floating tissue paper

floating tissue paper

every year i dry about a dozen of these lilypad leaves. there are flotillas of them along the edge of our dock every summer.  but very few of them last into winter. they are incredibly fragile (and i am notoriously not careful). once dried, you soon realize they are essentially floating tissue paper, borrowing their structure from the surface tension of the water. so every year i dry them, and every year they fall apart in my hands the first time i pick them up. this year i got lucky, mostly because i was busy with caretaking and out of the studio a lot. so they survived my indelicate jostling. and i am glad they did. honestly, who knew what a beautiful earthy palette they had hidden beneath their summer swimsuit of chlorophyll green?

dried water lily leaves

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cedar moon

cedar moon

you know that closet that you never want to open because it’s so full of random things deposited there over so many years that even opening it feels as if you need take a year or so to organize your life before you can reasonably expect to face what’s waiting for you in there? i have a closet like that, but it’s a folder on my computer desktop, full of all of the ideas and inspirations i haven’t had time to think through or execute over the last ten years. well, today, i pulled something out of that closet, and, as always happens, i now wish i did that more often.

juniper berries and cedar tips

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white white sky x STILL

white white sky x STILL

as i have mentioned, last year for me was a bit of a blur. in an effort to get myself out of my ennui, i have been making plans for the new year. among other things, i have decided that a little more variety and stimulation would be a good goal. so, in a fit of good intentions, last night i went to a water aerobics class. for those of you who know me, this is way outside my ordinary. i don’t do aerobics, i don’t like chlorinated pools, and i hate leaving the house after dark in the coldest months of winter. but it was actually fun. and i was glad to have tried it. so i woke up this monring feeling pretty good about myself, and wondering what other new things i should open myself up to in the coming months. around 10 am i swung by my mom’s house to bring her a few things, and i looked at her eye and the whole thing was redder than these crabapples. so, off to the urgent care we went. and five hours later i was pulling back into my driveway and was thanking the universe for winter white skies to use for STILL when my day becomes not my own in (literally) the blink of an eye.

snowcapped crab-apples in winter

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ready and waiting

ready and waiting

most trees and shrubs in our region form their buds in the summer or fall before they go dormant for the winter. most are leaf buds. inside, immature leaves are tightly packed, ready to unfold when the weather gets warm enough and the sap starts running. think of it as money in the bank for next spring. some species’ buds already hold all the leaves the tree will grow next season. others hold a first batch, with more leaves developing after the buds open. i always love seeing these hopeful signs of renewal on my gray winter walks.

winter branch with next spring’s buds

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to make or to take?

to make or to take?

one more shot from the snowy fields that surround my home. i liked the triangular repetition with yesterday’s bent cattail leaves. i am just now cleaning up from the holidays, where i had to turn my studio into a makeshift guest room. soon i will have my space(s) back. and will be able to spend a little more time tinkering with my subjects. in other words, soon i will return to making rather than taking photos.

pampas grasses in the snow

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