we find ourselves hoping that the former occupants of this nest fled successfully, like good minnesotans, to the gulf of mexico for the winter. we would not like to think that they fled, unsuccessfully, from the barred owl that left behind such an ominous looking feather in the branches above their nest.

on the other hand, we may never see those nestlings again, even if they are still alive and currently making a racket in a mangrove somewhere near fort myers. we will, however, have the comfort of the barred owl’s call in our woods all winter long. so who knows? maybe we won’t take sides in this particular dispute.

snow-filled bird’s nest (robin?)

beside my driveway, saint paul, mn

  • carol bristow says:

    Your images are a start to my day, everyday. Todays photo… your discovery of a cluster of bare, snow covered branches bracing an empty nest, a feather caught in this winter web…a moment captured. An unpredicted glance revealing a past history of time, place and occurrence. A wonderful mystery detected and shared through your lens and insight.
    I live in Burlington, Ontario on the shoreline of Lake Ontario, literally thirty feet to the crest of our break wall. The weather is very apparent and changing moment to moment on the water, the wildlife on and off the water abundant. We look towards Niagara Falls and on clear days can see the plumes of spray clouding a point on the horizon. When I am not working on my drawings (a full time artist who doesn’t utilise a web page, yet!) we are very involved with the Bruce Trail and as a family hike the Bruce, the Royal Botanical Gardens and the conservation areas regularly.
    Wishing you and your family peace and joy at Christmas and throughout the new year.


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. . . is the number of burrs i pulled off my jeans, my coat, my sleeves, and my hair after carrying this clingy little monster down my driveway, then taping it to a chair to hold it still for this photo. if i had just taken a sheet of white paper into the woods, the snow in my socks would have melted by now. as things stand, the burrs in my socks will be there for weeks.

virginia stickseed burr

my driveway, saint paul, minnesota



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winter lushness

these flowers have reached old age in style, maybe a little dry skinned, maybe somewhat brittle, but standing straight, with that good posture they learned from the nuns in grade school, and bearing up to the ill winds of winter in ways that would have demoralized their younger, merely pretty, summer selves.

winter wildflower stems from the shores of lake phalen

saint paul, minnesota

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a snowstorm of sorts

normally when it is snowing outside and your back hurts, it’s because you’ve been shoveling. well, it’s been snowing, and my back hurts, but i haven’t been shoveling snow, i’ve been sitting cross-legged on my tile floor, making snow.

evergreens from my yard: red cedar, white cedar, red pine, white pine, balsam, spruce

saint paul, minnesota

  • Liz says:

    This is a wonderful photo. I enjoy all of your work but this one really calls to me.

    • Thanks Liz! Comments like this make it all worth the effort…I ended up sitting on the kitchen floor a lot longer than was comfortable to make this one :-)

  • Janet says:

    Your space here-beautiful. I am here from SouleMama and happy I clicked on your link. You are now bookmarked and I will come here often. A breath of fresh air!
    Love the snowflakes! Seriously gorgeous.

    Merry Christmas!

  • Diane says:

    This is beautiful!! It reminded me of Andy Goldsworthy’s work. I bet his back hurts a lot too. I saw the article about you in Martha Stewart Living, bookmarked and am finally here to check it out. Glad I did.

  • Kate says:

    Green snowflakes! I love them. Beautiful. Thanks for spending all that time sitting on the floor to create this snowstorm.


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a squadron of drones

these were some of the unfortunate boys in our hive full of girls. they have a single purpose, to mate with a queen, and then, their usefulness exhausted, they are expelled from the hive in the fall and not allowed to re-enter. it is a long, cold winter, and there is only just enough honey. generosity is an extravagance.

dead drone honey bees

collected outside the door of our backyard hive, saint paul, minnesota

  • June says:

    Love this. And the explanation. And the organization. Thank you.

  • Kim says:

    Lovely! My favorite thus far.

  • Su says:

    beautiful, and tragic. just like life. thanks for sharing.

  • Marianne says:

    Just lovely and simple. Set up a notification for when you change these please. Loved the site.

    • Hi Marianne,
      Thanks you for visiting. If you look under the “follow” nav button on the top right of the blog, there should be an “rss” option for daily (free) subscription.
      Welcome to STILL,
      Mary Jo


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