suddenly finding a chicken egg in the nesting box each day has called me back to my collection of eggs, domestic and wild. the arrangement above includes the first three beauties from our beauty, prim, a red-winged blackbird egg found floating in our pond, a cardinal egg left behind by our backyard mama this spring, two quail eggs found in the produce section of united noodle in minneapolis, a goose egg found at the bottom of our lake near a reed bed, and the broken egg of, we think, a turtle dove (tourterelle) from the languedoc region. i don’t know what it is about finding eggs, but our kids run to us with more urgent wonder after finding eggs than after any of their other, often remarkable, natural finds. feathers, scat, bones, frogs, dragonflies, wildflowers, road kill, mushrooms, nests–nothing seems to compare to the contained, jolting, ovoid beauty of an egg found unexpectedly among familiar surroundings.
i took this photo several days ago. we were returning home from picking up our daughter at camp in northern minnesota, and saw something bulky and feathered lying in the middle of an entrance ramp on our right. it was nearly the size of a wild turkey but with totally different coloring. we turned around at the next exit, just to return and get a glimpse, and in the end, the episode justified my habit of keeping sheets of white paper in the back of my car. i know some of you are probably getting weary of photos of dead birds, but i don’t know when i will ever get this close to a juvenile great horned owl again in my lifetime. i think it is a juvenile because of the underdeveloped blood feathers that make up part of its tail, and because i don’t know if an adult would ever be so careless as to get in the way of a car on a highway entrance ramp. the feet were not so much feathered as furred, like a snowshoe hare armed with four incurving talons. i can’t get the image out of my mind. a bird, but on a different scale. in life and in death, magnificent and silent.
great horned owl
on the freeway between ely and cloquet, minnesota
i think of minnesota as mostly green in the summer, and colorful in the fall. but as we drove north to pick up our daughter at camp, all the roadsides for 200 miles were brilliantly strewn with wildflowers: red-orange and yellow hawkweed, white and yellow daisies, yellow birdsfoot trefoil, purple clover, blue flag irises, and great heads of pink and purple lupine. a feast for nectar-hungry pollinators, and for asphalt-weary eyes.
these are lake superior rocks i had among my baskets of cherished beach rocks. on monday i will be in northern minnesota picking up my daughter from her 10 day boundary waters canoe area (bwca) camping adventure. i am eager to hear all her stories. since i wasn’t going to be around to pick a fresh photo subject for monday, i had to put something together over the weekend from among the materials at hand. as is often the case, working fast, without time to censor, yielded a pleasant surprise. beach rocks sunny side up.
lake superior, minnesota