Today was cold and snowy and just perfect for baking a litter pie. That is not something you’d want to eat. It is to be used as reference for a commissioned illustration, commissioned by my darling husband for one of his scientific papers about decomposition, leaf litter and the bugs who live on that sort of thing. The concept for the art was to be a pie with dead leaf filling and critters crawling around between the leaves. His idea and you’ll have to ask him about it, I’m only the artist. To get the full gist check out Mike’s website: http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/K/Michael.E.Kaspari-1/AntLab_Home.htm
and scope out the “brown food web”.
Getting back to the litter pie, I pulled out the flour and lard and rolled up one hell of a pie crust: fluted the edges nice as you please (I’m paraphrasing U.Utah Phillips), filled it with finely crumbled dead leaves mixed with syrup to hold it together, and topped it with an artfully placed mix of post oak, blackjack oak, red oak, sassafrass, crape myrtle and viburnum leaves. I even cut the ones at the edge of the wedge, using sharp scissors. The sassafrass smelled great, by the way, when toasted in the oven (I took the wet sodden leaves out of the snow). All was placed onto a red-checked tea-towel with a pie-server and other props to be photographed. I’ll post the piece as I get further along on it, but I felt like a cross between Norman Rockwell and Martha Stewert. Scary thought.