the carrot family
it has taken me a long time to realize that many of my favorite botanical subjects for STILL are all in the same family. queen anne’s lace, angelica, fennel, cumin, and this golden alexander are all cousins in one big happy family–the carrot family. the defining characteristic of this family is that the flowers nearly always aggregated in terminal umbels, and often compound umbels like these. matter of fact, the family is sometimes called umbellifers. a name i find charming. i love them for their delicate and detailed yet graphic exuberance. umbellifers are STILLlifers in my book.
nature alphabet rerun
we picked up our son at camp today. ely, minnesota is a 4-hour drive north of minneapolis. so, we’ve had eight hours in the car, four of them with him talking like a man, in a man’s deep voice, about 12 days spent in the wilderness, and part of me is celebrating and part of me wants him in my lap again, learning the ABCs.
the geese are still molting. a gently sloping clearing beside a pond on one of my usual walks was littered with feathers. each of these feathers is 6-8 inches long. i’ve heard it can be painful to molt. here’s what a quick google search said:
“You may notice a bird scratching more often while molting. … During molting a bird may experience a few behavioral changes. The sensitive new feathers can be painful to touch, and the itchiness caused from the flaking feather sheaths, may make a bird a little uncomfortable and moody.”
several sights said more or less the same thing. so, rather than painful, perhaps sensitive and irritable are better descriptors. in any case, i feel for the birds. itchy skin and irritability…that ain’t fun.
canada goose feathers
keeping it real
so most of the time i try to find some correlation between the language of my post and its subject. but today i cleaned my basement. i sweated and triaged and went to goodwill and built shelves and threw away artwork and gathered nature. that’s what i did today. i love the angled little daisy in the foreground of this photo, but that’s not what i was thinking about today. i was thinking about freeing square footage of floor space in my basement. welcome to the world of a daily blog.
the evolutionary necessity of beauty
so this smoke bush somehow made itself unavoidably beautiful, and i harvested it in order to look at it longer than I could look at it if i simply drove by. and then i took its photo, and i will dispose of it somewhere in our woods, and perhaps a new smoke bush will emerge as a result of all of those seeds waiting to fall, among the ethereal and almost unbelievable haze of its blossoms. and who is to say that that is not evolution, favoring beauty over ugliness?
smoke bush (smoketree)