Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Christmas scene or two

The approach of Christmas, plus last night's snow and today's wind make for relatively quiet times. The Daughter Person and Son-in-Law are headed to Hibbing for a Christmas visit with some of his family. The Better Half and I made it over snow-packed and drifted roads to St. Croix Chocolates in Marine. We picked up our Christmas order and purchased some charming, and delicious, decorations. I recognize the little Norfolk Pines in the Christmas Train display, but nor the taller, lighter green plants, such as the one in the second photo. Identification suggestions welcome.

Christmas Train display at St. Croix Chocolates
Christmas Train display at St. Croix Chocolates
Photo by J. Harrington

not a Norfolk Pine, it's a ....?
not a Norfolk Pine, it's a ....?
Photo by J. Harrington

Our return trip included a stop at Prairie Restorations to remind ourselves the North Country isn't all snow and cold all the time. Once home, we briefly watched chickadees and woodpeckers piling in to the feeders. Come dog-walking time we'll do a refill of the sunflower seeds and suet and check the heated bird bath water supply. To be candid, I'm not sure whether I'm looking forward more to the arrival of Christmas or the thaw forecast to arrive mid-week. Fortunately, they're not mutually exclusive. With a little luck, we get to have both.

To One Coming North


By Claude McKay


At first you'll joy to see the playful snow,
  Like white moths trembling on the tropic air,
Or waters of the hills that softly flow
  Gracefully falling down a shining stair.
And when the fields and streets are covered white
  And the wind-worried void is chilly, raw,
Or underneath a spell of heat and light
  The cheerless frozen spots begin to thaw,
Like me you'll long for home, where birds' glad song
  Means flowering lanes and leas and spaces dry,
And tender thoughts and feelings fine and strong,
  Beneath a vivid silver-flecked blue sky.
But oh! more than the changeless southern isles,
  When Spring has shed upon the earth her charm,
You'll love the Northland wreathed in golden smiles
  By the miraculous sun turned glad and warm.


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