internal structure

these unremarkable bulrushes turned suddenly compelling when sliced lenthwise. can’t you imagine how the lake water wicks up the spongy fibers of those interiors?

great bulrush stems split lengthwise

turtle lake, mn

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one child’s handful

our kids and their friends spend these long hot days down at the lake, finding anything they can think to do, as long as it takes place in the cool shallow water. minnow catching, inevitably, suggests itself. these were released quickly onto white paper, then gathered up and put back in their jar. i can’t vouch for their fate after that, but still blog, to my knowledge, did not harm them.

minnows

turtle lake, mn

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

pressed into action

a morning spent decluttering my basement turned up two old plant presses that my husband and i had used to save some beloved leaves and flowers a decade or more ago. and suddenly a banal morning turned sublime.

pressed minnesota flora

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

under our noses

who knew that cattail pollen was edible? i have just happened unexpectedly upon a half-dozen wild-food websites, all breathlessly praising the culinary benefits of cattail pollen, including a recipe for cattail pollen pancakes. i tend to associate pollen with my itchy eyes, but apparently we also have a ready source of wild protein right under (and probably in) our noses.

male cattail flower and pollen

turtle lake, minnesota

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one spadeful

our bees are thriving. our beekeeper, becky, from the university of minnesota stopped by this morning to check on the colony. we are very proud parents of 25,000 bees give or take. i suspect one of the reasons our bees are doing so well is the abundance of wildflowers (aka weeds) that they have to sip from. in point of fact, this photo is one shovel of “grass” from our backyard: dandelions, creeping charlie, clover. it’s all bee food. now i can stop pretending to care about my lawn and can openly embrace not caring: it’s for the bees.

one spade of backyard

saint paul, minnesota

  • Jacqueline says:

    The bees need all the help they can get so I believe you are completely justified in embracing the not caring about the lawn!!
    If you are willing to share some technical advice: How do you get your crisp white backgrounds without shadows or weird tints to the whiteness?

    reply
    • Hi Jacqueline,
      It has been a learning process. Here is what I usually do: I shoot the image with a +1 exposure. Then I pull it up in Photoshop and us the “curves” tool to brighten the whites even further. Sometimes this washes out my specimen too much, so when that happens I am forced to go in and use the “dodge” tool to whiten/brighten just the paper background and not the specimen. I get asked this a lot. so I plan to add a “technique” section under my about button. I will have it up in a week or two. Feel free to email with any other questions in the meantime.
      Mary Jo

      reply
  • Susan says:

    All right. I like your reasoning. If only I had bees, I too could claim the condition of my yard was planned.

    Love all your photographs.

    reply
  • Jacqueline says:

    Thanks for the tips! I don’t have photoshop, but I think I can play around in Picmonkey, and try the things you suggested.

    reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

"/> "/>