see change

see change
today i gave my presentation at the see change design conference in minneapolis. i really wanted to do a good job, and i hadn’t quite realized how much it had been hanging over me until i finished my talk, and realized i had done it. it was a wonderful conference, and hanging out all day with motivated and successful creative people was a huge gift. but right now i feel as light as these black cherry blossoms at the thought that i can sleep late tomorrow, with no big presentations to give in the foreseeable future.

black cherry blossoms

saint paul, minnesota

  • Becky Blue says:

    I was at the See Change conference and you did an awesome job on your presentation. I love your sense of humor and down-to-earth style of telling your story. I was with a couple co-workers and you were our favorite speaker of the day!

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  • Krista Trempe says:

    I agree with Becky and I lover your work. Simply breathtaking and beautiful.

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make believe

make believe
most of the time i try to document, more than embellish. i think nature is plenty fascinating all by itself, as it changes by location and by season, and by the amount of attention you pay to it. but i took this photo at first as a documentary artifact, and when i looked at it on the computer, i couldn’t help seeing the nest as a safe place for something innocent, and i couldn’t help seeing the elm leaves as winged little creatures hovering around to offer their protection. and so i wove in a little chain of black cherry blossoms so that whatever was in the nest would have something pretty to look at. and i took the photo again. i’m getting soft. but then, we did just lose the last of our six chickens, and clove was perhaps the sweetest and most innocent of them all. i didn’t make the connection until just now. but i guess this is a way of saying goodbye.

(blue jay?) nest with spring black cherry blossoms

saint paul, minnesota

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a kind of camouflage

a kind of camouflage
the reddish color in these young oak leaves comes from anthocyanins, which will probably also contribute to their color next fall. there are a number of theories about why this happens, but one of them is that the color discourages insects from munching on them. reddish leaves and greenish leaves in the same vicinity during the same season will see the greenish leaves visited much more often by hungry insects. Something like the opposite of us americans, who crave our red meat, and don’t really like eating our green vegetables.

just burst white oak leaves

turtle lake, shoreview, minnesota

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and then one day

i will be giving a talk this wednesday for the see change conference in minneapolis. i will be telling the story of my creative journey through the story of STILL blog and the places it has led me. but the main topic will be the power of dailiness. how a daily practice generates such enormous rewards through the accumulation of small things that add up to large things over time. one of the other rewards of dailiness is that, if you have been taking photos of nature every day for over five years, you get to stop and notice the particular day when the very first lilac flower blossoms on a head of unopened buds.

lilac beginning to blossom

saint paul, minnesota

  • Sara says:

    Oh that first flower! There is so much hope in that first little flower.

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  • Seeing your photo made me go out and check my lilac bushes. They are not quite as far along as yours but soon! Your photos with the black background are stunning.

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  • This is such a striking photo!

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it’s complicated

it’s complicated
there’s a tendency to think of ancient things as simpler than contemporary things. but then you read about how ferns reproduce. they’ve been around for 360 million years, so they know a little something about survival. but then why do they reproduce via spores that don’t actually grow into full adult ferns, but only grow into an intermediate kind of plant called a gamephyte, that needs to be further fertilized before it grows into a mature plant? well, it’s complicated. meanwhile, let’s keep more species around rather than fewer, shall we? just in case something over a quarter of a billion years old might have something to teach our infant species someday?

spring ferns

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