torn paper

torn paper

have you ever seen a wild carnation? i never had until our last trip to france, when our next door neighbor knocked on our door and told us to follow him. we drove out of town, and down a dirt road between vineyards, and then got out to walk a narrow path, with his dogs milling around our feet. i expected something showy and convoluted with crenelated torn paper petals. in the end the wild carnation was one of the least showy flowers i’ve ever seen. a pale pink spray of five small petals, looking more like phlox than like a carnation, that sprouted from a slender green bladder, like campion. it was perched precariously on a thread-thin stem, and waved in the warm breeze. it was a little like eating your first tiny wild plum, and realizing that all your life you’ve just been consuming something bigger, showier, and more watered down than the original.

pink carnation bloom

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wound tight

wound tight

chicago last friday for visas to france. new york city today for a meeting with steve’s new literary agent. it sounds good on paper, but i’m exhausted. i found out long ago when i traveled for a corporate job that jetting across the country is mostly uncomfortable, dehydrating, and disorienting. give me boredom, silence, and a blank journal any day.

grape vine tendril

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in the nick of time

in the nick of time

we’ve been traveling so much this spring and summer that i missed bleeding heart season. and it’s not all bad that i did. because when i went over to the neighbors garden to see if i could by chance find one or two end-of-season hearts to snatch, what i found instead were seedpods! if you’ve been with me for a while you know how i feel about seedpods. i adore them. and, believe it or not,  i have never before noticed bleeding heart seedpods. (i also found one last stem with flowers–the very last blossoms of the year.)  it’s hard for me to believe i have never seen these seedpods before. apparently after the spring blossoms, i have completely ignored the green leafy bush left behind. i talk a lot about how to look closely, how to look past the showy blooms and blossoms of spring and summer, and past the jewel-toned leaves of fall in order to see beyond the easy to the delicate subtlety just beyond. clearly, i need to listen to my own advice more.

bleeding heart blossoms and seedpods

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oh the drama

oh the drama

i love how these flowers, as they wilted, made themselves look as if they were being tossed about on the winds of a moor with Heathcliff making his way darkly toward them.

black eyed susan daisies

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not clover

not clover

before STILL blog, i would have referred to these weeds that line my sidewalk this time of year as clover. but now i know better–these lovely little heart-shaped leaves belong to wood sorrel. and they taste like spinach with a little spritz of lemon.

wood sorrel leaves

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