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Posts Tagged ‘winter in Minnesota’

Ice Shadows PS3TFinalrR 2015-01-08 22




-haiga posted on redRavine, Saturday, January 24th, 2015
-Part of a yearly practice to write a short form piece of poetry in my Moleskine journal once a day for the next year. Related to post: haiku 4 (one a day) Meets renga 52

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icycles.  33/365 #GroundhogDay

icicles. 33/365, Droid 365 Squared, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 2014, photos © 2014 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.




Groundhog, woodchuck, whistle pig—
six more weeks of winter?
The frozen tundra
in my backyard
may cause my mind to splinter.






-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, February 2nd, 2014
-related to: Vote For Punxsutawney Phil!

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Vertical Bubble - 1-05-14 - 2

Vertical Bubbles, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 2014, photos © 2014 by Liz anne schultz. All rights reserved.


The -22°F drop in air temperature in the Twin Cities this week closed schools and businesses, persuading most of us to stay inside and curl up with a good book. But after seeing the images of photographer Angela Kelly, Liz was inspired to mix up a concoction of soap bubbles, strap her Sony NEX around her neck, and head out into the cold.

I was recruited to blow bubbles, while she chased them around the deck, hoping to grab a quick shot before they flew over the roof and collapsed into tinkling ice crystals. It was -9°F with wind gusts dropping the chill to -30°F below. Liz’s camera even froze up a few times. Yet with everything that was going on around us, she captured a sense of stillness and serenity in these photographs.


Red Dual Bubble - 1-05-14 - 2

Red Dual Bubble, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 2014, photos © 2014 by Liz anne schultz. All rights reserved.


After we were back inside, warming our bones in front of the heater, we read up on the details of blowing bubbles in freezing temperatures. Here is what we learned:


1) For the best frozen bubbles, add corn syrup to thicken the water base and increase the surface tension. It is surface tension that allows the solution to form a bubble. Use the ratio of ingredients below. Then mix and let cool.

1 part dish soap
1 part corn syrup
6 parts hot water


2) Use a bubble wand, instead of your breath.

A bubble is formed by a layer of water molecules trapped between two fine layers of soap molecules. When it is very cold, and the bubble wand is waved slowly, the water layer freezes before the bubble can burst. By contrast, if you make a bubble by blowing into the wand, the bubble takes more time to set because the air in the bubble has been warmed by your lungs. When this warm air comes into contact with cold air it contracts, and the surface of the bubble sets more slowly.


3) It’s natural for frozen bubbles to collapse into themselves.

The layers of soap freeze, making the walls of the bubble more solid. After a few seconds, the air captured inside the bubble disperses to the exterior, like a balloon deflating, and the wall of ice collapses under its own weight leaving what looks like a broken eggshell.


Green Frost Bubble - 1-05-14 - 2

Caving Bubble - 1-05-14 - 2

Green Frost Bubble, Caving Bubble, Minneapolis, Minnesota,
January 2014, photos © 2014 by Liz anne schultz.
All rights reserved.


We are counting on Minnesota to produce another round of sub-zero temperatures (and less wind) so we have a chance to practice more frozen bubble photography before spring.


-posted on red Ravine, Wednesday, January 8th, 2014, with gratitude to Angela Kelly for the inspiration

-Resources:  Science Fun In The Snow – Try This Out – Frozen Bubbles,  Angela Kelly’s website: Kelly Images & Photography: Acclaim for the “Frozen in a Bubble Series”

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SUNDOG - LIZ - IMG951581

Sundog Halo, iPhone Shots, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December 2013, photo © 2013 by Liz Anne Schultz. All rights reserved.




Sundog halo
in a dark world—

her crystal face, silent, skewed.

Deviant rays of red and blue,
diamond dust takes many hues.







There were two days last week when sundogs appeared on our drive to work, adding a little magic to the sub-zero skies. Sundogs, parhelia, are formed by plate crystals high in the cirrus clouds. Though all crystals refract light from the sun’s rays, we only see those that tilt their light toward our eyes 22° or more from the sun and at the same altitude (a 22° circular halo).

When plate crystals drift down with their large hexagonal faces almost horizontal, rays that become sundogs enter a side face and leave through another, inclined 60° to the first. The refractions deviate the rays by 22° or more, depending on their angle when they enter the crystal, making them visible to us. Red is deviated least, giving the sundog a red inner edge.

sundog - Vädersoltavlan_cropped

Vädersolstavlan, a 17th century painting of Stockholm depicting a halo display event in 1535. Cleaned in 1998. Public Domain.

