stalking

if the other three seasons are about color, then winter is about shape. a blanket of snow creates the perfect seamless-white background for these stalks and their whimsical shapes to stand out. so i went out hunting this weekend, with the weather temporarily above freezing, and here is my prey.

a collection of winter stems

rice creek regional trial, saint paul, minnesota

  • Melissa says:

    Yes!! …and the negative space between the bare tree trunks! 8*)

    reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

russian olive…it’s minnesota so it’s not like it’s really an olive

we just finished editing a video from our time in france, where we were surrounded by real olives, and so this photo is sort of a killer.

winter branch of a russian olive tree (elaeagnus angustifolia).

rice creek regional trail, saint paul, minnesota

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

andromeda

carl linneaus himself named this plant because he thought it looked like andromeda. he was touring lapland at the time, and i was reading this and thinking perhaps he had gotten a little brain-freeze. but then i saw his journal sketch, et voilĂ , the resemblance is uncanny. you can see for yourself here.

bog rosemary (andromeda polifolia)

found in a peat bog in the chippewa nationa forest in north-central minnesota

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

held together with spit and glue

i was going to try to cut this nest in half to see what a cross section might look like, and then I was going to try to peel it open like an onion. in the end, those both felt too destructive of such a delicate thing, so i contented myself with this little peek inside somebody else’s home. this nest was built with wasp saliva and wood fiber and it hummed all summer long, in an oak overhanging our driveway, as clouds of busy workers clocked in and out.

paper wasp nest from a large oak tree overhanging our driveway

saint paul, minnesota

  • Melissa says:

    The stripes of the nest remind me of the striations of color we see in rock walls, like the Grand Canyon. I wonder if it is built in horizontal layers too. Each layer a different source or worker. 8*)

    reply
  • Melissa says:

    The more I look at it, the more it reminds me of our earth and it’s protective layer of crust around it’s core. Is this nest globe shaped? I have to go google wasp nests! 8*)

    reply
  • Melissa says:

    I’m back!! I found a wonderful video!! You can see the stripes being created at 3 minutes into the video. It is amazing!! Thank you!! 8*)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHfk1EhECaw

    reply
    • Hi Melissa, That is a wonderful video. Thank you so much for sharing the link! And for all your wonderful comments here on STILL blog. Seeing you in the comment list is a day brightener!
      Mary Jo

      reply
      • Melissa says:

        Thank you!! 8*)

        reply
        • Sue Bendlin says:

          What a remarkable and amazing video to actually see the wasps building their home. We don’t have paper wasps in our area so it was especially informative.

          reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

"/> "/>