a hot day just gave way to an early evening cool front and the distant sound of thunder. the trees have started swaying. and an alarmed sounding green heron has just lifted off and flapped awkwardly, neck extended, across the cattails. it is high summer.
i have been keeping artist journals since the year 2000. i fill 1-2 journals each year. so, i now have about 30 of them. on occasion, i will rifle through old journals looking for something. most recently i was looking to gather up all the 5 year plans steve and i have written together in our 30 years of marriage. i want to take them to France with me in two weeks, and review them. see what i can learn from them. anyway, whenever i page through my journals like that, odd bits fall out. business cards. menus. napkin notes. illustrations by the kids. and, maybe most often, pressed botanicals. here is the “fallout” from today’s search. it’s pure chance that the textures and colors play so nicely together. a slightly faded glory. more glory than faded, i would say.
my husband the writer pays attention to diction–whether a word or phrase is “high” or “low.” whether it is anglo saxon or latinate. in general the current thinking goes that good, simple anglo saxon words are more evocative and effective than long flowing fancy latinate words. so we should be weepy, not lachrymose. we should fight rather than altercate. we should shit rather than defecate. while i agree in principle, i have encountered the pine tree that these cones come from in both english and french. in english this is a scots pine. in french it is a pin sylvestre, after the latin pinus sylvestrus. i’m sorry, but i’m feeling rather latinate this time.
scots pine cones (Pinus sylvestris)
welcome to august
although i like to add some commentary most days, this is a visual blog. some days, and this is one of them, i just want to say, “can you believe how beautiful?” look at the pattern of the leaves along the branch. the pattern of the veins in the leaf. the pattern of the white specks among the veins. i mean. just look.
this year dock has been inescapable along the roadsides of the twin ciites. it has been a strange, hot, humid, rainy summer, so i don’t know if there has been more dock than usual due to a different weather pattern, or whether i have just noticed them more. as i researched this post, i discovered that dock is in the same family as sorrel. one of my favorite meals when we are in france is a sorrel omelet. the sorrel has a sort of astringent, lemony flavor, and tonight i made the connection, that dock leaves have that same acidic sort of astringency. of course they are related. although it took STILL blog to bring this to my attention. thank you, STILL blog. for this and so many other things.
flowers of curled dock (Rumex L.)