this wasp nest looks a little weatherbeaten, and it reminds me of a weatherbeaten cabin out there somewhere in the north woods, grayed by wind and snow and rain, with a couple of shutters hanging cockeyed. i’ve never really thought about the word “weatherbeaten,” but it’s a good word. here in the north, we pride ourselves on our immunity from the excesses of weather that would leave people from other regions prostrate. but the weather does beat you here. it throws punches, and scratches your skin, and issues threats. we fight back. but we are all a little bit weatherbeaten.
paper wasp nest
ok i think i’ve got a vision for the next year of still blog. it is good to have smart friends who are willing to brainstorm with you, and who are capable of seeing the world not just from their own perspective but from yours as well. one of the options under consideration was black and white photos by the way, but i don’t want you to see this photo and think that that is the direction i’ve decided to go. i haven’t finalized everything yet, but i think i’ll be returning to white backgrounds, sticking with color photos, and liberalizing, just a tiny bit, the constraints i’ve placed on what subject matter i’m willing to consider as still-blog worthy. more to come. can’t wait.
unidentified found feathers
i’m not technically speechless. i could find something to say about this feather. about the possible reasons behind its evolutionary necessity. about how remarkable it is that the patterns are so three dimensional and that they run almost independent of the grain of the feather’s barbs. but i think in this case an awed silence is the most eloquent tribute to this monument to nature’s strangeness and beauty.
great argus pheasant wing feather (Argusianus bipunctatus)
this guy tried scooting under my car on the way up our driveway and changed his mind at exactly the wrong time. i’m one of those drivers who breaks for everything, mice, voles, crows, robins, rabbits, opossums, raccoons, and deer. but i didn’t have time to break for this red squirrel, so i thought it only fair to take his portrait, and celebrate the quick, taut life he lived inside that resplendent, copper coat. i’m guessing he has scolded me dozens of times as i got in the car in the morning, and awakened me too early at many summer sunrises. i don’t begrudge him a thing.
shoreview, saint paul, minnesota
moon and tides
these were mostly gathered on the gulf coast of florida and the mediterranean beach closest to sète, france. the experiences were both similar, involving long afternoons with the kids and my husband, each of us tasked with gathering a certain color or a certain shape, and then meeting at the end of the day with our treasures. when it all went well, there would also be a number of rare sea glass finds. the only real difference, i would say, was the quality of the charcuterie and the wine on the picnic blanket afterwards, as the sun set.
sea shell collection (mostly florida’s gulf coast and mediterranean france)