a morning spent decluttering my basement turned up two old plant presses that my husband and i had used to save some beloved leaves and flowers a decade or more ago. and suddenly a banal morning turned sublime.
pressed minnesota flora
who knew that cattail pollen was edible? i have just happened unexpectedly upon a half-dozen wild-food websites, all breathlessly praising the culinary benefits of cattail pollen, including a recipe for cattail pollen pancakes. i tend to associate pollen with my itchy eyes, but apparently we also have a ready source of wild protein right under (and probably in) our noses.
male cattail flower and pollen
turtle lake, minnesota
our bees are thriving. our beekeeper, becky, from the university of minnesota stopped by this morning to check on the colony. we are very proud parents of 25,000 bees give or take. i suspect one of the reasons our bees are doing so well is the abundance of wildflowers (aka weeds) that they have to sip from. in point of fact, this photo is one shovel of “grass” from our backyard: dandelions, creeping charlie, clover. it’s all bee food. now i can stop pretending to care about my lawn and can openly embrace not caring: it’s for the bees.
one spade of backyard
saint paul, minnesota
well, as i am staring at this collection of wings and marveling at their aerodymanic precision, it occurs to me that i haven’t mentioned my previous career as an aerospace research engineer. yep, rocket scientist. nope, i am not joking. i did that for 15 years, and then quit to raise kids. i consider my recent creative activities a sort of third act. it is all very tentative. but so far I am enjoying my new wings.
assorted collection of insect wings (butterfly, dragonfly, beetle, moth, cicada, katydid)
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