a little kelp from my friends
still blog is slightly more of a communal exercise than it may appear when you visit here. i seek my family’s advice about which version of the next day’s photo is the most compelling. i lean on my husband’s writing instincts to help with captions. my kids have brought me their finds from trails and lakesides and woods and parking lots and beaches. sometimes distant friends will even mail me little collections of “mary jo stuff” with, more often than not, remarkable accuracy about what i might find interesting. in today’s case, an iceland beach walk with two long-time college friends turned into a still blog treasure hunt, and, though i sometimes struggle to come up with yet another image for yet another day, this time i got by with a little kelp from my friends. no, absolutely not. i am not going to apologize for that joke.
kelp from an icelandic beach (Ascophyllum nodosum?)
such a lovely skin rash
these hellebores were so translucently, ephemerally, wiltingly beautiful, they reminded me of some pale-skinned british maiden who is too pure and gentle for this world. and then i saw the rash on my hands and arms from the toxic alkaloids on their delicate stems and petals, and i suddenly felt as if i had met a princess of the house of windsor who had welcomed me with all appropriate courtesy and then, while my back was turned, had leaned toward one of her sisters, and cut me dead.
dried hellebore flowers
a younger brother
this shadow is like a younger brother, hanging around in the background of the photo, making faces, swiveling his hips, and giving a bronx salute while you try to pose for the camera with erect and proper posture. thank heaven for younger brothers. we all need to take ourselves a little less seriously.
summer grass seed heads
how to make a striped rock
these rocks are usually formed when a pocket or bubble is formed in mud or stone. over time water with high mineral content flows in. the water gradually evaporates but the minerals are deposited in a ring. The colors are from different minerals deposited during different ages of the stone. it takes a really long time. like way longer than waiting for the latest version of itunes to load.
beach rock from iceland
about a year ago
last june, i was at a friend’s house in northeast minneapolis, where my husband was on assignment to write a column, and three slightly crazy, but crazy-talented chefs were cooking in a retro kitchen right out of leave it to beaver, and in the back yard, the cottonwood fluff was drifting on a gentle breeze, exactly as it was this afternoon. when all the cooking was done, the chefs decided that they would only garnish the meal with edible food they could find in the back yard of this tiny urban lot. they found hosta, and dahlia, and sedum, and peonies, and then they found a little patch of what looked like clover. one of the chefs announced, “sorrel! edible!” and we ate it as a garnish on some perfectly crispy duck breast. so now and forevermore, i associate woodsorrel with urban backyards in june, when the cottonwoods are shedding, and a great meal is about to be served.