 

 

Sundogs are visible all over the world, any time of year, regardless of the ground temperature. In cold climates, the plates can reside at ground level as diamond dust. The oldest known account of a sundog is “Sun Dog Painting” (Vädersolstavlan) depicting Stockholm in 1535 when the skyscape was filled with white circles and arcs crossing the horizon. The original oil on panel painting, traditionally attributed to Urban Målare, is lost, and virtually nothing is known about it. A copy from 1636 by Jacob Heinrich Elbfas is held in Storkyrkan in Stockholm, and believed to be an accurate copy.





-posted on red Ravine, Monday, December 9th, 2013

-related to post WRITING TOPIC — CIRCLES, haiku 4 (one-a-day) Meets renga 52



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IMG01736-20110211-1717 texas white

A Warm Game Of Texas Hold ‘Em (Haiga) – 6/52, BlackBerry 52 – WEEK 6, Golden Valley, Minnesota, February 11th 2011, photo © 2011 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved. Medium: Digital BlackBerry photograph altered in Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0, Font: Myriad Pro.


After reading the Lunar New Year postcard from Lotus (her BlackBerry52 Jump-Off for Week 6), I started to think about how we don’t know each other in person. We are vulnerable only through our poetry, writing, artwork, the years of conversation that have taken place in this quiet space. There is a long stretch of road, I-35, that connects the landscape between us. Part of her knows this place; her mother once lived in Minnesota. We stare at the same moon, sun, planets and stars.

I was scraping ice dams off the roof last week, and happened to look up behind the blade I was wielding. There between the brilliant blue branches of the oak and ash peered the Bone Moon. The Ancients sometimes called February’s moon the Snow Moon. I reached into my pocket, grabbed the BlackBerry, and snapped off a shot of the sky. It became the backdrop for a haiga, an unbroken expanse of words extending all the way to Texas.

The blue? For Valentine’s Day, Liz asked me on a date to the Walker to see the work of neo-Dada painter Yves Klein — With the Void, Full Powers. I was moved by the architecture of air, the fire paintings, his relationship to the elements, the Anthropométries (human paintbrushes), and the Ex-Voto dedicated to Rita, the Patron Saint of Lost Causes. I walked slowly through a white-walled room of blue monochromes, Klein’s Blue Period. I’ve never seen blue look so beautiful. Blue for the skies of Winter. Blue for communication and expression. Blue for the Blues.


Blue has no dimensions. It is beyond dimensions, while the other colors have some. These are the psychological spaces. Red, for example, presupposes a hearth giving off heat. All colors bring forth associations of concrete, material, and tangible ideas, while blue evokes all the more the sea and sky, which are what is most abstract in tangible and visible nature.

–Yves Klein (1928 – 1962)

Through color I feel the sentiment of complete identification with space; I am truly liberated.

–Yves Klein (1928 – 1962)

_______________


Lotus and I will continue our call and response by posting a BlackBerry photo for the 52 weeks of 2011. Feel free to join us if you wish (learn about the project’s beginnings at BlackBerry 52 Collaboration). To read more about Lotus, visit her at alotus_poetry on Twitter (where she writes poetry every day in community with other Twitter poets), at Poetry By Lotus, and on her Flickr account.


-related to posts: Best Of BlackBerry 365 — First Quarter SlideShow, BlackBerry 365 Project — White Winter Squirrel, Flying Solo — Dragonfly In Yellow Rain, Searching For Stillness, icicle tumbleweed (haiga) — 2/52, The Mirado Black Warrior, The Dying Art Of Letterwriting (Postcards From The Edge)

-posted on red Ravine, Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

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Black Bear Lily On The BearCam, BlackBerry Shots, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 2010, DenCam provided by the NABC/WRI, photo snapshot 2010 by QuoinMonkey.


If you’ve never seen a wild black bear gently lick her paws, roll over in her den, or blow puffs of winter breath in sub-zero temperatures, Lily will change your life. I used to think hibernating bears went into their dens and peacefully slept all Winter. Nothing could be further from the truth.

On Friday January 8th, documentary veteran Doug Hajicek installed an Infra Red camera system into a black bear’s den near Ely, Minnesota. And not just any black bear. Her name is Lily. Three-year-old Lily is part of the long-term study of black bear ecology and behavior being conducted by Lynn Rogers at Ely’s Wildlife Research Institute, less than 30 miles from the Canadian border. Lily is the daughter of 9-year-old June, and it is believed that Lily is pregnant. There is an above average chance she will give birth in mid January.

