Happy Solstice!

I am so bummed to learn that you cannot stand an egg on its base at the moment of the vernal equinox, and make it stand perfectly upright without falling over. i wanted that to be true. i also wanted to be able to stand my broom up in the middle of the living room and leave it for tax clients to wonder at. i guess i will have to content myself with the arrival of spring. that’s magical enough.

feathered nest with pheasant egg

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friendly competition

vladimir nabokov was not just a writer but a world renowned lepidopterist, spending long summer days in alpine meadows stalking butterflies. his love of science and nature equaled his love of great works of human imagination. “a creative writer,” he once said, “must study carefully the works of his rivals, including the almighty.” with that said, i present these feathers, as a kind of homework.

assorted found feathers

st.paul, minnesota

  • janice says:

    I never grow tired of looking at feathers!

    reply

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bitter

i like that such an elegant plant is raised to offset the sweetness of malt with a little bit of bitterness in the beer we drink. these wild hops were growing on the bank of the orb river in southern france, below a stone arch bridge amid the sound of running water, with trout holding in the current below boulders. the hops were perhaps the only touch of bitterness in the entire scene.

wild hops

along the orb river, languedoc, france

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holding it together

most nights my husband comes up for a glass of wine by the fire after 7 tax appointments and tries to tell me about the stories he’s heard. they mostly involve people just muddling through. there are tragedies and sadness. there are old marriages and new babies. there is imperfection everywhere in the midst of a striving and love. the impression i’m left with is the impression this rock gives me. of a beautiful, broken, wholeness.

schist

faugeres, france

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when all the pieces fit

i loved jigsaw puzzles as a kid. so it stands to reason that i am a bit of a planner as an adult. not a rigid planny-planskins, just someone who likes a good challenge, and likes to put all the pieces together systematically. my husband just finished a manuscript for a food and travel memoir about our family’s first deep immersion in rural languedoc. now it is time to find a literary agent and a publisher. this is the kind of challenge i am talking about. somewhere out there, i know there is an agent who is the right person to represent this book, and a publisher who wants to publish it. we just have to find them. so, if any of you out there think you might be able provide me one piece of my puzzle, say an aunt or uncle who’s an editor at Alfred A. Knopf (to pick just one example), let me know. i’ll be putting this puzzle together for the rest of the year.

white poplar leaves

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