my pretty desk
this is the pretties time of the year for my foraging table. let’s be clear here, my foraging table is currently my dining room table. bits and pieces come in, they hang around for a few weeks, then they go back outside. if i kept it all, i would be drowning in flotsam and jetsam. besides, the best bits eventually fade. so, i have found it is best to just keep them in circulation. bits come in and bits go out. a river of wonder passing through my house. always the same river, yet never the same water.
dried botanical bits in orange and golden yellow
as winter approaches
insects in the north have three options at this time of year: migrate, hibernate, or die. some migrate (dragonflies and butterflies), several of them hibernate, but most of them die. bugs do not bother me. i consider them an indicator of a healthy ecosystem. birds and bats need them for food. and our plants need them for pollination. this collection of bugs was gathered in, on, or around my window sills as i was swapping out the screens for winter storm windows. most of them were probably trying to find a way into the house for a last little bit of warmth.
collection of dead insects
last dance. last chance.
a final little spray of green before the dying back begins. these cattail leaves start as ground-zero new growth each spring, and reach a staggering 3-4 meter height by september. the vitality astounds me. i get growing pains just looking at them.
cattail leaves (typha)
rowdy and wild
clearly i have already started to think about the holidays (hence a holiday tree made of cucumber vine). 57 degrees, gray, and spitting rain. it feels cold. only a few days ago it 88 degrees: that is mid-continental weather for you. i have a friend coming over this evening to sit by the fire and drink some wine. i plan to pick her brain about what advice she would give her 20-year-old self. i am putting together a talk to give to university students in a week, and i want to end with some words of wisdom for these 20 year-olds. so tell me, what words of advice would you like to tell your 20 year old self? i would really love to hear. xo
wild cucumber vine (Echinocystis lobata)
*cucumber in appearance only, this rowdy vine is not a relative of today’s garden cucumber.
the power of repetition
the perfect repeating tassels of this white pine made me happy today. white pine is one of my husband’s favorite trees. it is symbolic of northern minnesota for him. the native americans called it the “tree of peace”. it’s a majestic, beautiful tree. i think i love trees as much as i love humans. anyone else feel the same?
northern white pine (Pinus strobus)