we had been in northern california only a couple of hours when i saw this gorgeous yellow flower on the UC Berkeley campus and had to take a photo. i held up my opened journal as a white background, and snapped a few quick shots. by the time we were installed in carmel for a few nights, i had seen these flowers blooming everywhere. as ubiquitous as dandelions in june. my daughter finally asked, “what are these, they’re everywhere?”. i answered casually “they look like poppies and must be the state flower”. one of those throw away mom answers, that really means, i have no idea. well, i’ll be damned, i was right.
university of california, berkeley, ca
i never knew what lilac seeds looked like until i tried to figure out what was going on with this branch. obviously some buds are bursting, but less obviously, those little brown clusters are seed pods that have burst. lilacs spread their seeds by a process called ballistichory, from the same word as “ballistic.” in other words, the seed pods gather tension as they dry, and eventually burst open explosively enough to shoot their seeds out like mini shotguns. i’m not saying i exactly plan to set up camp under my lilac this summer in order to capture this, but i’m going to do some serious hanging out.
budding lilac twigs, with overwintered seed casings
saint paul, minnesota
i dream of a vine covered terrace overlooking the mediterranean sea. it could be grape vines, preferably grenache gris, or wisteria. i’m not picky. in this dream, i am wearing a loose linen tunic, loose linen drawstring pants, and a sun hat. i am sitting at a table with six good friends, laughing and telling stories. i am sipping wine, the wine we’ve made from the vines jean luc sold to us. it is hot even in the shade, so we are sipping our chilled rosé that we named after our daughter– cuveé eva. we are eating fresh grilled mediterranea fish caught by our friend m. sauzet and his two sons, that they had set aside from the days catch just for us. we are nibbling on lucques olives, one day old goat cheese, and a tomato salad with tomatoes we just picked from our tiny but productive kitchen garden. the sun is still above the horizon, but just barely, the sky is turning a pale pink, and i have just lit the candles. the night is early, and we will be around the table until the bats start to circle overhead around 11 pm or so. then we will three cheek kiss our friends à demain, and retire to our king sized bed with linen sheets and views of the sea beyond the shuttered windows. see, i’m not picky. just explicit.
factoid: wisteria is a bine not a vine. a bine is a climbing plant that climbs by its shoots growing in a helix around a support. a vine climbs using tendrils or suckers.
so i participated in a podcast this week with one of my favorite twin cities bloggers, and maybe the most sensible style and fashion advocate i know: rita mehta of the american edit. we talked for about three hours, breathlessly and completely in tune with each other, and at some point an hour of that conversation got recorded. i don’t remember which. i could find out, but then i’d have to listen to the podcast. which would involve listening to myself talking on air. and, frankly, i’m too chicken. so what i did instead today was to comb through thousands of past images in order to create this whimsical and thoroughly distracting alphabet that made it seem as if i were too busy and productive to listen to myself talking on air. maybe i’ll listen tomorrow. yes, tomorrow. for sure. tomorrow. maybe.
alphabet with previously published STILL photos
some days i work work really hard for my (non)pay. i may try as many as a dozen compositions of a subject before i get something i like. and on other days, i don’t even have to lift a finger. this image was one of the latter. these two bedfellows snuggled up together on my desk all by themselves, and then the dried flower rolled onto its side and threw an arm over its companion. i simply had to rotate my tripod and click the shutter on this odd couple in love.
raccoon (?) jaw bone and dried (unidentified) wildflower stem
great salt lake, utah (bone) and northern minnesota (wildflower)