The Sun White Citrus Collection

Mountains & Deserts

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Ice & Snow Days

It’s ice... that’s not so Minnesota nice.

Weather in March is always a tricky and unpredictable phenomenon. Last week a major low-pressure system concentrated a powerful ice storm right around the communities of Finland, Silver Bay, and Isabella. Heavy ice brought down power lines and many residents lost power for two or three days. As one might expect, the storm created a landscape disturbance in the forest. Folks I work with responded quickly. DNR chainsaw crews sawed their way through and opened up select campgrounds, parks, roads, and trails. Still, I'm guessing that thousands of downed trees block several miles of remote roads and trails. Photo credit: Natalie-the fishin chick from Silver Bay.

For a slideshow of ice damage in the North Shore State Parks visit here . Read about how ice storm leaves ‘heartbreaking’ tree damage in its wake.

How about you? Have your trees been impacted by extreme weather recently, maybe an ice or thunder storm, or severe winds? If so, you might be able to claim "casualty losses" on your federal taxes. For additional information read "Income Tax Deduction for Timber Causalty Loss" by Dr. Linda Wang, Forest Taxation Specialist, USDA Forest Service.

Remember that line from the Blues Brothers film? Jake- " How often do the trains go by?" Elwood- "So often you won’t even notice it." Well, I ask a similar question, "When will the snow-plows stop plowing?" Answer- "Just as soon as pundits stop predicting when spring will arrive".

Fair enough.

On Monday March 30th the sun came out and things started slowly melting. Well, sort of. As I left the truck and put on my snowshoes, I began to hear a lot of sharp cracking and popping. Looking up, I witnessed an aerial parade of small ice chunks breaking off branches and sailing rapidly to the ground.I began to worry about getting pummeled by flying ice chunks. Although I was SO looking forward to working in the forest, that inner voice spoke to me… maybe another perfect day. The shrubs adjacent to the trail were so densely packed with ice, I might need a machete just to hack my way through. Needless to say, this wasn't going to be a productive day.

It's Tuesday, guess what? The Arrowhead region of Minnesota gets pummeled by another winter storm warning!

Yippee! Let's sing have I told you lately...

Requiem Pt. 2:

When everyone’s rested I’ll think about the driver,
the plow
whose sand truck
the blade dropping Grrrrrrrrr!

In sleep I’ll dream about flashing yellow lights
bouncing playfully off the Celtic cross that overlooks my bed.
I’ll barely notice my neighbors car alarm
activating again,
alarming for the 24th time-
the blade dropping Grrrrrrrrr!

Glancing at The picture of Jesus,
"I thirst"
it’s 1:44am.
He contemplates a mysterious spread called de-icing
that works on Duluth roads
usually steeped
and provided with peace of mind
for struggling motorists getting somewhere.

When everyone's rested I'll think about the driver,
the plow
whose sand truck
the blade dropping Grrrrrrrrr!

The grinding roar of a snowplow blade on concrete doesn’t bother much me anymore. Why should it?

Here's a little mini-set of music:

The Ice & Snow Days

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Requiem for a Snowfall

Note to self and to all who long for Spring: Don't worry so much.

Renewal is certain
Birth is majestic
Life is sublime.

Thanks to Paul Davis for capturing these hopeful images. (HD video may take awhile to load.... repeat for the full stream effect)

Passenger Seat

I roll the window down
And then begin to breathe in
The darkest country road
And the strong scent of evergreen
From the passenger seat as you are driving me home.

Then looking upwards
I strain my eyes and try
To tell the difference between shooting stars and satellites
From the passenger seat as you are driving me home.

"Do they collide?"
I ask and you smile.
With my feet on the dash
The world doesn't matter.

When you feel embarrassed then I'll be your pride
When you need directions then I'll be the guide
For all time.
For all time.

-Ben Gibbard
[Death Cab For Cutie- Transatlanticism (Barsuk,2003)]

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Glimpse of Africa

War Dance (2007)

Directors: Sean Fine & Andrea Nix Fine
Music: Children of Uganda

Interview w/Directors
Village Voice Review
Boston Review

Dreams of Dust (2008)

Director: Laurent Salgues’
Cinematography: Crystel Fournier
Music: Mattieu Vanasse & Jean Massicotte

Film Movement
Dear Cinema Review

Thanks to St. Anthony Messenger (inside front cover) for their photo and inspiration honoring the United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace (March 8th,2009).

A selected poem:

You may write me
down in history
With your bitter,
twisted lies.

You may trod me
in the very dirt
But still, like dust
I'll rise.

- Maya Angelou, "Still I Rise"

Africa Can Become the Continent of Hope - Pope Benedict XVI