doing STILL blog has opened my eyes in many ways. not the least of which is that i no longer see summer as a monochromatic carpet of green. our home sits on a heavily wooded lot, with a long sloping yard down to a large cattail bed that eventually opens up onto a kidney shaped lake called turtle lake. in high summer, that long sloping yard turns into a dense tunnel of greenery. and the lake seems to disappear as if looking down the wrong end of a telescope. i used to curse all that greenery crowding out my lake view. but no longer. now i see abundance, variety, texture. i see opportunity. STILL blog has helped me see differently
a spray of mid-june greens from my backyard
saint paul, minnesota
one of my favorite STILL blog posts was the giant assemblage i did of everything on our terrace table as we were leaving our rented house in southwest France. it summed up three and half months of being fully present and paying attention. it also commemorated a place i had fallen in love with. it occurred to me recently that i had not yet honored my own home in the same way. in minnesota, we sit on the dividing line between the boreal forests of the north, the deciduous forests of the center and southeast, and the prairies and farms of the southwest. i also love that anyone from wisconsin, or michigan, or manitoba, or ontario, anyone from the great lakes region, could look at this photo and say, hey, that looks like home.
all from minnesota
every now and then on one of my walks, i see so many STILL blog opportunities that the embarrassment of riches actually begins to shut me down. yesterday was one of those days. i saw wild grape vines beginning to set tiny fruits, birch catkins puffed up like mini pineapples, mulberries just starting to take shape, bluebird eggs shells, wood duck egg shells, cottonwood fluff piling like snow. it just didn’t stop. so, i finally had to take a deep breath and pick one thing to carry home. i chose these prairie grass stems. they had just started to go to seed send pollen, and each head was dusted with seeds stamen that looked as if they would blow away at the first hint of a breeze.
rice creek regional trail
saint paul, minnesota
note: i learned this later from a botanist friend: “This is orchard grass (dactylis glomerata) and it came to North America with the European colonialists. Now it is everywhere! The things hanging out from the head of the plan are actually stamens, the part that spreads the pollen. These, like all grasses, are wind pollinated, so they hang it all out and hope that at least some of the massive amounts of pollen that they spread will find its way to a female part on another orchardgrass.”
left to right: columbine, bridal wreath, bleeding heart, creeping charlie, dame’s rocket, blackberry blossoms, wild geranium
my yard, saint paul, minnesota