The Full Moon in January, which I’ve often celebrated as the Wolf Moon, is sometimes known as the Bear Moon. Last week under the New Bear Moon, I listened to Cathy Wurzer interview Doug Hajicek on MPR. Then Liz and I started following Lily on Facebook. We also watched her on the Today Show. And have been reading bear facts at the North American Bear Center and checking in to Lily’s Bear Cam ever since.

No one has ever seen a wild bear give birth to cubs. Some mornings, I can’t take my eyes off the screen. If the miracle happens, it will be the first time in history it has ever been filmed. Bearing witness. It is a powerful thing.


Lily's Eye On The BearCam, BlackBerry Shots, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 2010, photo © 2010 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.




To view the magic for yourself, check out these links:






Black Bear Snout, BlackBerry Shots, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 2010, photo © 2010 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


-posted on red Ravine under the New Bear Moon, Sunday, January 17th,




Other Local Color posts from Minnesota & New Mexico:

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At The Labyrinth’s Center, BlackBerry Shots, Winter Solstice,
Minneapolis, Minnesota, December 2009, photo © 2009
by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 
 
 
 

bright Winter Solstice
Our Lady of Guadalupe
burns at the center

 
 
 
 

Post Script: Last night we broke bread at a Winter Solstice celebration with friends. Bear made an appearance; we burned last year’s Yule Tree. At the end of the drumming, a Great Horned Owl called out from over the pond through the silence. Last night was the first time people walked the labyrinth our friends created in their front yard over this year’s Spring and Summer months. It was a beautiful Winter evening. In the days before Solstice, they shoveled snow from the path; the way through the cairns was clear. What we didn’t know until we arrived was that Our Lady of Guadalupe glowed at the center. I’ll write more about the creation of their labyrinth in future posts.

 

Winter Solstice Fire, Walking The Labyrinth Solstice Night, BlackBerry Shots, Winter Solstice, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December 2009, photo © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 

-posted on red Ravine, Winter Solstice, Monday, December 21st, 2009. Happy Birthday Grandmama Della Elise. You walked through the circle with us last night.

-related to posts: Virgin Mary Sightings, Winter Solstice — Making Light Of The Dark, “K” Is For Kramarczuk’s, Runes, Oracles, & Alphabets, voyeur haiku, haiku 2 (one-a-day)

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“K” Is For Kramarczuk’s, BlackBerry Shots, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December 2009, all photos © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


We stopped at Kramarczuk’s Deli last week to take a few photographs after Christmas shopping. Wasyl Kramarczuk and his wife Anna traveled from the Ukraine to the United States in the 1940’s carrying hope and a dream. In 1954, they combined Wasyl’s sausage making skills with Anna’s delicious cooking and baking to create Kramarczuk’s. Today it’s a Northeast Minneapolis landmark (read more at the Kramarczuk’s website).

Northeast Minneapolis is one area of the city that still cherishes the neighborhood deli. After moving to Minnesota in 1984, I settled in Nordeast where I quickly got to know Kramarczuk’s Deli. In fact, for 20 years I got my hair cut in the vintage East Gate Shopping Center nearby that was torn down a few years ago to make way for a grocery store and high-rise.

What’s your favorite deli food? Check out Kramarczukl’s mouthwatering menu. I’ve had the Polish Sausage, the SauerKraut Dish, and the Ukrainian Meatballs. I love the Varenyky dumplings and the Borscht. It is hearty, stick-to-your-ribs food, perfect for the -0 degree December weather we’ve been having in the Twin Cities. Liz and I were drawn to photograph the mural on the side of the building at night. The letters in the side-by-side alphabets reminded me of our recent post on Runes, Oracles, & Alphabets.

And the Runes remind me of the Holidays and Solstice. Today we’ll be putting up our tree. On Sunday, we’ll be celebrating Winter Solstice at the home of our friends. I’m excited because they recently created a labyrinth in their front yard. Walking from Winter darkness to the green of Spring. What do you want to let go of? What would you like to carry into the light.



Kramarczuk’s – Since 1954, Kramarczuk’s Sausage Co. Inc., Kramarczuk’s Walldog Mural, Northeast – Making History Again, East European Deli – Old Kramarczuk’s Sign, Writing On The Wall, Kramarczuk’s At Christmas, BlackBerry Shots, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December 2009, all photos © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


-posted on red Ravine, Saturday, December 19th, 2009

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RUNES, BlackBerry Shots, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December 2009, all photos © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


Yesterday we went to a book signing at Common Good Books. Jeff Hertzberg and Zöe Francois recently released their second book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. The bread was delicious, the authors serious about their work, down-to-earth, engaging and fun. In casual conversation, it came out that Zöe knows Latin. I remembered that I had taken two years of Latin in junior high, a curriculum requirement in the 1960’s. That got me to thinking about language and alphabets.

