i love black walnut trees for their strong, graphic patterns. the almost ferny fronds of their leaf bearing branches. their somehow perfectly satisfying diamond shaped bark. and their heavy nuts, that fall like small green oranges in the fall, to be nibbled down to the core by red and gray squirrels, who split the nuts and eat them, leaving behind little owl-faced food scraps in the yard and the forest floor.
eastern black walnut (Juglans nigra)
Equisetum is a “living fossil”, the only living genus of the entire class Equisetopsida, which for over 100 million years was much more diverse and dominated the understory of late Paleozoic forests. some Equisetopsida were large trees reaching to 30 meters tall. It’s said that the horsetail plant inspired Scottish mathematician John Napier (1550-1617) in his development of logarithms. Sections of the horsetail stem shorten in a logarithmic or ‘telescopic’ fashion as they near the top. Logarithmic mathematics is also found embedded in the structure of seashells, pinecones, and elsewhere. i don’t know what mathematical formula dictated the beehive structure of the tops of these horsetails, but whoever invented it has my sincere thanks and admiration.
rough horsetail (Equisetum)
this is not a typical STILL photo. the subject is, for sure. blueberries in different stages of ripening. that’s a lay-up for STILL blog. but the composition is not typical. normally, i would pinch off the stem, and a few leaves and arrange a tidy little composition on white paper. but, these berries are growing in our back yard, and we have so few, and they are so precious that i couldn’t bring myself to sacrifice these eight berries–even for art. so, i told my husband to stand behind the berries with a white t-shirt on. the lighting was a little tricky, as was the wind. but in the end, it was worth saving the berries, and my husband in his crew neck calvin klein made an excellent white background.
after the mites
this was a fully feathered owl wing at some point. it had met its end on the side of the highway, and this wing was lying there, and i happen to be the kind of woman who slows for roadkill and occasionally stops. i took several photos of this wing while it still had its feathers and then i added it to my very strange miscellany in the corner of the garage where, apparently a diligent army of tiny mites gorged themselves on the succulent flesh of the feathers and left behind the brittle bones of the rachii. beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but i saw their work the other day, and all i saw was beauty.
own wings with rachis and missing feather barbs
i have quite a nice egg collection. it is made up of found, bought, and gifted eggs–both wild and domesticated. which means i also have quite a nice collection of broken egg shells as well. the eggs seem to get more and more fragile as they age. so eventually they crack and gradually work themselves into pieces with the lightest touches or the gentlest jostling. but as a lover of imperfect beauty, am in love with my broken shells almost as much as my whole ones.
egg shell collection