The photo that I use for my masthead is one I took back home, on the farm in Alabama. It’s a muscadine vine, specifically a kind of muscadine we call “scuplins.” These are wild grapes native to the South but now rarely seen. The fruit are a beautiful bronzey-green that to me just perfectly represent the South, my South.
This particular vine is one I planted with my Grandaddy when I was a toddler, over thirty years ago. Now it forms a huge, beautiful arbor you can hide under in the summer, picking fat scuplins, popping them whole into your mouth. You split the thick skin with your teeth and spit it out, work out the seeds with your tongue and spit those out, too, swallowing only the soft, fleshy interior. They taste like the grapiest grapes you’ve ever tasted, all green and honey and nectar and summertime. The view in this photo is from underneath that vine. It is a place of shelter.