bon voyage

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

 

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drill baby, drill

i am happy not to have been one of the grubs chewing just slightly too noisily through the trunk of this tree when the hairy woodpecker arrived and started cocking her head sideways to listen.

tree trunk with woodpecker holes old and new

sucker lake regional trail, saint paul, minnesota

  • I’m pretty happy not to be a grub in any circumstance

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poetry in stasis

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

  • margie says:

    catching up here in still land and i must say i adore this photograph

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  • LW says:

    i definitely see something ready for take off!

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  • LW says:

    as in bird.

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back to school, back to work

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

 

  • Happy come back to school to both your lovely children, Mary-Jo. U is going back this morning, P is going back this afternoon.
    I hear you about the need to go back to a particular rhythm that summer keeps us away from.
    Beautiful picks on your walk. ox

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choices

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

  • I love your pictures, collages and collections of nature around you… Have a nice sunday – Ghislana

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