully arranged photo, but as a poison ivy sufferer, your husband has my sympathy!

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    • still says:

      Yeah, he deserves sympathy for sure. It took steroids to get the inflammation under control. I am a bit embarrassed that we didn’t know that poison ivy had berries. Did you? I was only aware of the three almond-shaped leaflets. Sigh.

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  • janine says:

    I knew about the white berries being poison ivy because a friend had a similar experience – thought they would make a lovely fall arrangement (and they did!) and learned soon after – the hard way – that they were really poison ivy vines. Caladryl really helps dry up the rash, the pink kind, not the clear. It’s miserable!

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rock, paper, scissors

i think this looks a lot like the sedimentary rock maps we studied in middle school

perhaps a map of the great lakes region after the glaciers of the ice age had passed over

actually, it is the exterior layers of a paper wasp nest

the layers are made from saliva mixed with wood pulp, aka paper

i love the color palette of these particular wasps

saint paul, minnesota

 

 

  • margie says:

    love your analogy

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cedar or cypress?

i was sure this was a cedar twig and cone

steve, my knowledgeable husband, was certain it was from a cypress

where is jean-luc when you need him?

autiganc, france

p.s. i spent thirty minutes on google trying to identify this…the closest i got was western red cedar, but i am not certain.  can anyone lend a hand?

  • margie says:

    i would vote for cyprus with open cones. If you still have the specimen the way to tell the difference between cyprus and cedar is to crush the folliage and if it smells like pineapple it is cedar.

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  • maura says:

    It looks a lot like the cedar I see growing near me, but I’m far from an expert. Beautiful image either way, I so enjoy this project!

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  • Larry says:

    I think it is a Red Cedar, Thuja plicata.

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elegant decay

a winter leaf

autignac, france

 

 

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