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Posts Tagged ‘winter’

20160104_123655 - January ap textresize

January, Droid Shots, St.Paul, Minnesota, January 2016, photo © 2016 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

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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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by Willa Cather

Evening and the flat land,
Rich and sombre and always silent;
The miles of fresh-plowed soil,
Heavy and black, full of strength and harshness;
The growing wheat, the growing weeds,
The toiling horses, the tired men;
The long empty roads,
Sullen fires of sunset, fading,
The eternal, unresponsive sky.
Against all this, Youth,
Flaming like the wild roses,
Singing like the larks over the plowed fields,
Flashing like a star out of the twilight;
Youth with its insupportable sweetness,
Its fierce necessity,
Its sharp desire,
Singing and singing,
Out of the lips of silence,
Out of the earthy dusk.

___________________________________________

“Prairie Spring” is in the public domain and was released by Poem-A-Day from The American Academy of Poets on December 29th, 3013. Launched during National Poetry Month in 2006, Poem-A-Day features new and previously unpublished poems by contemporary poets on weekdays and classic poems on weekends.


Willa Cather was born on December 7, 1873, in Virginia. She grew up in Nebraska and studied at the University of Nebraska, before moving to Pennsylvania, and then to New York. Cather is best remembered for her novels depicting frontier life on the Great Plains. “Prairie Spring” was first published in 1913 as the prologue to Willa Cather’s novel O Pioneers! Although Cather received widespread recognition as a novelist, her first published book was April Twilights (1903), a collection of poetry. In 1923, Cather was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, One of Ours (1922). Cather died in 1947 in New York City.


♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


After our New Year’s book cleaning, I pulled out all of our poetry books and was inspired to read poetry every day. On a frigid winter weekend, when the air temperatures will drop to -27°F in the Twin Cities, it helps to read poems about spring. I felt closest to Willa Cather when I traveled through Nebraska on frequent road trips to New Mexico where she met D. H. Lawrence in 1924. I stayed in the Cather room at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House and wrote about her after one of those trips in Valentine.


-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, January 5th, 2014

-Related to posts: Discovering The Big Read, Midwest Poets & Writers — When Can You Call A Place Home?, The Vitality Of Place — Preserving The Legacy Of “Home”, The World According To Mr. Schminda (et al.)

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spying the crane through the grass

I Spy A Crane, February 2010, photo © 2010 by Jim. All rights reserved.









[insert your haiku here]










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Note: Jim took this photo of two cranes in the field near the house. I liked how the photo came out, soft around the edges. One of the cranes is hard to see; it’s behind branches. I wanted to write a haiku but didn’t have time. I invite anyone else out there to write a haiku, or a caption, or anything you want, inspired by the cranes.

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The January Wolf Moon was wide and full, smeared across the morning sky the way an artist rubs a chalky finger across gray charcoal on paper. It was Liz that pointed it out to me, half asleep in the kitchen making coffee. By the time I got to the window, she was already out the door with her video camera, taking a long shot of the moon. She still had her pajamas on. It was -5.

January in Minnesota has lived up to its name this year. I become reclusive in cold. My dreams frozen and bending back on themselves like the ice folds on the back roof. Last Thursday, there was such a loud pop at the eaves, that it jolted me out of sleep. I woke Liz up and we both went and stared out the window into the black cold. Helpless. Humans have no recourse against the harshness of winter. If your car or furnace breaks down, or your pipes bust open, it is an instant time machine to the way things used to be.

When the roof jumped out of its skin, we did, too. Liz stuffed her hair under her hat, pulled on her boots, and walked out with a flashlight to inspect the roof. It was 3am. The crunch of her feet on top of the snow sounded like she was in the living room, right beside me. Sound travels quickly through frigid, thin air. I stayed behind, looking up ice dams on the Internet. Turns out, all of this creaking is normal for sub-zero temperatures. But, I tell you, it’s hard to fathom that the roof is not going to just cave in around us.

