a failed mushroom hunt
steve went looking for morels and came back, disappointed, with these pheasant back mushrooms. i was elated that i didn’t have to photograph the irregular brain shapes of morels, and could instead photograph these almost geological looking fan-shaped beauties. yes, sure, i wish i had been served a slice of toasted baguette with sauteed morels and heavy cream for an aperitif tonight. but even despite that, i’m happy my husband’s mushroom hunt failed.
pheasant’s back mushrooms or dryad’s saddle
just last week, i noticed that the wild columbine in our yard had bloomed. then today, my husband came running up the stairs to announce that he had just seen the first hummingbird of the year pulling fluff from the ferns for nesting material. these two events are actually related. whether because columbine evolved to bloom just when hummingbirds returned in the spring, or whether hummingbirds evolved to migrate just as columbine flowered, they are perfect seasonal partners. only a very few birds and insects have beaks or proboscides long enough to reach the little pods of nectar at the top of the crowns of columbine flowers, and very few flowers at this time of year provide enough nectar to support the insane metabolism of hummingbirds. not only that, but the only hummingbird species in the eastern united states is specifically attracted to red flowers. in the western us, where there are more kinds of hummingbirds, there are also more colors of columbine. nature lesson for the day is done. you may be excused.
wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
geometric pattern play
i had so much fun making patterns with these amur maple samaras today. i made several repeating patterns, each of increasing complexity, but in the end decided that this one (the first one i made, of course) was the most pleasing in its simplicity and its cooperative, hand-holding emotion. i hope you have as much fun as i did.
amur maple seeds in spring
like all umbrellas. this one went to pieces in a heavy wind.
dandelion flower gone to seed
the crane fly suffers from an identity crisis. it is a harmless, delicate, and gawkily beautiful insect that has the terrible misfortune of resembling a giant mosquito. i cringe at the thought of the number of crane flies that have been smashed against cabin windows, had their wings torn off, succumbed to gusts of black flag aerosol poison, or been zapped by insect lights, to the misguided glee of those gathered nearby. i don’t know how this gentleman died, but i found him on my floor, and thought him handsome in death, especially the bold veins of his wings. may he rest in peace.
dead crane fly