sometimes

sometimes

sometimes you take a photo and then go to process it. you play with highlights and midtones. you up the contrast and then lower it. you brighten and darken. you turn up vibrance and turn it down. you saturate and desaturate. you crop in and pull back. and then suddenly it occurs to you. wait a minute. this has been perfect all along. it doesn’t happen very often, or last very long. about as long as the full ripe bloom of a pink peony.

peony

saint paul, minnesota

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multiple personalities

we live in the schizophrenic north, where for nine months of the year, we accept the retreat of the sun and the austere, barren landscape that coldness brings with it. and then, for three months of the year, our world is turned upside down. the lushness feels almost suffocating.  the woods become impenetrable. the cattails grow from underwater tubers to seven-foot giants in a matter of weeks. the soil smells of dampness and decay. perspiration sits on everything and fogs my eye glasses. by september it will all be over again. but for three months of the year, i live in a northern jungle.

locust leaves

sain paul, minnesota

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a different kind of predation

it would be nice to think that these feathers were found on shore somewhere wild. the remains of an ancient and familiar struggle between predator and prey. but no. they belonged to a lone mallard drake, spotted crumpled on the shoulder of a busy urban highway. my husband had to take two u turns to get back to him, and he smelled a lot more like death than like life, but he had a single wing of unmarred celestial blue feathers, and these gray and black secondary coverts. the predator that got to him had no malice, and no appetite. it was just in a hurry to get home.

mallard feathers

saint paul, minnesota

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born and unborn

everything bulges that’s about to give birth, and these blackberry buds are starting to show. here’s hoping for an enormous brood this summer. i will have some vanilla ice cream ready on that auspicious day.

blackberry cane with flowers

turtle lake, shoreview, minnesota

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fading

i took this guy’s portrait in the morning, and by late afternoon of a hot 90 degree day, he looked a lot older.  we all felt a little droopy on this first summery day of a previously cool spring. one of many cool springs to come, i find myself hoping, a little desperately, against what reason  says the odds are.

jack in the pulpit

turtle lake, shoreview, minnesota

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