this branch called to me from the parking lot of my public library when the fucia-red leaves against the vibrant green caught my eye. then i let the branch dry neglected on my kitchen counter for a week. as i rubbed my hands down the branch to release the leaves, they fell onto the paper into this arrangement. i did have to sweep back the bangs a bit. apparently she’d been waiting there all along. smiling a little secretively.
burning bush leaves in autumn
saint paul, minnesota
this tuft of reindeer lichen was lifted from from a granite boulder near the middle of the gunflint trail, in minnesota moose country. i think about the number of individual forked branches that make up this very small pillow of lichen on one boulder. then i think about the number of lichen covered boulders on the trail we walked that day. then the number of trails we picked from on our map of the superior national forest. then how many superior national forests would fit into the circumpolar boreal wilderness. and something like the enormity of space is suddenly hinted at, in one tiny forked branch, on a pillow of lichen, on a boulder at the end of the trail, after an afternoon of grouse hunting.
green reindeer lichen
superior national forest, cook county, minnesota
this fall we have had relatively little wind. so fallen leaves are forming colorful circle-skirts around the trunk of every tree. i’d love to rent a plane and see it from above. it must look like confetti.
maple leaves in fall colors
my yard, saint paul, minnesota
in our part of the world, woodpecker holes and bracket fungus are the two infallible signs that a tree has died, even in winter when no deciduous trees carry leaves. in 2007, the ham lake fire burned 40,000 acres along the gunflint trails, and the woodpeckers have been feasting ever since.
superior national forest, gunflint trail, minnesota