Sunday, October 22, 2023

it's mushroom season!

i love these magical amanita muscaria. i thought they were the stuff of legend until i moved to denmark. i also thought there weren't going to be any this year, they're here a bit later than usual. chalk it up to climate change. that last one looks like it might need to visit the doctor. 

i also found some edible mushrooms - porcini and puffballs. dried the porcini in my dehydrator overnight and added the puffballs to some kale from the garden for dinner last night. 

Thursday, October 19, 2023

fragments of memories

i was reading this piece in harper's on memory. and the list of memory fragments in the fourth paragraph made memories start to flit into my mind. driving along I-80 in iowa in 1982 and seeing the ditches alight with fireflies - the first ones i'd ever seen. we just didn't have them in south dakota. i suppose it was too dry. 

or a memory of lying on the dark blue scratchy wool carpet in our house in town, tracing the outlines of all the weird bumps that formed the pattern, thinking about how god had a big book with everything i'd ever do written down as a plan. and trying to defy it, thinking, he wrote that i'd move my arm right now, so i'm not going to. and then thinking, no, he wrote that too! 

then a memory of lying on a bridge on a hot summer night, down in the pasture by the lake we'd rented for our horses, surfaced in my mind. it was that life-changing summer where i broke up with my california boyfriend and decided to go to the university of iowa. i can hear the sounds of the crickets and cicadas and the splash of the water flowing under the bridge, the whisper of the wind gently moving the grass, the feel of the warm air on my skin. i don't recall any thoughts that were in my head, only the sounds, smells and the physicality of it.

some memories are so clear, or at least the fragments of them are. and i feel like i don't really choose them, they're just there. 

and now i'll go back and finish that harper's piece. just wanted to capture these fragments here. i'm going to see what other memories surface in the next days and try to capture them as well. then i'll see where they take me.

the long-awaited new bedroom

it's been ages since i've done any updates on our never-ending house project and it's not because there's no progress, it's more that i have less time to document than i did in the old days. 

sabin and i painted this mural on the wall while she was home this summer and husband has done the rest of the painting. we used fancy handmade, non-toxic paint and it's really beautiful, though husband thought it was very hard to work with, so i'm not sure we'll be using it in the rest of the upstairs. the room is a bit minimalist at the moment, as we're still painting the two chests of drawers that we got second-hand and they're not quite finished.

i've sneaked in a few more plants since i took the third picture. it's so nice to both go to sleep and wake up here. and since i've been battling a cold, i also spent quite a lot of time here yesterday, working on my computer in the beautiful light. 

oh, and i'm really loving that ikea lamp. and the pedestal husband built for the bed. it puts us up at the perfect height for waking up to that beautiful view. even though they harvested the corn on the field, it's still pretty and i keep seeing deer out there, sniffing out dropped bits of corn. 

Tuesday, October 03, 2023

fun with a pinhole camera

we had a two-day course over the weekend in creagive - it was with  photographer/journalist lars bertelsen and he was wonderful and inspiring! he taught us to make a pinhole camera using empty shoe boxes. we then learned to develop the photos in the darkroom. it is downright addictive and i'm thinking about which room could be transformed into a darkroom. 

the second morning of the course, i had my shoebox camera loaded and i stopped along my usual route along bækgårdsvej, where i knew that the single tree would have the kind of contrast the pinhole camera craves. i set it on the hood of my car. a bit more of that ended up in the picture than i had hoped, but it also gives it a vibe.

the weekend was cloudy, but that helped us learn a lot about light. light is super important with a pinhole camera and our results may have been better, had the sun been shining. but the fact it was cloudy also gave our photos a moody appeal. i  wandered down to the church, looking for shapes and contrasts. 

after the first one, i went back, looking for an angle that had some texture. i love how the cobblestones turned out against the church. i'll have to make a small video, as the church bells were ringing and i recorded them, thinking it would be the perfect accompaniment.  

lastly, we paired up to do a selfie. in this one, a 3-minute exposure, i turned my head after one minute and two minutes. i can tell you that standing still for a camera for three minutes feel like an absolute eternity. 

i have to take some photos of my shoebox camera and then i'll tell you more about the process.