after the rain

the toad egg skeins our son watched being fertilized several weeks ago have now hatched, and thousands of half-inch baby toads are hopping frantically across our back yard, making very little forward progress on their tiny legs. we are mowing extremely carefully…

  • margie says:

    those are so adorable

    reply
  • Lizabeth says:

    How did you keep them from hopping all over the room? Those guys are quick! Great photo :)

    reply
    • Ha! my son gathered a handful and let them go all at once over my white paper. I had just enough time for three clicks of the shutter. The other two were photos were just blurred streaks of them hopping out of the frame. There was some luck involved.

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scribbles of a mad genius

we have wild grape vines growing like kudzu over our lilac bushes and evergreens. we had to start pulling it off yesterday before it choked out everything. after we finished up, i asked my daughter to go snip a bowl full of tendrils. as she poured them out onto my white paper, i decided they looked like the scribbles of a mad genius. maybe this is what newton’s third law of motion or van gogh’s sunflowers looked like inside their heads. in languedoc, i fell very much in love with vine tendrils.  you could even say i am crazy about them.

wild grape vine tendrils

may back yard, saint paul, minnesota

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seven year itch

we have lived in our house for seven years, and have thrilled to the yearly blooming of blue flag irises along our dock. suddenly this year, a single wild yellow iris unfurled next to our pond for no reason that we can deduce. we are choosing not to analyze the significance behind this seven year phenomenon, but rather to celebrate its beauty and hope it returns each year from now on.

wild yellow flag iris

our backyard, saint paul, minnesota

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soft edges

this is a great horned owl feather, and I know what you are thinking, but it is not from the juvenile we found last week.  my son found this in the middle of our backyard yesterday.  a gift from our neighborhood owl who regularly fills the night woods with his hoo-h’HOO-hooooo-hoo.

great horned owl feather

saint paul, minnesota

  • margie says:

    so gorgeous

    reply

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gathering eggs

suddenly finding a chicken egg in the nesting box each day has called me back to my collection of eggs, domestic and wild. the arrangement above includes the first three beauties from our beauty, prim, a red-winged blackbird egg found floating in our pond, a cardinal egg left behind by our backyard mama this spring, two quail eggs found in the produce section of united noodle in minneapolis, a goose egg found at the bottom of our lake near a reed bed, and the broken egg of, we think, a turtle dove (tourterelle) from the languedoc region. i don’t know what it is about finding eggs, but our kids run to us with more urgent wonder after finding eggs than after any of their other, often remarkable, natural finds. feathers, scat, bones, frogs, dragonflies, wildflowers, road kill, mushrooms, nests–nothing seems to compare to the contained, jolting, ovoid beauty of an egg found unexpectedly among familiar surroundings.

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