it is hard to miss a black gnarled oak limb against a white january sky, or the outlines of cattail heads against a frozen shoreline. but these prairie grass stems, more air than stem at their feathery tips, are easy to overlook. i reached into a patch of unremarkable trailside clutter and out came this delicate bouquet.

unidentified prairie grass stems in winter

rice creek regional trail, saint paul, minnesota


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morning routine

this morning as i went about my usual routine–school, coffee shop, bank, post office, home–i decided to pick up whatever caught my attention and make an assemblage out of whatever i found. i make this circuit five days a week, and am usually on autopilot: listening to an audio book, sipping coffee, and rubbing my puggle’s ear. but today, because i was looking, this well trodden route felt all new. like i had just come home from an extended stay away.

collection of winter treasures from one minnesota morning in january

saint paul, minnesota

  • tara says:

    I am enjoying your exquisite nature collections so much!
    The selections and arrangements honor the natural beauty of winter so well.

  • Jorge says:

    I love those two spots of green, refusing to give up. It reminded me of WALL-E

  • Céline says:

    Hello Mary-Jo,
    I discovered your blog recently and I love what I see here! I love nature, I like taking pictures of the nature and her treasures… It’s a great pleasure to watch your collections every time!
    Thank you and have a nice day :-)

  • Ellen says:



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as some of you already know, i found my way to instagram only about six months ago.  along with some photos of my impertinent chicken, glimmer, i also post many behind-the-scenes setups for my STILL blog images. i was getting so many technique questions via email, that it made sense to show how low-tech my studio and gear actually are.

today i was working solo, with no hubby or kids, otherwise it would have been a perfect day for a behind-the-scenes shot. i woke up to snow softly falling, and a fresh three-inch blanket of white. so i headed out with white tag board, tripod, and camera. at one point i was so deep in snow it was melting down the small of my back. a perfect insta-moment if ever there was one.

above is my old friend burdock: major nuisance to pet owners and wool wearers worldwide, and the original inspiration for velcro.

saint paul, minnesota

p.s. you can find me on instagram here

  • margie says:

    i love all your instagrams


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lighter than air

i asked my son yesterday day if he wanted to go for a walk with me to to look for STILL blog treasures. he replied, “wait, i have something for you,” and he ran into his bedroom and came back with this bone. “a bird bone,” he proudly announced, “see, it’s hollow.” we went for a walk anyway and, in the end, found nothing more interesting than his bird bone. now i am curious what else is hiding in his ten-year-old boy’s room. just not that curious.

bird bone (probably gull)

grand marais harbor beach, grand marais, minnesota

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