I have felt a lostness, is that a word, a directionless month. Trying to get on my feet, find my ground. I pulled a Medicine Card yesterday and it was Bat – reversed. The reversed cards are about lessons that need to be learned, an unwillingness to embrace the individual power rolling your way. Bat is about Rebirth. In the reversed stage, she is telling me to get going, to move on toward my dreams and goals. The Universe is supporting me. But if I can’t let it lift me, or push against it with resistance, all those dreams will come tumbling down.

At the extreme, the resistance of reversed Bat leads to a lifetime of saying, “I’m going to do that tomorrow” – and then I’m at the end of my life and the things I dreamed of have not been accomplished. If everything is laid out for you, why not take the bait? Usually, for me, it is fear. Or not having a solid practical plan. I am good at dreaming. For follow through, I have to make a structured plan.

I’ve been resisting. Because I know how much work it’s going to take to move forward. I have had the luxury of time to rest the last month and a half. I am deeply grateful for that gift. Now, I need to take action. I feel overwhelmed. I need to remember, day by day, one step at a time. I don’t have to do everything all at once. One step at a time. Never give up on your dreams.

So when the Full Wolf Moon slid a dewdrop of reflected sunlight through the slats in the blind, and Kiev was running around like a maniac last night, I tried to pay attention to my dreams. But I was so tired, all that came was sleep.

In the morning, French Roast helps a little. And thinking about the death of Heath Ledger. So young. It makes no sense. There is nothing like death to wake you up. I just took a swig out of the amber Taos Mountain Outfitters water bottle and thought about walking around Taos. Water and caffeine dehydrate; water and mountain drench. The cells have everything they need to climb. Now – take the next step.


-posted on red Ravine, Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

-related to posts, winter haiku trilogy and What Is Your Totem Animal?

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Snow Goddess, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December 2007, photo © 2007 by SkyWire Alley. All rights reserved.

Snow Goddess, Minneapolis, Minnesota, taken Christmas Day, December 2007, photo © 2007 by SkyWire Alley. All rights reserved.




Dark when I left work,
then closing my eyes for sleep
the weatherman chimed,

“In the great Midwest
we’ve gained 8 minutes of light
since Winter Solstice.”





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           A Charlie Brown Christmas, snippets on YouTube by FlyingForGlory



Patty:  Try to catch snowflakes on your tongue. It’s fun.
Linus Van Pelt:  Mmm. Needs sugar.
Lucy Van Pelt:  It’s too early. I never eat December snowflakes. I always wait until January.
Linus Van Pelt:  They sure look ripe to me.

I love to watch the snow fall. I’m a huge fan of Winter. I’m also a big Peanuts fan and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas every single year (you can’t beat Vince Guaraldi’s score). The snow theme captures the best of both worlds for me. I’m not apt to take Lucy’s advice though. I love December snowflakes!

There are two other shows I make sure not to miss over the Holidays: Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol and A Christmas Story. I’m sad to say that Bob Clark, the director of 1983’s A Christmas Story, died unexpectedly earlier this year (see Remembrances on NPR). His cult classic will live on.

I’ve also been inspired by a couple of snow posts by fellow bloggers. One is on Joe Felso: Ruminations, 13 Ways Of Looking At Snow, a tribute to Wallace Stevens. And Snow Sculptures at Leslie’s Blog, complete with vintage black and white photographs. You won’t be disappointed.

It’s Christmas Eve. This is my last post for a few days. I’ll be checking in once in a while for comments. But what I really want to say is thanks for writing with us and visiting red Ravine. We are grateful for your presence here. And thanks to my faithful blogging partner, ybonesy, for holding up the other half of the sky.

It’s still and silent outside the window this morning. The storms of yesterday have passed. The day Moon is clear. Liz pointed it out to me off the deck this morning on her way to work. And have I thanked you enough Lizzie for all of your patience and support around my crazy writing life?

Finally, whoever is reading and writing with us, however you celebrate this time of year, I hope your Holidays are sweet.


-posted on red Ravine, Monday, December 24th, 2007

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