in the process of deciding what to do next with STILL blog, one option has been to post less frequently with more involved or elaborate or carefully thought-out arrangements and compositions. i am about to complete year 6 of daily posts with not a single missed day, which means almost 2200 images. it puts a constant, low-level pressure on each day, knowing that the day cannot end, no matter what, without a shareable-quality photograph being created. after much thought, i have at least made a decision about this aspect of the next year. daily posts are in. i just can’t believe i could be as disciplined or ultimately as creative without having my head in this blog every day. i have tried weekly projects before, including this year’s collage project, and the loosened criteria just inevitably lead to loosened standards and deadlines. so you’re stuck with me every day again for at least a year. sometimes daily posts lead to pictures, like this one of dock covered in fresh snow, that are serviceable but uninspiring. but one thing dailiness also does is make occasional magic, when you’re not in the mood, and the sun is setting, and you grab some idea that’s been percolating unproductively for a while, and suddenly there it is. the long-awaited, unexpected, slightly weird, entirely personal, perfect image.
curly dock in winter (Rumex elongatus)
we’ve come to think of essays as definitive, outlined, thesis-driven statements of established opinion. but essays began in france as “essais” or “atttempts.” the original essayist was “trying” and “attempting” over and over to find out what he thought about himself and the world. this photo is an essay. not because it documents something definitive, but because it is an attempt to see what black and white photography might look like for still blog next year. i’m not sure it’s the answer. but i never wouldn’t have known if i didn’t make an “essai.”
garden rose flower
thank heavens for latin
there are two types of thornapple. this is one. the other is hawthorn. the “haws” of hawthorn are their berries, and there is a famous southern jelly called “mayhaw jelly” made from overripe-apple tasting hawthorn berries. hawthorn is in the crataegus genus, which is good to know, because the little loop of seed pods pictured above is also called thornapple, but it is in the datura genus, all species of which are poisonous, “especially their seeds and flowers.” datura. crategus. let’s be careful out there, people.
winter datura branch with seed pods
i went out into a pristine snow today, hoping to catch some backyard plant unawares, in the act of being beautiful. i failed in my mission. they all looked weighted with heavy icing and a little bit depressed about the wind. then i came inside, and caught a glimpse of this rose before it could elude me.
cut-up rose stem
integrity is the quality of being whole and undivided, but also the quality of being honest and having strong moral principals. it is an admirable quality, perhaps never more so than when it must struggle to keep its shape.