After a day trip to Hackensack, MN on Saturday, today I'm in Duluth, and will be for a couple of days. Although I don't have photos to back up my impressions, there seem to be many more highway billboards along I-35 than I remember from years past. It makes me wish for the return of Ladybird and her highway beautification efforts. The lack of design standards for much of our highway (and other) commercial development is obvious. Requirements for "adequate" parking and corporate branding seem to be the controlling factors. That's not the way New England Villages were built, nor is it dominant in downtown Marine-on-St.-Croix.
Photo by J. Harrington
Fortunately for those of us who don't see everything as a commodity to be bought at the lowest possible price, Minnesota has a number of scenic byways. Along some, perhaps all, of them, you can find curly dock. There was a lot of it visible on the drive north this morning. The Better Half has collected a lot locally for potential use as table decorations in an upcoming wedding. The family has slowly been getting into the get it local, live sustainably pattern. We haven't gone as far as I'd like (wrote the recovering perfectionist) but we're actually going further than I expected. I was looking at the home-made table candles in small, glass preserve jars, and bouquets, and runners that combine lace and burlap, and thought "that's pretty cool!" Photos will be forthcoming some day soon. In the meantime, I'm realizing that some things turn out even better than I had hoped. That's a nice feeling.
Do you prefer the old (left) or the new (right)?
Either looks better than a "big box."
Photo by J. Harrington
When I take a look at the natural world, including some of Hubble's photos of deep space, I see a lot more beauty than would appear to be absolutely required. Since I'm becoming more and more interested in the relationship between beauty and sustainability, I find that situation very encouraging, almost as encouraging as:
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
IAmong twenty snowy mountains,The only moving thingWas the eye of the blackbird.
III was of three minds,Like a treeIn which there are three blackbirds.
IIIThe blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.It was a small part of the pantomime.
IVA man and a womanAre one.A man and a woman and a blackbirdAre one.
VI do not know which to prefer,The beauty of inflectionsOr the beauty of innuendoes,The blackbird whistlingOr just after.
VIIcicles filled the long windowWith barbaric glass.The shadow of the blackbirdCrossed it, to and fro.The moodTraced in the shadowAn indecipherable cause.
VIIO thin men of Haddam,Why do you imagine golden birds?Do you not see how the blackbirdWalks around the feetOf the women about you?
VIIII know noble accentsAnd lucid, inescapable rhythms;But I know, too,That the blackbird is involvedIn what I know.
IXWhen the blackbird flew out of sight,It marked the edgeOf one of many circles.
XAt the sight of blackbirdsFlying in a green light,Even the bawds of euphonyWould cry out sharply.
XIHe rode over ConnecticutIn a glass coach.Once, a fear pierced him,In that he mistookThe shadow of his equipageFor blackbirds.
XIIThe river is moving.The blackbird must be flying.
XIIIIt was evening all afternoon.It was snowingAnd it was going to snow.The blackbird satIn the cedar-limbs.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.