Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winter potpourri

I don't want to jinx myself, but so far this is shaping up as a pretty good week.  Yesterday, MN Blog Cabin syndicated last Friday's posting on the significance of PolyMet jobs to the economy of the Range; today I noticed Greg Seitz had news about possible wolf tracks near Osceola (which is south of where this is being written). That's exciting if true. Molly Steinwald tweeted a charming piece about children and nature and poetry and this morning I discovered some of the most wonderful and heartwarming photography I've ever seen. We're making some progress locally with the new bookshelves and I finally got around to restringing my guitar without casualties. That's almost enough good news to offset a 2 PM temperature of negative 2 degrees. Later this week it's supposed to get up to freezing and then snow (deep sigh). Keeping the feeders full is becoming a full time job.

feeder follower
feeder follower                © harrington

Driving down to Zumbrota on Saturday, I noticed that the Cannon River had a fair amount of open water where Highway 52 crosses. The smaller Zumbro River didn't. That's made me curious to go take a look at the St. Croix and see if it's open or ice covered and maybe even take some pictures. I really enjoy living where there are four seasons. I'd like it more if our weather stayed closer to our averages. Two Polar Vortices in one month is pushing me to my limits. On the other hand, by this time next month the sun will feel noticeably warm if you're sitting in your car in the sunshine (especially if your car is black). I'm still trying to adopt a "small victories" philosophy and sometimes looking ahead is the best I can do. Margaret Atwood raises a question of which country we think we're in.

The animals in that country

By Margaret Atwood 

In that country the animals   
have the faces of people:

the ceremonial
cats possessing the streets

the fox run
politely to earth, the huntsmen   
standing around him, fixed   
in their tapestry of manners

the bull, embroidered
with blood and given
an elegant death, trumpets, his name   
stamped on him, heraldic brand   
because

(when he rolled
on the sand, sword in his heart, the teeth   
in his blue mouth were human)

he is really a man

even the wolves, holding resonant   
conversations in their   
forests thickened with legend.

            In this country the animals   
            have the faces of   
            animals.

            Their eyes
            flash once in car headlights   
            and are gone.

            Their deaths are not elegant.

            They have the faces of   
            no-one.

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