wet flies

i was trying to write about a flicker wing that sort of disintegrated on me this week, and the scattered parts found their way into several different photos. i was struggling to describe this in an interesting way, when steve walked by my computer and said, “hmm. wet flies.”  by which he means not drowned insects, but trout lures. there is no open water anywhere around us. the windchill is 19 below right now. he spent all day in his office, looking out the window while his tax clients handed him w-2s and 1099s. now i know where his mind was.

flicker feathers

saint paul, minnesota

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liner notes

we just had a cute exchange with a nephew who has fallen hard for jazz, and who was gifted a treasured vinyl sinatra record of my dad’s last night, after spending dinner with his grandma. i told steve i was going to write about jazz tonight, because i never talk about it, and yet it’s how we end almost every evening, by the fire, catching up on the day’s news, to the accompaniment of stan getz, and joao gilberto, and dave brubeck, and paul desmond, and sonny rollins, and miles davis, and bill evans. i told steve this photo reminds me of a jazz album cover. he told me to please proceed with writing about jazz, but that this is totally a folk album cover, and that a jazz album cover would have a cigarette butt or two, a square heeled dress shoe, a porkpie hat, and something made out of brass. i suppose he’s right, but it doesn’t make him any less of a smart ass.

collections of winter browns and tan

saint paul, minnesota

  • Cathy H. says:

    Of your recent image I thought the one of the grapevine wreath was my favorite. That is until I saw this one! This is amazing and just gorgeous!

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  • margie says:

    i beg to differ, sorry steve .
    this reminds me of something my daughter rebekah and i have really gotten into lately , gypsy jazz . It makes me think of jazz with eastern european folk music roots. Maybe in truth were are all right. xx

    reply
    • Hi Margie,
      Gypsy Jazz in in our play mix as well, we have a Django Reinhardt station on Pandora. We have been so busy lately, and have so much to catching up to do at the end of the day, that we don’t want to try and talk over the music. So we have been evolving to softer and softer cool jazz like Paul Desmond and Bill Evans. I like these little subtle seasonal changes. Once we are back out on the deck talking over the frog chorus, I am guessing we will switch back to gypsy jazz! I will know when to make the switch when I ask for that first glass of lightly chilled rosé :-)
      Mary Jo

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embarassing facts i only recently learned

there are both male and female trees. well, of course there are. poison ivy makes pretty white berries that my husband is allergic to. didn’t know that. do now. hens don’t need roosters to lay eggs. never learned that growing up in suburban minnesota. the line of mosquito bites along my boy dog’s rib cage are not mosquito bites, according to the vet. in fact, boy dogs have nipples too. honey never spoils. and apparently i dated a guy named brian in high school. asked him to sadie hawkins. i just learned this from my high school girl friends at a girls’ weekend. it was news to me. they swear it’s true.

female white spruce with pine cone

lake phalen, saint paul, minnesota

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local color

these elements look good together. that sounds as if i’m taking credit but i’m not. i think part of my fascination with assemblages is that almost no matter how many objects you place in proximity to each other, as long as they all come from the same bioregion, they will somehow fit together aesthetically. so the wild grape vine, the flicker feather, and the spruce top above may appear not to have much to do with each other, but they all fit, because they were all made by the same place. they are all hearing the same background music, and without thinking much about it, they are singing in harmony.

wild grapevine wreath with spruce tip and flicker feathers

shoreview, minnesota

  • Cathy H. says:

    This is so very lovely! A very creative way to show nature’s colors!

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taking flight

i have looked at this photo for half an hour, and decided it is a portrait of the family i grew up in. a family made up of rigid order and messy fragility. a family more or less aligned in the same direction, despite small individual differences. see the little feather at the bottom, near enough to be a part of things, but obviously breaking away to find its own quiet destiny? that’s me.

part of a flicker wing

saint paul, minnesota

  • Kim says:

    Did you find it intact or part of an unfortunate whole? I’ve always wondered how one goes about removing/preserving wings of dead birds.

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    • Hi Kim,
      My husband is a grouse hunter. When we find a dead bird (usually because they have hit the window), I ask him to remove the wing for me before we bury it. So unfortunately I can’t help you, but I am sure youTube could. It only takes him a few seconds to do it, so it must be pretty straight forward.
      Good luck,
      Mary Jo

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      • Kim says:

        Thanks!

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