our bees are thriving. our beekeeper, becky, from the university of minnesota stopped by this morning to check on the colony. we are very proud parents of 25,000 bees give or take. i suspect one of the reasons our bees are doing so well is the abundance of wildflowers (aka weeds) that they have to sip from. in point of fact, this photo is one shovel of “grass” from our backyard: dandelions, creeping charlie, clover. it’s all bee food. now i can stop pretending to care about my lawn and can openly embrace not caring: it’s for the bees.
one spade of backyard
saint paul, minnesota
well, as i am staring at this collection of wings and marveling at their aerodymanic precision, it occurs to me that i haven’t mentioned my previous career as an aerospace research engineer. yep, rocket scientist. nope, i am not joking. i did that for 15 years, and then quit to raise kids. i consider my recent creative activities a sort of third act. it is all very tentative. but so far I am enjoying my new wings.
assorted collection of insect wings (butterfly, dragonfly, beetle, moth, cicada, katydid)
i asked my nine year old son to assist to me with STILL blog photos today. we had a lightly overcast day–perfect for photographing–so i was hoping to get more than one photo made. while i lined up leaves, and made circles out of insect wings, he quietly and diligently worked beside me. then, after spending a few lingering seconds assessing his work, he announced he was done. and it was perfect.
“wasp fly” by joseph hoffman
feathers, seed pods, pussy willow, fish scales, seeds
i just watched the documentary helvetica, which got me thinking, of all things, about typography. so now i am thinking it might be fun to make a STILL blog font. here is my very first experiment. it is meant to be ampersand but i think it also looks like somebody meditating on a beach, or possibly eating at a picnic.
bone collection of assorted minnesota wild animals and fish
my friend michele presented me with this gift to STILL blog, from her grandfather’s farm in southern minnesota. it’s the clever nest of a female mud dauber wasp. there is some painful serendipity involved in the timing of this gift, because just this week i was moving some firewood and as i began to lift the bottom row of logs, i was swiftly and simultaneously stung by four wasps defending an unseen buried nest. i ended up displaying what the medical websites universally called a “large local allergic reaction,” with a lot of heat, swelling, redness, and itching. I’m feeling fine now, but it has made me wary of all wasps, even the supposedly benign, though quite wicked looking, mud dauber.