Monday, March 31, 2008

It does this every year...

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I can't help it. The late-March snowstorm always makes me laugh.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Early Spring

My son Ellis likes to remind me that it is "early spring." I think he does this to comfort himself because there are still no flowers, green grass, or friends riding scooters up and down the block yet. With the temperature climbing to 50 today, it seemed like the right time to return to Fort Snelling if only to prove that we have indeed survived another winter. When you've been so desperate to get through the cold weather, the pale browness of early spring can be anti-climactic at best, or at worst, the cruel April of T.S. Eliot's Wasteland. Or, if you have learned to love a place enough that you inhabit it like a marriage with all its warts and scars, you appreciate the muted quiet potential of the land after the thaw. The plain brown female bird with her potential to create life is as beautiful as the brighter plumaged male bird.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008


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Winter has been long and brutal in a way it hasn't been for years up here. When temperatures are still below normal at the end of March, you learn to be thankful for small things like living on the north side of the street so that at least the snow has melted on your lawn while your neighbors still have piles of white remaining. While waiting for spring to come, I'm reaching back into my photos from last summer to remember what things are like up here when it is not a frozen wasteland.

Fort Snelling was one of our favorite bike destinations. I wish I could post the smell of the sweet prairie grasses in June so everyone can understand why people live in places like Minnesota. We came upon this fleet of spider webs sailing on their tall masts in the sea of prairie surrounding the fort. A whole colony of spiders had chosen this as the base for their activity. Not knowing much about the secret lives of insects, this was one of the most beautful and profoundly strange things I have ever stumbled upon.