these juniper berries, which are actually seed cones, are a dark purple-blue with a white wax coating, which gives them their striking sky blue appearance. did you know that juniper berries is what’s used to flavor gin? and sauerkraut? Yup, it’s a sneaky little flavor enhancer that’s used in eastern europe and scandinavia to give a sharp, clear flavor to foods. i am a fan. of both the color and the flavor.
eastern red cedar with berries (Juniperus virginiana)
this is a wide-spread but somewhat rare form of goldenrod called stiff or stiff-leaved goldenrod. i discovered it just last year. i know of only one patch of it in my well-trodden five mile walking radius. it’s my secret. i doubt anyone else in my community has ever heard of it, and certainly wouldn’t be able to find some. it’s my secret knowledge. it feels like sharing secrets as a kid–a shorthand for a certain kind of intimacy. bio-intimacy: if it’s not a thing, it should be.
stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida)
not all beach rocks are created equal. there is a hierarchy to found rocks. top tier rocks include: hag stones, round rocks, heart shaped rocks, and striped rocks. oh, and i suppose agates (but i rarely find them). all other beach rocks are lesser. anyone disagree with me?
round beach rocks from lake superior
my son has his senior year homecoming tonight. i volunteered to make the corsage for his girlfriend from foraged flowers (his girlfriend is the kind of girl who would have actually appreciated that idea). he considered, but in the end turned me down. if he had agreed, this smartweed would definitely have made it in the corsage.
smartweed (Polygonum pensylvanicum)
i took a flower pressing webinar the other day, and i learned something new. i learned that i am pressing my leaves and flowers too hard. i am squeezing them so much i am turning them into tissue paper. even so, this is my current collection of over-squeezed leaves. i decide which leaves to press based on their shape. all of these leaves were put into the press when they were green. seeing the color they turn as they dry, is all part of the fun. i think the properly pressed leaves would still be mostly green, at least that’s what the instructor said. so, now i have an existential dilemma: continue to over-squeeze so i can get this beautiful palette, or lighten up and have a collection of properly pressed leaves of different shapes but all in green?