sure, these leaves are pretty. and technically they each serve the purpose of identifying a particular species. but their value to me is not their perfect colors or their diagnostic qualities. i picked these up in 24 different places, and i just need to look at each one to remember the location, the time of day, and even the weather. the leaves themselves don’t even exist anymore in many cases. but those places do.
a collection of found autumn leaves
all from minnesota
if STILL blog had a quarterly publication, this would definitely be our COLOR issue. never can i remember a more colorful two weeks. usually our autumns are stretched over six weeks: an initial two weeks of flaming sumac leaves, followed by two weeks of yellow poplar and red maples, and finally two weeks of orange and russet oaks. but this year, the whole season was condensed into the same two week period. holy moley. nothing is off limits. everything is fair game: trees are three or more colors, there are whole rows of oaks with every tree a different and distinct color. and i’m seeing every shade of orange that can be imagined: peach, salmon, coral, tangerine, tomato…
maple branch with red and yellow october leaves
from my yard, saint paul, minnesota
because this is the most colorful fall season i can remember, i have begun returning from my walks with a standard warning: “i’m bringing more nature into the house!” my kitchen floor may or may not still be covered with ceramic tile, but no one will know until i remove about a dozen armloads of leaves, branches, bark, grasses, fungi, seed pods, wild fruits, feathers, pine cones, rocks, birds nests, wasp nests, and at least one dead red bellied snake. all i remember is how i felt last march, when i would have given anything for a spot of color that wasn’t brown or gray. ill take all this color gratefully until it’s gone.
an assemblage of october finds
rice creek, grass lake, and sucker lake hiking trails; saint paul, minnesota
fifteen years ago in what now feels like a previous life, i worked for honeywell inc. on the avionics for the boeing 777. as a result, i spent a lot of time in phoenix arizona, and when i wasn’t at work, i would spend my time driving around the sonoran desert photographing saguaro cacti. i never got used to the very non-organic grid of streets in downtown phoenix, nor the lack of water there, but i still miss those cacti. this mullein is the closest thing we have to those strange, gravity defying spires.
minneapolis alley, minnesota
i am having fun with these assemblages of the bits and pieces of nature that find their way onto my specimen table. for several years i have also fallen under the spell of the (swiss) cross as a design element. i have used it in journal doodles, i have sewn it into pillows, and i have even painted it on canvas. so it is really about time that i did a STILL blog assemblage in the shape of my current favorite graphic.
cross assemblage of october nature bits
saint paul, minnesota