bad ass thistles

bad ass thistles

it’s thistle season and these monsters are my favorite. once again, they are considered a noxious weed, but i don’t care, i still love them. they grow up to 5 feet high, the flowers fill your palm, and leaves are aggressively sturdy and prickly. you can’t miss them. these are bad ass thistles.

musk thistles (Carduus nutans)

 

  • Susan L says:

    They truly are beautiful. But I cursed them when I used to take my dog for walks early in the season, while I was barefoot. Foolish me, for doing so, I guess.

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awkward grace

awkward grace

these chubby little dancers in tutus are prairie coneflowers native to north america from mexico up to canada. i grabbed these from an off ramp in suburban minneapolis. they had been spared from the roadside brush cutters only because they were growing between the legs of a sign. it makes me wonder, what is we all stopped our good intentions (aka landscaping) and just let the native plants return. what would our cities look like then? perhaps then, i might be able to know if i was in pittsburg, or cleveland, or minneapolis. because right now, the suburbs in those cities are indistinguishable–each strip mall containing the exact same sun sandwich shop, dry cleaner, nail salon, and coffee shop. i am aching for more regionalism. more idiosyncrasy. more uniqueness. i want to know what’s unique here? how is this place different from my place. and how is it similar? returning to native flora and fauna seems a good place to start.

upright prairie coneflowers (Ratibida columnifera)

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wabi sabi

wabi sabi

this feather is perfect. perfectly damaged. perfectly imperfect. for me, far more interesting than an undamaged “perfect” feather.

we have a pair of nesting sandhill cranes in our cattails. it’s thrilling for us. The pair have been tending to a nest with two eggs for three weeks. One more week to go before we will have little chicks (called colts!) running around. Mom and Dad are working hard. alternating incubating the eggs in two hour shifts. and, on top of all that, they are also molting. this is the seventh wing feather i’ve found. molting, like incubating, is also incredibly hard work for birds. they only molt when food sources are abundant. dropping flight feathers puts them at all sorts of risk. at first i thought “really? incubation and molting at the same time. so not fair!” but it makes sense in that they can’t leave the nest anyway—they are more or less grounded by their need to protect the nest. this 13 inch long feather was floating in the reeds this morning. steve scooped it out and presented it to me. a perfect gift. perfect in its imperfection.

sandhill crane wing feather

  • Carol says:

    This is so thrilling

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yay!

yay!

i’m easing into languid summer mode over here with all the heat and humidity. how are you doing?

dandelion blossoms

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humble and useful beauties

humble and useful beauties

in my csa share this week i got a jar full of dried chive blossoms. they are edible–with a very mild onion-garlic flavor. i’ll use them to dress up salads, and maybe infuse a vinegar. but first i had to photograph them. i have never taken the time to see how varied the colors were: pale purples, lilacs, and pink, and magenta. delicious for the palette and the eyes.

a few tidbits about chives from wiki: chives (A. schoenoprasum) is the only species of allium native to both the new and the old worlds. its english name, chives, derives from the french word cive, from cepa, the latin word for onion

dried chive blossoms (Allium schoenoprasum)

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