we’ve come to think of essays as definitive, outlined, thesis-driven statements of established opinion. but essays began in france as “essais” or “atttempts.” the original essayist was “trying” and “attempting” over and over to find out what he thought about himself and the world. this photo is an essay. not because it documents something definitive, but because it is an attempt to see what black and white photography might look like for still blog next year. i’m not sure it’s the answer. but i never wouldn’t have known if i didn’t make an “essai.”
garden rose flower
thank heavens for latin
there are two types of thornapple. this is one. the other is hawthorn. the “haws” of hawthorn are their berries, and there is a famous southern jelly called “mayhaw jelly” made from overripe-apple tasting hawthorn berries. hawthorn is in the crataegus genus, which is good to know, because the little loop of seed pods pictured above is also called thornapple, but it is in the datura genus, all species of which are poisonous, “especially their seeds and flowers.” datura. crategus. let’s be careful out there, people.
winter datura branch with seed pods
i went out into a pristine snow today, hoping to catch some backyard plant unawares, in the act of being beautiful. i failed in my mission. they all looked weighted with heavy icing and a little bit depressed about the wind. then i came inside, and caught a glimpse of this rose before it could elude me.
cut-up rose stem
integrity is the quality of being whole and undivided, but also the quality of being honest and having strong moral principals. it is an admirable quality, perhaps never more so than when it must struggle to keep its shape.
what color is a dragonfly wing?
it is the color of the blackberry leaf it perches on. it is the color of the clouds seen through it, as it cruises for prey on a summer evening. it is the color of the dark drawer it’s stored in. it is the color of the sky reflected in it through a window on a winter day.
(unidentified) dragonfly wing