Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Kicking sand

Did you get up to see the blood moon this morning? It was impressive. My night photography skills, or, more accurately, lack thereof, were obvious in my failed attempts to capture it. As the light came up and the eclipse ended, the full moon looked really good as it was setting. Under those conditions, I had some success. The real message here is that, since I didn't practice starting back in May or June, when the big time came, I couldn't capture it. Of course, I'm still fussing about why more of the controls on my camera aren't backlit. Maybe next year when the opportunity arises, I'll have my act more together.

October's "blood moon"
Photo by J. Harrington

Speaking of getting acts together, some of you may recall that an outfit called Superior Silica Sands has been considering purchasing property in the industrial park in North Branch. According to today's Star Tribune, another of SSS's operations in Wisconsin was just shut down for operating without a permit. That might be worth knowing for Chisago County residents who have concerns about the proposed operation in North Branch. Those same folks might also want to know that there's a meeting Monday, October 13 " 2:30 in the DNR Central Office Lobby Conference Room to discuss the draft ordinance, timelines, and future meeting dates" for a Wabasha City sand ordinance. Always good to know how seriously a business or community takes regulatory requirements, including "dumping polluted wastewater into an unlined pond against regulations..." as was reported for the SSS Wisconsin operation mentioned above. I wonder if any of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency staff who are working on a permit for SSS's operations in Minnesota are aware of the Wisconsin issues and if that could be taken into account in permit conditions.

Patience

By Katherine Larson 

For Max Rojas 

Once a month
when the moon loses everything,
Don Max takes a chair
to the edge of the sea.
Black sand beach & green-backed heron.
The moon   
casts off her milkglass earrings.
I am nothing, she says, but black & white.
I keep losing my face.
Don Max feels for his pipe in his pocket.
Takes it, knocks it against his palm.
I am old! She cries. I get gooseflesh
in the dark. Don Max is looking for his tobacco.
Don Max has found a match.
You don’t know how hard it is
to come back from nothing.   
Don Max smiles & lights up.   
I keep making the same mistakes, she says.
I think you should leave me, she says.   
Through smoke, she watches Don Max
fold a strip of seaweed into a grasshopper.
Leave me for your own good! She demands.
Don Max has set the grasshopper in the sand.
Besides, I am too beautiful.   
She speaks it as though it makes her sad.
I’ll find other lovers. I will
forget you.


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