After the signing, Liz and I did a little Christmas shopping and later went to the studio. I was looking at this set of Runes I made from clay a number of years ago. For a period of time in my life, I consulted with different oracles on a daily basis: the I Ching, the Runes, Tarot, Medicine Cards. I have a passion for learning about symbols in different systems of mysticism.

Symbols are used to create structure within a system, to help us understand complicated ideas with a simple visual. Over time, color has been organized into systems like Goethe’s Triangle and subsequent Colour Wheel, while chakras are symbolized by certain colors. Logos and brands (like red Ravine or ybonesy’s new logo) take their lead from symbols of yore. Graphic designers are always trying to create  innovative new fonts with which to drape old symbols in more imaginative cloaks. (Yet people still like an old standby because Helvetica remains one of the most widely used fonts around.)

I couldn’t find my Runes book last night or I would have drawn the Runes. But I did find an odd book I’d snapped up at a sale, an old Readers Digest Book of Facts. According to the Languages section of the book, all the alphabets around the world can be traced to a North Semitic alphabet that emerged around 1700 B.C. at the eastern end of the Mediterranean. From the Semitic alphabet developed Hebrew, Arabic, and Phoenician. Then Phoenician alphabet was adopted and adapted by the Greeks who in 1000 B.C. introduced a modified form into Europe.

The Greeks standardized the reading of written lines from left to right, added symbols for vowels, and gave rise to the Roman alphabet (used for modern Western languages) and the Cyrillic alphabet (named after Saint Cyril and used in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union). The North Semitic alphabet spawned the Aramaic alphabet which eventually developed into Asian alphabets, such as Hindi.

The earliest forms of writing are picture writings found on clay tablets in parts of the Middle East and southeastern Europe. Some of the oldest found in Iraq and Iran recorded land sales and business deals.

Where do the Runes fit into all this? They are a mystery. The Runic alphabet is one of the oldest in northern Europe with early examples dating to the 3rd century A.D. They have been found in 4000 inscriptions in Britain, Scandinavia, and Iceland but nobody knows for sure where they originated.

For some reason, the Runes remind me of the ancient celebration of Winter Solstice. Some scholars believe the Runes were derived from the Etruscan alphabet of southern Europe and brought north by the Goths after their invasion of the Roman Empire. To me, they are an oracle of mystery. And that’s what draws me to them.


Post Script: The bread baked by Jeff Hertzberg and Zöe Francois was delicious. Their new book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day looks like a winner with many whole wheat and gluten-free recipes. There’s a recipe for their whole wheat Christmas Stollen Bread in the post of their video interview at KARE 11. Or you can visit their website Artisan Bread In Five with fabulous photographs of mouthwatering baked goods. You will come away hungry for more!


-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, December 13th, 2009

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Chaco Bell, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December 2008, photo © 2008-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Chaco Bell, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December
2008, photo © 2008-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All
rights reserved.



It’s still the dead of Winter in Minnesota, and we’ve got the temperatures to prove it. How do you know it’s January in Minnesota?


  • it’s -8 when you get up in the morning (that’s on a good day, without wind chills)
  • running water (if you’ve got water at all) sputters and spits through sluggish, half-frozen pipes
  • water turned off from 10:30pm Friday to Noon the following Saturday, after you are greeted post-work by a broken water main that creates an ice skating rink on the street in front of your house. All we needed was Kristi Yamaguchi (did you know she was one of the first to be photographed by Annie Liebovitz for the ‘Milk Mustache’ campaign?).
  • the annual Art Shanty Projects kicks off on Medicine Lake
  • the U.S. Pond Hockey Association holds its annual tournament on frigid Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis (See the winners of  the nearly 1,600 pond hockey fanatics that participated in the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships of 2009)
  • close to 9,000 anglers gather on Gull Lake’s Hole in the Day Bay north of Brainerd for the World’s largest ice contest — the Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza (from an aerial view, you could swear those were gopher holes!)


Meantime, life inside home and hearth goes on. The week before Winter Solstice, our middle-aged cat Chaco (named after the canyon in New Mexico, elevation: 6200 feet) became seriously ill; we got him into the vet on December 18th. By the weekend, he needed to go to emergency care for IV fluids, medication, and monitoring, then back to our clinic on Monday. So began the last 6 weeks of caring for a chronically ill cat.

On our last visit to Dr. Heidi, she checked his blood again, and after treating a massive infection with three prescriptions of antibiotics, it seems his numbers are up on the kidneys, yet his anemia remains below the norm. He tires easily, but is eating, drinking, sometimes playing. He’s gained 1.2 lbs. of the 2 lbs. he lost. But there’s that nagging anemia.

