Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A change of scenery?

As much as we enjoyed our visit to the North Shore and Grand Portage, and we did, it was nice to get home to our own bed, to say "Hi!" to our dogs and the other inhabitants of our home, to have our normal coffee from one of our favorite cups and to see an oak tree or two again. Thanks for putting up with our short posts the last few days. We'll share more of the experience of the trip in future posts. Here's a view of the Lake Superior shore beneath our room.


To our eyes, the locale doesn't seem very hospitable (wave washed rock), but look at the amount of life captured by lichens, mosses, bushes and heavens knows what else. I don't know about the rest of the universe, but on earth, life seems to try to thrive wherever there's an unoccupied niche. That probably also applies to the human inhabitants of the area and to those, like the snow buntings, that find our North Shore territory better pickings in the Winter than their arctic breeding grounds. We noticed quite a few flocks once we got north of Two Harbors. Here's one bunting that posed in the middle of the road for us as we were taking shots of the Sawtooth Mountains.


In light of all that's being said these days about the potential impacts of global warming, I find the tenaciousness of life to be an incredibly optimistic sign. I'd like it even more, I think, if we focused on mitigation of causes (burning fossil fuels) rather than adaptation. The North Woods might become a northern extension of what's left of the Big Woods but that won't be the same. Minnesota is beginning to look at what needs to be done to adapt to reasonably anticipated local climate changes. I think we'd be better served with a more robust approach. Unless I missed it, the linked summary has no response from the Department of Employment and Economic Development. I've no idea why. Maybe folks think employment won't be affected? Particularly in northern Minnesota, I'd be concerned about that. We don't want to end up picturesque but dilapidated like these abandoned(?) fishing shacks.


Geraldine Connolly could well have spent some time in the Arrowhead before writing this poem.

Flathead Lake, October

By Geraldine Connolly
The eagle floats and glides,
circling the burnished aspen,

then takes the high pines
with a flash of underwing.

As surely as the eagle sails
toward the bay’s open curve,

as surely as he swoops and seizes
the struggling fish, pulling

it from an osprey’s beak;
so too, autumn descends,

to steal the glistening
summer from our open hands.

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