a prickly handful

for a brief time each year, i find myself pulling to dangerous stops on roadway shoulders, armed with a lopper and heavy leather gloves, to gather june thistles. they seem to thrive most accessibly along the most hectic stretches of interstate highways and the tops of busy exit ramps. today i managed to snatch a five foot bouquet of thistle blossoms from a roadside slope that roared with the sound of commuters hurrying home. they may have wondered who the crazy lady was walking back to her car with an armload of spiky stems. or, in their haste, they may not have wondered at all. no matter. i have an extravagance of lavender to remember this day by.

roadside musk thistle

saint paul, minnesota

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sounds like vetch

i get so excited when i am out hiking and i find a new (to me) plant to photograph for STILL. today i got home and googled this lovely purple darling, only to find out it is a “non-native common weed that sends out noose-like tendrils that can cause strangling of smaller plants.” it’s like coming home to discover that your ringlet-curled blonde angel has garrotted the babysitter

cow vetch

saint paul, minnesota

  • margie says:

    we all need to hang on to each other for balance and sustenance now and then .

    reply
  • Susan says:

    Oh dear! Like many nere-do-wells it is handsome to look at.

    reply

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after the storms

we have had a lot of thunderstorms lately. almost everyone we know has lost trees. some have lost the only mature trees on their land. the 50 year old ash at our former home in minneapolis blocked traffic for 4 days before the city could get to it. these peonies fared quite well considering, but they look exhausted from their fight. i think they look like a flop pile of dainty show dogs the evening after a very long walk in the heat.

pink peonies from the yard of our old duplex

minneapolis, minnesota

  • margie says:

    i love the buttery softness of peony petals

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LBMs

everyone in the family has been bitten by the STILL blog bug.  yesterday my husband brought me this trio of LBMs (little brown mushrooms).  he was slowly working his way up the dense green tunnel that is our driveway, cutting back the new growth just enough to keep the approach to our house passable.

i don’t know the name for these fungi.  the irony is that we know more about the mushrooms of languedoc than we do about our own back yard.  we told ourselves we would join the minnesota mycological society when we returned home from france. we missed the big spring event, but hope to join the group in time for the fall hunt.

little brown mushrooms from our driveway

saint paul, minnesota

  • margie says:

    thank him for me

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summer vacation

we slid into summer vacation mode at our house this week; sleeping on the porch, staying up late, and sleeping in. i love when we get to let the days unfold without a plan.  with one hour blurring into the next, and before you know it we’ve spent four hours on the deck chatting with friends as twilight set in and the fireflies came out. with temps in the 80’s and humidity in the 80’s, we are all moving a little slowly as we acclimate to the high heat of summer.  these cheerful roadside daisies felt like the perfect symbol to mark the beginning of our slowing down into summer.

wild oxeye daisies

saint paul, minnesota

  • margie says:

    i wish i could sleep on the porch. The mosquitoes are just too thirsty.

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