The problem with anemia in cats is that it’s hard to diagnose the origin; it can be anything, including chronic kidney disease. We’ve elected home treatment for another month to see if we can get his anemia under control. This means continuing antibiotics, vitamin paste, subcutaneous fluids every 2 or 3 days, prescription foods tailored for kidneys (rich in lean meat, low in fats and additives), and monitoring his habits and schedule.



Chaco -- Room To Heal, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December 2008, photo © 2008-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Chaco — “Room To Heal”, Minneapolis,
Minnesota, December 2008, photo ©
2008-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights
reserved.



Those of you who have cared for ill animals know the drill. It’s good to call on friends who’ve been through a “cat crisis” when you need to make hard financial and emotional decisions involving care for ill pets. It’s truly a miracle that Chaco is alive. Right before Christmas, our vet told us the staff was begging her to put him down. But she saw a few signs of hope in his numbers; otherwise, I would be doing a very different kind of post.

The bottom line with seriously ill pets, is that it’s a very personal decision you must make about how much money to spend (prepare to dip into your savings), what kind of long-term care you are willing to sustain, and if the animal’s quality of life can be maintained without pain and hardship on either side. Tough choices.

Liz and I take it a day at a time. And are happy for the time we have left with Chaco, whatever that may be. On March 22nd, he’ll be 13 years old. With Liz caring for him most of his life, he’s lived like a prince!

We’ve learned quite a bit about cat care over the last month. Perhaps others can benefit from what we’ve been through.


 

Creature Comforts – 10 Cat Care Tips


Below is a short list of Creature Comforts that have made our lives easier over the last 6 weeks of caring for a chronically ill cat. Some can be found around the house. Others take a little cash up front, but we found it helpful to stock up on items that make long-term medical care more bearable for both cats and humans.

We created a home base (see photo above) tucked away in the bedroom where we could monitor Chaco, and followed his movements closely during the first few weeks. Creating a space where he felt safe was important. We also set aside a centralized place in the kitchen for his food, meds, syringes, vitamins, and a high place to hang the Sub-Q bag. Below are other ideas and product brands, but experiment and find what works best for you.



Products and items we’ve found to be helpful during the critical first week:


  1. Complete For Cats, A Fresh Approach To Home, disposable litter box — portable, made with 100% biodegradable, recycled paper with a unique, patented material that will not leak, tear, or shred.
  2. ExquisiCat Scoop, hard clumping, easy scooping litter —  or Scoop Away Odor Control litter. Make clean-up as easy as you can; you’re going to be tired!
  3. Simply Out! 30 floor protection pads — extra thick, ultra absorbent, fragrance free, leak-proof. Treated to attract pets, controls odors, no leaks, guaranteed (pet training pads but work great when pets are sick).
  4. Old towels and rags, plastic tarp as a base — and sanitary wipes like Scott MoistWipes. You may go through a lot of these.
  5. Heating pad, water bottle, reflective heater — to keep everything warmed up and cozy!


Products and items we’ve found to be helpful over the long haul:


  1. Sub-Q fluids and fresh needles on hand, along with web links to videos on giving subcutaneous fluids — Videos can help augment the vet training you receive before bringing your pet home. We found that watching a few different videos gave us a better-rounded picture of the process, and details of ways to handle problems that cropped up along the way. (If you are needle phobic, Sub-Q is NOT for you. You may have to pay your vet to administer fluids.)
  2. Stash of prescription foods (wet & dry), medications, and droppers for water and meds — cats like food, meds, and Sub-Q fluids better at room temperature. Experiment with different prescription foods until you find a few your cat likes. Two of our cats will drink from a dropper (good to know when they don’t feel well enough to drink on their own).
  3. SmartyKat Kitty Canyon Pet Bed — all of our cats love this. It’s plush, deep, and flips inside-out for a quick style change! It’s also Eco-friendly, made of EcoRest fibers, using 8 recycled 1-liter soda bottles. In the beginning, when Chaco was having trouble walking, carrying him this way gave us more mobility.
  4. Collar with bell to track movements in the night — Liz had one of Chaco’s old collars around and we strapped it on so we could track where he was during the night.
  5. Keep a handwritten log of your cat’s progress, from beginning to end — you can’t keep all this in your head! We made up a grid with categories for Meds, Food, Sub-Q, Bathroom Habits. You’ll also want to keep your veterinary and emergency clinics’ numbers handy at home, in your cell phone, and in your wallet. We have made a lot of phone calls!


