Papaya 2

Stepping under the canopy of palm fronds, I quickly traded the crisp cold for humid air and growing things. The $2 suggested donation was a fair exchange for a 20 minute escape within the Como Park Conservatory in St. Paul. (If you’re in Chicago, another one worth visiting is the Garfield Park Conservatory.)

I noted the textures and colors of mid-morning light, as leaves swept past my arms and palm branches brushed my hair. I weaved around the source of things found in my spice rack like black pepper vines, cinnamon bark and allspice, as well as banana plants and barren fig trees. Then, I caught the spidery-looking stems and nine-lobed leaves of a papaya tree, and that’s how today’s photos came to be.