subdued celebration

if a cornucupia celebrates the colorful abundance of harvest season, this wreath is intended to celebrate the muted late winter beauty of places with four seasons, when everything is dry and faded and colors flatten so as not to distract from the season’s striking shapes. soon enough, spring will paint everything lime green again. but i can wait.

wreath of dried flowers, leaves, and seeds

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off a duck’s back

those droplets are the cares of a troubled time. they are the obligations that don’t give pleasure. they are the digital distractions announced by a synthetic iPhone chime. they are the 3am worries. they are the whispers of self-doubt. they are all the ways that 2017 wants to get in the way of a simple creative routine. look at them all beaded up and ready to slide off into the blackness.

mallard feather

st. paul, minnesota

  • Heather H. says:

    Whoa. I’d like to see this blown up on my wall. Stunning, Mary Jo.

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  • Janice says:

    Wonderful photo. This crazy world calls for more creativity. Keep going!

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  • Brigitte Fisher says:

    Absolutely love this photo! Well I love them all but this one speaks to me.

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  • This photo stole my breath as it came into my screen. Bravo! I love your posts. Each one, each day. Thank you.

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endless creation

i’m trying to be learn from the plants around me, who grow next year’s buds before this year’s leaves have completely fallen. what projects am i completing? which am i planning for next year? which are growing little buds in the back of my mind right now, and how long do i leave them to overwinter before it’s time to ask them to burst into life?

lacecap hydrangea in winter

st. paul, minnesota

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happy ice-out day!

for those of us who live on northern lakes, there are two important days of every year. they are ice-over and ice-out. ice-over means we will soon be able to skate and play hockey. ice out means we will soon be able to fish and swim. each one is anxiously awaited, with much speculating, for many weeks prior to the big event. on our lake, we have data on these two events going back to 1947, 70 years. yesterday was ice-out day on turtle lake. it’s four weeks earlier than the seventy-year average and a new record. similarly, for someone who has been photographing the natural phenology of their immediate environment for over five years, it is immediately apparent that these pussy willows are ahead of their regularly scheduled time. a quick search of my STILL archive tells me these reliable signs of early spring are currently 3-4 weeks early. for years i have been saying to my husband “if only winter were one month shorter”. all i can say now is…careful what you ask for.

pussy willow

st. paul, minnesota

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crustless

i had a friend in school who used to eat the center out of her sandwich at lunch because even the pale golden softness of a wonder bread crust was too much fiber for her. the beetles who ate these leaves seem to have had the same attitude about the wonder bread tenderness of these leaves compared to the fibery crust of the veins.

linden tree branch with beetle eaten leaves

st. paul, minnesota

  • Janice says:

    Excellent questions to ponder! Thanks for the nudge.

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