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Curio Cabinet: Tulip Poplar Seedhead

CC tuliptree seed

The Curio Cabinet series (#curioTuesday) is published biweekly, featuring an artifact of natural or cultural history and a brief selection of nifty facts. Curio Cabinet celebrates the history of curio collections, the roots of which played a part in the globalization of learning and scientific knowledge. Learn more here.

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Random Acts of Interpretation

When I lived in Portland, Oregon, I took the bus everywhere. Sometimes it meant standing in the rain or being crushed against a damp herd of strangers, but it also often meant walking through beautiful neighborhoods and getting to see things blossom in the springtime.

On one such jaunt, I happened to be walking through a small park; really, more of a median to get from one side of a main road to the other. I almost missed it, but noticed this sign taped to a tree:

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So I did.

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I wish I had better photos, but I only had my cell phone with me that day. I was so excited that I told everyone I knew about this magical mushroom and the sweet, amazing person that told me about it via hand-written note. I wondered how many people had noticed that day, or, perhaps equally as curious, how many hadn’t. I wondered if the anonymous nature-lover had posted more signs around the city, or if this was a regular gig whereby said interpreter sought out secret goodies to expose via note. It was so exciting (and I don’t give one shit how dorky that is) that I wanted to run around the city myself and recreate the experience for others.

What would the world look like if we took the time to point out things of beauty and curiosity to strangers? I love this random act of interpretation.

Have you ever seen anything like this before? If so, please tell us in the comments! :) Thanks for reading!

Guess That Tree! :)

Weekly Photo Wunderbar

Even though winter is a hard time for me (the long, dark hours make it hard to do anything but sleep and read books) – like a lot of people – autumn possesses some very real magic. What I notice the most is that the increasingly sideways position of the sun casts a beautiful slanted light onto everything, and some days it feels like a perpetual sunset.

Besides that, the colors that come through in deciduous plants is breathtaking and if I’m not careful, I go driving off the side of the road, entranced. Big fat clouds, sometimes thick and dark with rain, roll through, creating a drama of light that is unparalleled in any other season. I’m not very good at capturing it on (what we used to call) film, but I give it my best. (And then completely oversaturate everything post-process, really, so that it will match how I see it in real life: full, deep, and rich.)

Few things scream autumn like the fire of an aspen tree against a blue sky.