"Punxsutawney Phil" is reported to have NOT seen his shadow. So according to Phil, we're due for an early Spring. I'm all for that. Even though this winter hasn't been all that bad by the standards of My Minnesota, it's been enough of a challenge that it brought this pileated woodpecker to the feeder. That's been a rarity, even though we can often hear their hammering in the nearby woods. Their undulating flight makes me often wonder if they've started feeding on fermented fruit instead of carpenter ants. Writing about ants makes me think of Summer and trout fishing, but, before we get to the pleasures of warm afternoons and clumsy ants, we can celebrate Valentines Day, ice out, crappie season, bass opener, and getting back to other outdoor activities. The Twin Cities offer many urban (read indoor) pleasures, especially during the winter season, but the sight of the Mississippi frozen over deadens my soul. I've spent much of my life trying to focus on and enjoy seasonal pleasures and to participate in local economies, CSAs, and Slow Food. Ever since the Northern Lights bookstore in Canal Park in Duluth closed, I keep looking for an independent shop with a section of local/regional poets. Some enjoy traveling. Others, including me, find the pleasures of travel somewhat overrated and the pleasures of home underappreciated. Trying to get a clear sense of what a place is all about in just a week or two and, in that brief time period, anticipating changes is well beyond my capabilities. Living local someplace with at least four seasons comes very close to letting me have my cake and eat it too.