i took this photo several days ago. we were returning home from picking up our daughter at camp in northern minnesota, and saw something bulky and feathered lying in the middle of an entrance ramp on our right. it was nearly the size of a wild turkey but with totally different coloring. we turned around at the next exit, just to return and get a glimpse, and in the end, the episode justified my habit of keeping sheets of white paper in the back of my car. i know some of you are probably getting weary of photos of dead birds, but i don’t know when i will ever get this close to a juvenile great horned owl again in my lifetime. i think it is a juvenile because of the underdeveloped blood feathers that make up part of its tail, and because i don’t know if an adult would ever be so careless as to get in the way of a car on a highway entrance ramp. the feet were not so much feathered as furred, like a snowshoe hare armed with four incurving talons. i can’t get the image out of my mind. a bird, but on a different scale. in life and in death, magnificent and silent.
great horned owl
on the freeway between ely and cloquet, minnesota
i think of minnesota as mostly green in the summer, and colorful in the fall. but as we drove north to pick up our daughter at camp, all the roadsides for 200 miles were brilliantly strewn with wildflowers: red-orange and yellow hawkweed, white and yellow daisies, yellow birdsfoot trefoil, purple clover, blue flag irises, and great heads of pink and purple lupine. a feast for nectar-hungry pollinators, and for asphalt-weary eyes.
these are lake superior rocks i had among my baskets of cherished beach rocks. on monday i will be in northern minnesota picking up my daughter from her 10 day boundary waters canoe area (bwca) camping adventure. i am eager to hear all her stories. since i wasn’t going to be around to pick a fresh photo subject for monday, i had to put something together over the weekend from among the materials at hand. as is often the case, working fast, without time to censor, yielded a pleasant surprise. beach rocks sunny side up.
lake superior, minnesota
golden buff pullet egg with bloom
saint paul, minnesota
so far you you’ve met effie and rue. this is prim. prim has the most beautiful markings of all her sisters, like a lace shawl draped over her back. we were told to expect our first eggs some time in july. so we have begun checking the nesting boxes every morning. the prediction that chickens would be less work than a dog, but more work than a cat has so far proved about accurate. we love our girls, and they seem to love their home and us. we are getting excited for œufs à la coque.
cinnamon comet (aka golden buff) chicken at four months
saint paul, minnesota