Monday, March 19, 2018

Winter's end. Better days ahead?

We've received several email notices today the the PolyMet folks are trying to get their land transfer legislative approval inserted as a rider in the budget bill. Since Minnesota has two Democratic Senators, we'll be very disappointed, to put it mildly, if such a provision ends up in the final bill. As the message from MCEA via Duluth for Clean Water notes:
"If they succeed in jamming the PolyMet Poison Pill into the budget, 7,000 acres of Superior National Forest land would be transferred to PolyMet for their sulfide mine proposal immediately, ending court review of the land transfer. Instead of letting the courts do their job of protecting public land users and taxpayers, lobbyists would get their way through back-room negotiations."
We called the offices of both Minnesota Senators (Smith and Klobuchar) and left messages that we would appreciate it if the Senators would oppose the PolyMet Poison Pill. We also tried to leave a message with Senator Schumer, the Minority Leader, but kept getting an all lines busy signal.

Much of the rest of the day has been spent trying to purchase a replacement for a leaking bathroom vanity faucet. It took trips to 3 big box stores miles and miles apart because the model and style the Better Half wants wasn't in stock at the first two stops. Of course, it could have been ordered on line and shipped to home or the nearest store. We just weren't sure all relevant information was available on the web sites. (We recently deferred purchasing a pair of shoes on line because the color listed was black but the picture was obviously brown.) It's not to hard to imagine a future where the only way to purchase anything is online, unless we do a lot more to support local economies. Anyhow, the job is done thanks to yeoman-like efforts by the Son-In-Law.

early arrivals, Canada geese
early arrivals, Canada geese
Photo by J. Harrington

While getting the parts to close the loose water under the sink, we noticed there's no open water yet, but the ice cover on the Sunrise River pools has turned rotting gray. We also noticed one pair of Canada geese sitting on a muskrat house mound, but they were the only waterfowl in sight. That pair may, or may not, have been the same ones we saw later as we headed out on yet another errand on one of those days that Murphy's Law is being actively enforced, although that and distorted immigration laws seem to be the only ones that count these days. Enough! Spring arrives on the morrow!

                     Cold Spring



The last few gray sheets of snow are gone,
winter’s scraps and leavings lowered
to a common level. A sudden jolt
of weather pushed us outside, and now
this larger world once again belongs to us.
I stand at the edge of it, beside the house,
listening to the stream we haven’t heard
since fall, and I imagine one day thinking
back to this hour and blaming myself
for my worries, my foolishness, today’s choices
having become the accomplished
facts of change, accepted
or forgotten. The woods are a mangle
of lines, yet delicate, yet precise,
when I take the time to look closely.
If I’m not happy it must be my own fault.
At the edge of the lawn my wife
bends down to uncover a flower, then another.
The first splurge of crocuses.
And for a moment the sweep and shudder
of the wind seems indistinguishable
from the steady furl of water
just beyond her.


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