i have an intimate relationship with cattails. thousands upon thousands of them grow in my backyard. i look out over them every day, summer and winter, and the red-winged blackbirds they shelter are the background music to spring and summer around here. the amount of sheer biomass they produce is mind boggling. the cattail bed is brown and flattened most of the year, and then suddenly in june and july, within weeks it seems, i find myself walking down our boardwalk through a tunnel of 8-10 foot tall green spears.
turtle lake, saint paul, minnesota
the toad egg skeins our son watched being fertilized several weeks ago have now hatched, and thousands of half-inch baby toads are hopping frantically across our back yard, making very little forward progress on their tiny legs. we are mowing extremely carefully…
we have wild grape vines growing like kudzu over our lilac bushes and evergreens. we had to start pulling it off yesterday before it choked out everything. after we finished up, i asked my daughter to go snip a bowl full of tendrils. as she poured them out onto my white paper, i decided they looked like the scribbles of a mad genius. maybe this is what newton’s third law of motion or van gogh’s sunflowers looked like inside their heads. in languedoc, i fell very much in love with vine tendrils. you could even say i am crazy about them.
wild grape vine tendrils
may back yard, saint paul, minnesota
we have lived in our house for seven years, and have thrilled to the yearly blooming of blue flag irises along our dock. suddenly this year, a single wild yellow iris unfurled next to our pond for no reason that we can deduce. we are choosing not to analyze the significance behind this seven year phenomenon, but rather to celebrate its beauty and hope it returns each year from now on.
wild yellow flag iris
our backyard, saint paul, minnesota
this is a great horned owl feather, and I know what you are thinking, but it is not from the juvenile we found last week. my son found this in the middle of our backyard yesterday. a gift from our neighborhood owl who regularly fills the night woods with his hoo-h’HOO-hooooo-hoo.
great horned owl feather
saint paul, minnesota