I know there are many who have done long-term care for aging or sick pets. If you’ve got any other cat or pet care tips, we’d love to hear them. Please feel free to add them to this post. And remember, cat care is stressful, so take advantage of all the winter sports the Great White North has to offer and get some exercise!



Miracle Cat, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December 2008, photo © 2008-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Miracle Cat, Minneapolis, Minnesota,
December 2008, photo © 2008-2009 by
QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



Helpful Links:



-posted on red Ravine, Monday, January 26th, 2009

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Moon Webs, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 2009, photo © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Moon Webs, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 2009, photo © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



one rises, one sets
Moon cradled in snow branches
Sun births a new day





Cradled In Ash, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 2009, photo © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Cradled In Ash, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 2009, photo © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



click! snaps the shutter
fingers frozen to the bone
nose running away





Wolf Moon, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 2009, photo © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Wolf Moon, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 2009, photo © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



Wolf Moon howls at me
survival of the warmest
she wins every time






Note:  Woke up to -18 degree temperatures in our zip code (-32 wind chills) and saw this through the window at sunrise. What a magnificent sight. I had to step out in my soft new PJ’s (thanks Mom!) and take a few shots. Right after that, I donned all my winter mummy-wear and spent 1 1/2 hours shoveling the two feet of snow blocking our long, hilly driveway. We are in the January deep freeze, traditionally the coldest weeks of the year.

I love winter in Minnesota. It makes me feel alive. And the Wolf Moon is the brightest I’ve seen in months. You can read more about why in the Comment links from our readers in this post about a celestial ménage à trois . (Thanks diddy and R3. I knew I’d fit that phrase in somewhere!)



-posted on red Ravine, Tuesday, January 13th, 2008

-related to posts:  winter haiku trilogy, PRACTICE – Wolf Moon – 10min, haiku (one-a-day)

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Splash Fire, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Splash Fire (Dreamscape), Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



Winter Solstice is peaking in the Great White North. The darkness of winter reflects off the cold blue snow. Yesterday we had blizzard conditions and the cottage sits behind a wall of white. I wanted to get up and write in the shadows, calling upon dreams I wish to bring into the light.

Mr. StripeyPants sits beside me on the couch, trying to keep warm. Kiev and Liz are still asleep. Chaco, bless his heart, is spending the weekend in an animal hospital. He declined quickly this week and, after two visits to our vet, we had to make the hard decision to put him in emergency care over the weekend.

The doctor called last night to say he is steadily improving. At 12 years old, he is experiencing the beginnings of kidney failure. We are not sure how long we’ll have with him. Quite a few tears were shed this week. Into the fire it all goes. I can release the grief and pain. I don’t have to carry the burden.

Winter Solstice in Minnesota hit her highpoint around 6 a.m CST. From that moment on, each day takes us more into the light. The Universal Time for Winter Solstice in 2008 is 12 21 12:03:34 UT. In the Midwest, we have to subtract 6 hours to arrive at the accurate time zone. (To learn more about Solstices and how to translate time for your part of the world visit the links and comments in Solstice Fire In Winter or Winter Solstice — Making Light Of The Dark.)

Around Noon we will head over to our friends’ home for a Winter Solstice celebration. They usually use the dried and cut Yule tree from last year’s season as kindling to start the fire. On the longest night of the year, we’ll draw on the cave-like energy of Bear, Spirit Guardian of the North.



Bear is feminine reflective energy. She is known across many cultures as a symbol for divinity and healing, and a powerful totem. According to the Animal Spirits cards, illustrated by Susan Seddon Boulet, the Ainu people of the northern islands of Japan believed the Bear was a mountain god. In India, bears are believed to prevent disease and the cave symbolizes the cave of  Brahma. And among the Finno-Ugric peoples, the bear was the god of heaven.

Many Native American peoples regard Bear as a Spirit helper. Here is an excerpt from the Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson:


The strength of Bear medicine is the power of introspection. It lies in the West on the great Medicine Wheel of Life. Bear seeks honey, or the sweetness of truth, within the hollow of an old tree. In the winter, when the Ice Queen reigns and the face of death is upon the Earth, Bear enters the womb-cave to hibernate, to digest the year’s experience. It is said that our goals reside in the West also. To accomplish the goals and dreams that we carry, the art of introspection is necessary.

To become like Bear and enter the safety of the womb-like cave, we must attune ourselves to the energies of the Eternal Mother, and receive nourishment from the placenta of the Great Void. The Great Void is the place where all solutions and answers live in harmony with the questions that fill our realities. If we choose to believe that there are many questions to life, we must also believe that the answers to these questions reside within us. Each and every being has the capacity to quiet the mind, enter the silence, and know.

