i am going to be out-of-pocket for a couple of days while i take my daughter down to the mayo clinic for a couple of days of medical testing (she’s fine, we are trying to get to the bottom of a nagging GI problem that won’t go away). as a result, i am re-sharing this old STILL photo for a couple of years ago. it’s one of my favorite assemblages, and i didn’t even make it–my then 15-year old son made it for me. i said “joseph, help your mom out, make me an assemblage i can use for STILL today.” normally he passively ignores such requests, but this time, he stopped, looked over my collections table, and very systematically made this composition in a matter of minutes. i asked “joe, how did you choose what to put it in?”. he said, as he walked away, “i picked things with interesting shapes.”
composition of found nature bits
in a normal year, april 15 would be a day of celebration in our house. my husband is a tax preparer. this would normally be the end of the marathon he has been running since the end of january. but this is not a normal year. not normal in just about every way measurable. and so, tax season this year extends to may 17. it was also not normal for us, here in the north, to experience record breaking high temps in early april, only to be beset with snow flurries on april 14. i need to stop being surprised, and take my cue from mother nature. spring marches on; sap runs, branches darken, buds swell, catkins explode, and leaves burst. things happen sooner or later. or later. or sooner. but they happen. in their time.
collection of spring branches with new leaf growth
april snow flurries
it snowed today in my back yard. i am not looking at these tropical monstera leaves, thinking about warm breezes off of a body of water. thinking about gin drinks with lime. thinking about blankets littered with sandwiches and charcuterie. thinking about tree frogs singing in the twilight. thinking about lightning bugs flashing in the cattails. thinking about whitetail bucks with velvet antlers. thinking about clouds of departures and arrivals outside the beehive. i am not thinking about any of this.
quarter turn, and smile
here’s a second take at yesterday’s subject–an overwintered angelica flowerhead. i felt that this compound double-umbel deserved one more instant of fame. enjoy your 15 minutes honey.
angelica flowerhead in winter
here in the north, angelica grows from the ground up to 3 meters tall in a single season. this flower head, is as big as two hands. i didn’t know about angelica until i started doing STILL. now it is one one of my favorite subjects. everything about it is striking: its seductive name, its enormous size, its sturdy bamboo-like stalk, the regular branching that creates distinctive negative spaces, and of course, these enormous double-compound umbel flowers. angelica . . . i think i love you.
winter angelica umbel