Wednesday, July 29, 2009

sitters unite

A bright new round of ABC Wednesday has begun and is graced by a new logo. Today the letter B is star. From a local park near my home in Minnesota I bring you the lowly bench. Benches usually reside out-of-doors yet never complain about weather, graffiti artists, heavy weights or being lovingly etched. Some are tucked away so far into the woods that they never become quite as sun bleached as others. [Fellow blogger Rune has been so taken by benches in his Norway that he is posting a new photo each Friday or thereabouts. Fellow bench-lovers visit him here.] Benches have history and some have great stories to tell. But I'm anthropomorphising digressing.

Visit Mrs Nesbitt the friendly host of ABC Wednesday here.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

'sitting on the shore'

I've been reading the latest book of poetry by my favorite poet, Mary Oliver called Evidence. Her active observations of nature in her amazing voice without fail make me long to be outdoors. At the very least, she makes my heart sing. My favorite so far:

Almost a Conversation
I have not really, not yet, talked with otter
about his life.

He has so many teeth, he has trouble
with vowels.

Wherefore our understanding
is all body expression--

he swims like the sleekest fish,
he dives and exhales and lifts a trail of bubbles.
Little by little he trusts my eyes
and my curious body sitting on the shore.

Sometimes he comes close.
I admire his whiskers
and his dark fur which I would rather die than wear.

He has no words, still what he tells about his life
is clear.
He does not own a computer.
He imagines the river will last forever.
He does not envy the dry house I live in.
He does not wonder who or what it is that I worship.
He wonders, morning after morning, that the river
is so cold and fresh and alive, and still
I don't jump in.


Monday, July 27, 2009

red in my neighborhood

Erica and a bit of her red [favorite color] umbrella as she walks the red brick sidewalks in Georgetown.

Bright reds of Impatiens gracefully circling this lovely front porch in a St. Paul neighborhood--note the tree is full of deep red crab apples too. A timely reminder from another neighborhood, in red and turquoise. To my eyes it doesn't get any better than that.

Celebrate Tuesday by visiting Mary's cheerful meme Ruby Tuesday.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

history repeats itself

A is for Ancestors, in particular the Adams' ancestors in the photo below. This is [husband] baby Dave in the middle with his father Donald and his mother Vieno in front of their little house in the mining town of Mullan, Idaho circa 1950.
Take a good look at Vieno and then at the young man in the photo below. I literally stumbled upon this over the weekend and bought it because something in their faces was so dear and appealing. The young couple's photo was taken in Phelps, Minnesota, which is in the northwestern part of the state near Fergus Falls, by a photographer, possibly Finnish, named Sneva. Turns out that area was originally settled by a great deal of immigrants from Finland and Sweden. Dave's mother is full Finn and at closer inspection I thought I saw a slight resemblance to the her and the young man. Possibly related?
Probably not. . .but who knows?
This is the beginning of Year Three, Round Five of ABC Wednesday hosted by Mrs Nesbitt. Stop by to earn an easy A!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday's Child

I am writing this because I don’t want to forget that I once was young and full of dreams. In the early 1970’s, while I was busy ‘putting my husband through college’ working in a law office, we would occasionally visit a town 50 miles away. It was double the size of our college town and though it would always be another farm town, it had its very own small bookshop. Sure, you could pick up books at K-Mart or the university bookstore or even at the adult bookstore, but nothing like this little shop was to be had where we lived.

Not only did this shop sell hardbound books in its long narrow room but also sprinkled between the shelves were little areas devoted to hand-thrown pottery from local kilns. Large old storefront windows allowed the maximum amount of that precious north light to bath the store. And best of all, chairs were available to sit and read. Of course I did buy one book in spite of our lean financial status, Frances Moore LappĂ©’s Diet for a Small Planet that became the bible of the organic food movement.

After my very first visit to this bookstore—its name escapes me—I promised myself that this is what I’d like to do with the rest of my life when it was my turn to have that life was have my own little bookstore. I would name it Saturday’s Child because weekends were so precious to me. I would furnish it with large lights hanging from the ceiling like I’d seen in the railroad depot, local pots—maybe even some of my own, imagine that! —and best of all I would find the largest, plushest leather armchairs with reading lamps to set near the door. That would be how visitors to my Saturday’s Child would be welcomed.

My plan for my own shop kept being pushed behind in line by life: dear children, detours of depression, the oddest jobs, school, libraries and more living. Little did I know back then that these brave little shops would be nudged out by big box bookstores. And as a gift for that young woman in Idaho who once had a plan, I periodically revisit my copy of the book 84 Charing Cross Road about a writer in New York and her lifetime relationship with a London antiquarian bookstore. The photo below is from Charing Cross Road in London.

I’ve kept my promise to always stop at bookstores on the main streets of any town I visit, in homage to big plans, the small bookseller and with a fond memory of my Saturday’s Child.

Study more plans at Sunday Scribblings.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Again with the fishing!

You betcha! Again this week it is all about the fishing antics of the sleek and not-so-sleek visiting birds--a white egret who had just swallowed a fish when I took its picture (note the fishy crook in its neck) and the Canada geese shamelessly raiding the same lake, with a ratio of 9:9 butts to whole birds.
There's just no privacy in the wild.

See more photogenic animals and birds at Misty Dawn's meme Camera Critters.
Note to self:

“There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” Stephen Wright


Thursday, July 16, 2009

blue skies over St. Paul

More blue skies from Minnesota!

I took this sky view this morning while walking in a St. Paul neighborhood near Como Park. The church's coat of many colors was beautifully enhanced by the vivid blue sky and vice versa.

See more spectacular and worldwide sky views at Sky Watch Friday hosted by The Team of
Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy, & Louise . Happy Friday!

Monday, July 13, 2009

striking while the pen is dipped

Hands reaching a breeze

Instead brush the tender scar

Deer chew cuds, eyes closed.

In hommage to the fawns I've yet to see on the walking trail. . .and my first attempt at Haiku. I'm stepping out on a limb here but will keep working at it. Likewise, this hydrangea reminded me that I'm always in transition some way or another.
Happy Monday, my bloggy friends!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Blue Monday

'L' is for lovely Lobelia. . .or bladderpod, gagroot, vomitroot, vomitwort, pukeweed, wild tobacco, asthma weed, bladderpod, eyebright or Indian tobacco. Fact is stranger than fiction!

Every season I venture out to find the best and brightest blue annuals, usually ending up with Lobelia which eventually wilt and die before August. This year I have kept this sky blue colored plant in the old tea kettle totally out of the sun, with good luck. . .so far. The first photo is from a window box in front of a book store in White Bear Lake with the deeper shade of blue, one I also kill every year!

Visit more flowers at Luiz Santilli's Monday meme--Today's Flowers -- a nice way to start the week.

'Carpe Diem does not mean catch of the day!'

There have been several unexpected benefits of our move to Minnesota in 2006, and I continue to see more and more of these little joys. My favorite, so far, is that we are on the fly zone of water fowl as they migrate north and south. So the herons, egrets, swans and shorebirds you in the southern states enjoy during our winters up north eventually come back up here again to nest and fish our many lakes. Even though I felt pretty sorry for the little fish I was able to get photos of this Blue Heron, doing what we both like to do best. . . eating!

At closer inspection you can see these Jimmy Durante-like pelicans apparently standing in review. They always make me smile!
Visit Camera Critters for more wonderful regional wildness.