     -from the Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson

 

Bear is the West, the intuitive side, the right brain. Bear invites us to calm the chatter and enter the silence. To hibernate, Bear travels to the Cave, seeks answers while dreaming, and is reborn in the Spring. In the Dream World, our Ancestors sit in council and advise us about alternative pathways leading to our goals. They open doors to inner-knowing where “the death of the illusion of physical reality overlays the expansiveness of Eternity.”

My Grandmother Elise’s birthday is on Winter Solstice. And I often think of her this time of year and call her Spirit into the Circle; I can feel her looking down on us. Solstice is a time of release, a time to consider what to leave behind in the dark, what seeds we wish to plant that may mature with the light of Spring.


Happy Winter Solstice to all. The dark New Moon signifies the beginning of a new cycle that will come to fruition at the next Full Moon. May you celebrate with open hearts. Merry meet, Merry part, and Merry meet again.




     Bear Breathing Fire, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.    Bear Breathing Fire, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Bear Breathing Fire, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



-posted on red Ravine, Winter Solstice, Sunday, December 21st, 2008

-related to posts: 8 Minutes, and 10 Things I Learned Last Weekend (Solstice x Number)

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The Face of Winter, Minnesota, February 2008, photo<br /> © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

The Face Of Winter, Medicine Lake, Minnesota, February 2008, photo
© 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



When photographer Peter Haakon Thompson came up with the Art Shanty Projects in 2003, he never meant for it to become a huge event. The original plan was to take a break from work, build his own ice shack, and hang out with a couple of friends. When Liz and I attended the event last February, during some of the coldest winter days on record, it was obvious his idea had caught fire in Minnesota.

Midwesterners are known for creative ways to weather the dark winter seasons. If we stayed inside through the long months of winter (we had an end of March blizzard just last weekend), we’d surely go insane. To break the lethargy of cabin fever, we are prone to brave the elements and get our butts outside. What better way than a venture into the Arts.



Angles, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Which Way's Up?, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.  Paw Print, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Tilt, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Top Of The World, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Sun Under Clouds, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Cub-I-Cle, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Spaceship On Ice, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.  Stuffy In Here, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



In a 2005 MPR article on The Art Shanty Projects, Peter explains how he got started: “I just really liked the idea of small spaces that you can fit everything into,” says Thompson. “I’m a sailor and I really like sailboats and how everything fits into that small space.”

Once Thompson’s friend David Pittman heard about the project, he immediately saw potential. The Art Shanty Project, co-curated by Pittman and Thompson, was born.



I Love Medicine Lake, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.  Freeze Pop Pullover, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Moon Angle, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Ships Pass In The Night, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.  Postal Shanty, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Woodburner - The Black Box Theater, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Airplane Ice Shanty, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.  Inside Out, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Biking Across Medicine Lake, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



Artists dove deep into their right-brain imaginations to reinvent the ice fishing house. What’s limnology? What about a portrait in the Snap Shot Shanty? Or a visit to the Shanty of Misfit Toys. This year, Old Man Winter would have been chuckling under frigid, billowing puffs of breath. Because on the coldest day of Winter 2008, Minnesota families of all ages showed up at East Medicine Lake Beach to do the bunny hop.

“Part of the idea I think for us is that this is not an intimidating gallery environment,” says Thompson. “So I think people are more willing to come and look at stuff if it just doesn’t have that quiet gallery atmosphere. It’s outside and there’s kids and dogs running around and snowmobiles.”



See Through Walls (Photo Shanty), Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.  Sails Up, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.  MoonAngle, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Through The Mask, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Cool Screen (Ice Mouse), Medicine Lake, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Skeleton Car, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Horizons, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Through The Windows, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Red Bike, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



The Art Shanty Project is over for the season. But the memories linger. The Karaoke Shanty, Postal Shanty, Cubicle Shanty (created by a group that designs parking structures), Foreclosure Shanty, and Black Box Theater are closed for the year. The Freeze Pop pullover has been retired. The track for the bicycle ice races, melted into lake. But the Art of Ice lives on in these photographs.



 Hillary, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Around The Corner, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Home, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Blue Reflector, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Have You Hugged A Limnologist Today?, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   The Green Easy, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Two Step, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.   Ice Ship Reflections, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


 

    Angles, Medicine Lake, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.      Angles, Medicine Lake, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Angles, Medicine Lake, Minnesota, February 2008, all photos © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



To view more photographs and press of the Art Shanty Projects, check out these links:


-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, April 6th, 2008

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Holding Space, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Holding Space, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.






lake frozen in place
yellow sun sinking behind
holding silent space





-posted on red Ravine, Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

-related to post: haiku (one-a-day)

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Tracks, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Tracks, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.






