Lorna and I were spending Christmas with my daughter Adena and her wife Nicole in the Cooper neighborhood of Longfellow in Minneapolis. It is a pleasant neighborhood on the buffs above the Mississippi gorge - a good neighborhood for walking with or without a dog for an excuse. A fifteen minute walk south of their 1925 bungalow is the Seven Oaks Oval, a two acre 35 foot deep wooded sinkhole in the middle of a ring of classic craftsman homes.
Monday, December 27, 2021
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Saturday, December 18, 2021
As I lay in bed, wind tired and worn, drifting through the hallway between half-asleep and half-awake, a song drifted in, "When death comes a knocking will God open the door?"
And for some reason, the Four Horsemen came riding through the dream mist: "Death? Pestilence? Famine? Death? ... or was it Margadant, Grinley, Hurst, Westrum, Berg? No, that's five."
"Oh yeah, that's right, Dock became a Republican"... as I drifted off.
Friday, December 10, 2021
Thursday, December 9, 2021
There are some saints that have been forgotten
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Monday, November 22, 2021
Our home began life in 1907 as a 12' x 16' hunting shack. The town grew out and eventually ate Oakwood Park. Duck hunting and pan fishing were replaced by water skiing, wave runners and other cursed petroleum powered water sports.
Over time at least five one room additions were made to the old shack at 1410 - and it is still a small roomed modest home. Even the stairs down to the lower walkout level are in their third location. 1410 is drafty, wobbly and wonky, but we love it and continuing the tradition, we continue to pour money into remodeling and keeping it dry and upright.
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Likely last warm day of the year ... so like most sane people, I moved rocks.
As I said in my previous posting, wild rocks can be hard to herd - difficult to make them behave. I placed, replaced, adjusted, readjusted the rocks ... then stepped back to look and did it all over again maybe 47 times.
This is what I finally ended up with - sketched in the potential waterfall. I have the water shut off and the reservoir tank drained for the season so we will have to wait for Spring to see what it actually looks like functioning.
Is it a river flowing out of the northern boreal forest dropping off the Precambrian bedrock escarpment into a deep eroded runnel stream, falling off a spectacular shoreline cliff into the cold waters of Gitchigumi over centuries to seep deep into a subterranean aquifer?
Or is it a rinky-dink rock garden rivulet draining into a concealed 40 gallon galvanized cow tank with a plastic lift pump?
Either way - circles and cycles.
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
I have been looking for low, flat weathered rocks of the correct color while at our other home in Lanesboro. Not much luck. I then realized I have enough rocks although they are 6" thick. I was imagining a 6" waterfall as it is now. Hell, why not a 12" waterfall - more of a statement instead of a trickle.
Here is a sketch of my planned upper falls. Of course it will only vaguely resemble this. It is tough herding wild rocks because they tend to have a mind of their own.
Sunday, October 24, 2021
Welcome, you are probably the few who would understand this, comprehend the insanity. This is a top view of the top portion of our water feature stream. The water use to squirt illogically from between and under a rock pile in the water course. Now it originates from snow melt high in the mountains - on the upper left under the yew bush. It flows down a narrow canyon to the cliff edge and drops in a picturesque tourist favorite 5" waterfall.
Actually the water recycles in from the reserve tank in a flexible pipe right before it falls into the existing water course - which is currently filled with oak leaves. Also I need to spread the fake stream width just a little - jack the rocks apart a bit before the stream falls over the edge, and next Spring plant some giant doug firs on the mountain slopes. Or a few stonecrop sedums.
Friday, October 8, 2021
Now we have to review our radio protocol. "Breaker, breaker, good buddie? ", or the more formal military radio protocol, "Birder 1, this is Birder 2"?
The only downside so far is that white and blue really ain't birder colors, but they missed the market niche and olive drab isn't an option.
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Below, the view with the gate open. She has a low camping chair and now her view of the trees and stream below are unobstructed.
Saturday, September 4, 2021
Labor Day. Many of the family young bucks labored on resurfacing our driveway while I putzed in the garden. Technically our neighbor Tim may not be family, but he is in the true sense. He has stood up in family weddings and is there when we need him. As the project wounded down he came down to collect his pay - two beers. As we talked I took photos and identified the birds for him. Here are some of them, including a first of season Cape May Warbler.
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Thursday, August 26, 2021
A small number of the hundreds of photos I took on 8/25/2021 at the water feature of 1410 in the Oakwood neighborhood of Albert Lea, Minnesota.