the monarch in the middle of this arrangement will not be making the journey down to mexico this year, and there are too few of them left these days to afford even this small loss. so i am sending him, if only symbolically, southward toward warmer weather, surrounded by all the signs that it is time to go. i hope all of his brothers and sisters make it intact.
early september assemblage: cattail, sumac, red oak leaves, white pine needles, milkweed, and monarch butterfly
vadnais lake trail, saint paul, minnesota
tree trunk with woodpecker holes old and new
sucker lake regional trail, saint paul, minnesota
most people would look at this image and be drawn to the striking red lanterns (aka male anthers) hanging from these prairie grass seed heads. but this former aerospace engineer can’t help looking at the sinuous shape of that stem, and thinking poetically to herself, “Aaaaaah, yes: f(x) = sin(x). Beautiful. Just beautiful.”
single stem of sideoats grama in late summer with red male stamen
rice creek regional trail, saint paul, minnesota
for most of us in the united states, today is the first day of school. and i can’t tell you how ready i am. usually i love having the kids home, running down to the lake, and then up through the house on the way to the neighbors’ across the street. happy kids, with wet hair, and tanned shoulders, and an eager puggle at their heels. but this year, perhaps because of our france trip, i am craving, absolutely craving, some structure and routine. i feel like i have been adrift since june. step one is always to get more regular and disciplined about my daily walks. my goal is every day, rain or shine, 3-5 miles. i’m pretty good about it, but in summer with the kids around all day, my resolve melts. if it is too hot, or too humid, i make up the thinnest of excuses. so, in an effort to jump start my new back-to-school routine, i took three long walks this weekend. and on each walk, i found one STILL-worthy item. three for three. i am choosing to take this as an auspicious start to the new (school) year.
striped feather, raccoon jaw bone, bittersweet berries
pike island, vadnais lake, and sucker lake trails in saint paul, minnesota
still blog doesn’t get labor day weekend off, so i spent a little time this afternoon vacillating between “i should” and “i want.” what i should be doing is gathering samples and arranging them on white paper. what i wanted to do was order some fries and a coke at sweeney’s, an old saint paul bar where my husband and i first met. in the end, sweeney’s won, as perhaps it should have, and instead of new samples, i went to my box of bird nests for inspiration.
a collection of nests
all from saint paul, minnesota, except one from autignac, france