March winds rock the house
the writer sits at her desk
unearthing old bones





-posted on red Ravine, Thursday, March 6th, 2008

-related to posts: haiku (one-a-day) and snow flying on ice (sound haiku)

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The Full Snow Moon was bright, then blood red, the last Total Lunar Eclipse until 2012. There are many names for February’s Moon: Sleet Moon, Goose Moon, Coyote Moon. I even found a reference from the Sioux, Raccoon Moon. I thought of our resident raccoon. I bundled wool over exposed skin, stood outside in no wind, -6 degrees of chilled air, watched the shadow of Earth fall between us and the Moon.

We could only stand to be outside for 5 or 10 minutes. Then we would quickly roll inside, warm up frost-fried fingers, fumble with camera buttons to see if we got a good shot. Blurred, no tripod. Back outside again. Even near a large city, it was silent, clear, you could see a spattering of stars through crimped branches of oak and elm.

The Eastern Cherokee call February the Bone Moon. Food grows thin, sometimes runs out. The Ancients gnawed on bones, made soup in steaming black pots over wooden tripods on fire. The white Bone moon disappeared, slowly eaten by Earth’s shadowy darkness. And in its place, indirect sunlight that still managed to bounce off the moon, turned into red, blues filtered, sucked out by the Earth’s atmosphere. The red moon is warm. We stood staring, not wanting to talk.

February is a lean month. I am restless, can’t stand to be in the house. I have moved to a coffee shop close by. I’m staring out at what is left of Winter’s dress – dirty brown snow. Cars fly past on their way to Rainbow Foods. There are only three of us left inside. I slow-drink a latte (skim), set Natalie’s book out on the table next to my headphones, cell phone, a black caribou jumping through a turquoise hoop. Is it a Snow Moon caribou? Or have we crossed a line into March.

I fattened up over Winter. I can feel a lumbering, I like the word lumbering, in my Soul. And my body aches to run, screaming through the wilderness. I guess that’s what I loved about freezing my butt off, staring up at the Snow Moon. The wildness of it all. I heard the dogs bark down the street. I wanted to scream. I don’t think I said anything to Liz, but they were barking through the whole 3 hours of the eclipse.

I wonder what the Ancients thought, standing around, coyotes circling, staring at the moon disappear behind invisible shadows. How did they make sense of it? A god, a goddess, another force to be reckoned with.

I have not seen the raccoon paws again. But water was dripping off the shingles when I left the house. Puddles splash across the sidewalk, rubber treads throw themselves into muddy thaw. I passed a stone office building located in the middle of a bog. There it is, all alone, in the middle of a swamp. It was empty for a long time, finally bought by a company with a wave logo and hydraulics in the name.

I told Liz I wish that was my studio, a building floating in the middle of a cattail bog, floating on a swamp. But why do people build in Nature’s drainage system, the places she uses to purify her water? I swear, if there were not zoning laws, state and national parks, every single square inch of space would be covered in concrete, tar, brick and mortar. There would be no Snow Moon to stare up at on a February winter night. Yeah, we tried to take over the Moon, too. But there was no air, no water, no food.

Man, so limited in his ability to adapt to physical hardship, fights the elements, refuses to honor the past. I’ve gone off on a tangent now. I guess there is something to be said for a good rant once in a while. I could tell by my writing practice this morning that I was edgy and unforgiving. Mostly of myself. I come here to stare out the window, guilt-free, to work on my projects without flinching or running over to add water to the cat dish.

I remember Natalie saying, “You’ve got to get out of the house. It’s too distracting.” I guess if a home was big enough, you could create enough space, your own wing, off from the rest of the family. But I am so used to sharing space that isn’t really there. It appears and reappears, Poof!, out of thin air.

Like the eclipsed, disappearing Moon. Only to surface hours later, no worse for wear, revealing a few more of her secrets, in coded shades of red. Nature’s secrets, they keep the dark mysteries alive. And in the morning, more Sun.


-posted on red Ravine, Monday, February 25th, 2008

-related to posts, winter haiku trilogy and PRACTICE – Wolf Moon – 10min

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Snow Flying On Ice, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Snow Flying On Ice, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.






thick lumbering lake
bristles at the crackling sound
snow flying on ice






Lake Ice Booming – 1min
Recorded by Audio Producer/Editor/Mixer, Curt Olson at Track Seventeen

More sounds of Winter at: The Sound of Snow and Ice – Various Artists at Gruenrekorder

-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, February 24th, 2008

-related to post, haiku (one-a-day)

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