front and back

 

i didn’t intend for the northern half of this photo to look so frosty, and the southern half to look so tropical, but it works so well, i’m going to pretend that i intended it all along. with a fierce northern wind blowing outside my window right now, i’m also going to pretend those colored leaves are the chile peppers they resemble, and i’m going to daydream about fiery summer salsas.

fronts and backs of weeping willow leaves in november

turtle lake, saint paul, minnesota

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recycled. recircled.

i am fighting a cold,  so i didn’t get out for a walk today. i made this imprecise wreath from the oddments of other projects.  i think i’ve mentioned my love for november colors?

birds nest, mushroom caps, linden fruits, pinecones, beach rocks, oak leaf, teasel head, yarrow, chicken egg, and owl feathers

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a handful of deep play

we took the dock out yesterday. those of you fortunate to live in more temperate climates probably don’t have to take the dock out every year, but here where lakes are covered with a foot or two of ice for most of the winter, docks must be taken out of the lake each fall. otherwise the shifting sheet of ice can grab the legs of the dock, wrench them from their moorings, and cripple them permanently. on the way back up to the house from the lake, i walked under an enormous weeping willow tree that is about half way through molting. the carpet of leaves caught my eye, so i reached down and scooped up one extra-large handful of fallen leaves–waders in one hand and pile of leaves in the other. then i sat on my kitchen floor for an hour and made pattern after pattern with that one handful of leaves. a perfect sunday afternoon.

handful of weeping willow leaves in november

on the shore of turtle lake, saint paul, minnesota

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ever greens

a collection of pines and firs from my yard.

white pine, red pine, blue spruce, black spruce, white spruce, red cedar, white cedar, austrian pine, juniper, balsam

saint paul, minnesota

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born to whittle

we collected this assortment of beaver sticks on a recent hike around pike island–a twin cities gem, sitting at the confluence of the mississippi and minnesota rivers at the base of the bluffs where fort snelling is perched. a three mile trail rings the island, and the half mile walk down from the bluff plus the half mile back up to the parking lot, makes for a perfect 4 mile workout for me, my puggle, and, if i’m lucky, my hubby. we walk in the shade of ancient cottonwoods, among wild turkeys, gulls, ducks and geese, bald eagles, pileated woodpeckers, whitetail deer, and the meticulously destructive work of the resident beavers. one winter day, a network of otter slides converged on a single hole in the ice. on another day, an exquisitely ripe carp carcass called to our puggle, jack, who followed the call of the wild over a shallow ridge onto the river beach, where he wallowed and rolled in the delicious putrefaction for several minutes before we noticed he was missing. the car ride home was an experience only dog lovers could enjoy.

beaver gnawed sticks

pike island, saint paul, minnesota

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