what’s in a name?

this creature is called a great black wasp. i have had occasion in the past to celebrate the aptness with which my fellow scientists tend to name things, and this is no exception. he (i believe it is a male) sailed into my living room through an open patio door yesterday, sounding like part hummingbird, part p51 mustang. my 12 year old son, a lover of all animals including insects, saw the great black wasp buzzing his slow path up the living room window, and let loose a spontaneous, “holy jesus.” it turns out the wasp could not have stung us if he’d wanted to, having no stinger, and may simply have wanted to return to his wife and family. i found this out after i had asked joseph to capture him and freeze him so we could all get a better look. now i feel bad. he was just an immigrant looking for a home. and i categorized him as a threat, because of how he looked. shame on me, in more spheres than the entomological.

great black wasp (sphex pensylvanicus )

shoreview, minnesota

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  • “he was just an immigrant looking for a home. and i categorized him as a threat”
    This sentence contains all suffering suffering from so many millions fleeing wars and poverty. Thanks, as always excellent

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  • Carol Sommers says:

    This made me weep

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  • Your comments are THE BEST. Thank you!!

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an interrupted meal

the beetles at work on these aspen leaves had worked through the soup, the fish, the meat, the salad, and the cheese, and had just gotten their first taste of dessert at the end of this branch when I apparently ended their meal. my kids would have killed me. they wouldn’t have talked to me for days.

beetle eaten linden leaves

national sports center, blaine, minnesota

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food chain

cardinals, blue jays, flickers, and woodpeckers are biggish birds. big, that is, in comparison to sparrows, finches, warblers, and wrens. but every one of them shrieks and dives for cover when the shadow of an eagle rushes across the ground.

bald eagle tail feather, cardinal feather, blue jay feather, flicker feather, woodpecker feather

vadnais lake, saint paul, minnesota

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  • Jacob says:

    Absolutely beautiful! What did you use to create this image? Was this a photoshop job? Beautiful job!

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    • Hi Jacob,
      Thank you! These are all found feathers of mine. I shot the image as one photo. I used photoshop just to get the the background up to a true white which sort of saturated the midtones a bit when I did. Otherwise, it’s a straight up untouched photograph–f8, iso 100, +1 exposure, 55 mm, Canon EOS Rebel T6s
      Mary Jo

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  • Jenny b says:

    Jaw dropping

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dropped change

my husband has an uncle who used to scour parking lots for loose change that fell out of people’s clothing. he wasn’t homeless or destitute. in fact he was an otherwise charming and conscientious attorney. i always thought the loose change thing was weird. then today, i found myself stooping over in the grocery store parking lot, peeling a squashed dragonfly off of the asphalt, in order to bring home the four little pieces of gold attached to its thorax. not weird at all, i decided. not weird at all.

dragonfly wings

shoreview, minnesota

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  • It looks Frank Lloyd Wright

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  • Susan says:

    Stained glass.

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  • Heather H says:

    I’ve followed and loved your art for years, and seldom (ever?) commented. Lately, in an effort to downsize my screentime, I only check in every couple of weeks. It is such a treat to come here, scroll through your images and find that your photos continue to inspire and amaze! I love this one so much.

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    • Dear Heather, you are so sweet! I am so totally flattered that STILL blog made the downsizing. You just made my day!

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wheels within wheels

tomorrow morning will be the first morning in over three weeks where i can sleep in. on the other hand, tomorrow morning is the saint paul farmer’s market. and it’s berry season. and i haven’t made a rustic fruit tart for over a week. and berry season doesn’t last forever. and i’ll be thinking about fruit tarts all winter long. and what is summer for anyway if it’s not for making fruit tarts in season? then again, there is this consideration: tomorrow morning will be the first morning in over three weeks were i can sleep in. although, on the other hand…

two sunflowers

saint paul, minnesota

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  • Dede says:

    i vote for the farmer’s market,then a nap…

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