i asked my nine year old son to assist to me with STILL blog photos today. we had a lightly overcast day–perfect for photographing–so i was hoping to get more than one photo made. while i lined up leaves, and made circles out of insect wings, he quietly and diligently worked beside me. then, after spending a few lingering seconds assessing his work, he announced he was done. and it was perfect.
“wasp fly” by joseph hoffman
feathers, seed pods, pussy willow, fish scales, seeds
i just watched the documentary helvetica, which got me thinking, of all things, about typography. so now i am thinking it might be fun to make a STILL blog font. here is my very first experiment. it is meant to be ampersand but i think it also looks like somebody meditating on a beach, or possibly eating at a picnic.
bone collection of assorted minnesota wild animals and fish
my friend michele presented me with this gift to STILL blog, from her grandfather’s farm in southern minnesota. it’s the clever nest of a female mud dauber wasp. there is some painful serendipity involved in the timing of this gift, because just this week i was moving some firewood and as i began to lift the bottom row of logs, i was swiftly and simultaneously stung by four wasps defending an unseen buried nest. i ended up displaying what the medical websites universally called a “large local allergic reaction,” with a lot of heat, swelling, redness, and itching. I’m feeling fine now, but it has made me wary of all wasps, even the supposedly benign, though quite wicked looking, mud dauber.
i have an intimate relationship with cattails. thousands upon thousands of them grow in my backyard. i look out over them every day, summer and winter, and the red-winged blackbirds they shelter are the background music to spring and summer around here. the amount of sheer biomass they produce is mind boggling. the cattail bed is brown and flattened most of the year, and then suddenly in june and july, within weeks it seems, i find myself walking down our boardwalk through a tunnel of 8-10 foot tall green spears.
turtle lake, saint paul, minnesota