May 4, 2014 § 8 Comments

Magnolias, my grandma’s favorite, are about to hit prime time. Blooms from two trees caught my attention yesterday:

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I’m neither a Star Wars nor a sci-fi fan, but it’s plausible that many take “May the 4th be with you” day seriously, as noted by the swarm of little boys swinging foam light sabers at each other outside the neighborhood bookstore.

The costumed characters were likely brought in for (and subsequently ignored by) the kids, but the adults were certainly star struck, posing for selfies with people dressed in long robes or metal armor. I saw one character twirling his gold sword like a baton next to someone’s nice car. I wish my parents had been in town. Mom would have kept a close watch on those shenanigans. And in the event it would have been my parents’ car parked there, I guarantee she would have been on Dad’s case to move it before Luke Skywalker scratched the paint.

Then there was this dude cozying up to the ladies.

Storm Troopers need love, too

Storm Troopers need love too

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Balloons, bark, bees, and buds:

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What I’m looking forward to (and hoping for) this spring/summer:

Northern Spark, lilacs, Lowertown Farmer’s Market, writing more and better, advanced photography, traveling to the ends of the state and the country (perhaps the world), a post-injury 5k or 10k, an August wedding reception at a pizza joint, sandals, trail runs, the people I’ve yet to meet, a better serve, publication somewhere (anywhere), a new swimsuit and furniture, framed photographs and artwork, blonde highlights, a faster bike, Saint Dinette, Hopper Drawing and Open Field at the Walker, simplifying, giving up Facebook for a spell, Heyday, hosting a brunch with a DIY Bellini cocktail bar, writing my congresspeople on a range of issues, a break from my blog (or the implementation of an improved version), doing something no one expects of me

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Other random photos from the weekend:


February 21, 2014 § 6 Comments




North Country Snowshoe

December 29, 2013 § 4 Comments

Northern Minnesota

Snowshoeing with Dad on one of the last beautiful mornings of the year


December 27, 2013 § 1 Comment


Into the woods

Learning to Love the Loathsome Gingko

November 5, 2013 § 7 Comments

I spent the autumns of 2011 and 2012 in the great metropolis of New York. My life-changing time there was even more memorable because Manhattan sidewalks lack smushed gingko seeds. (Yes, Manhattan sidewalks offer other offenses to the nose and eyes, but gingko seeds ain’t one of ‘em.)

Gingko Armageddon -- not in NYC

Gingko Armageddon — not in NYC

I’ve been running and walking the streets of St. Paul for many years now, and the only downside to autumn that I can think of is the production and elimination of the female gingko tree’s nasty children.

Years ago, before I realized the peculiar odor rising from the sidewalk was not vomit, I thought the gingko seeds were pretty little apricot-like berries that you could gather to make pies and jam.

Look at them, all innocent and cute, waiting for you to pick one up and pop it in your mouth

Look at them, all innocent and cute, waiting for you to pick one up and pop it in your mouth

Ha! Fooled me! It’s not my kind of eats, but some foodies purport that if you can dig through all that deplorable flesh without gagging, a delectable nut awaits you. But guess what? Too many gingko nuts can KILL YOU. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the gingko is a lose-lose proposition.

Low-hanging gingkoes waiting to kill you

Low-hanging gingkoes waiting to kill you

I realize I’m being flippant. Perhaps the gingko has some wonderful qualities I’m overlooking. Perhaps I should write an ode to the gingko seed. Or better yet, a children’s book about the bullied gingko who overcomes adversity and inevitably enjoys equal esteem among the athletic oaks, stunning maples, and skinny birches.

To research my soon-to-be best-selling picture book, I googled “gingko qualities” and came up with a slew of them:

  • Medicinal aspects — gingko leaf extract can help with dementia, memory problems, depression, cataracts. Sign me up!
  • Nothing fazes the stately gingko — not smoke, not deer, not air pollution. It laughs at insects and diseases that easily overcome other trees. Simply build a fort of gingkoes around your compound — nothin’s getting through!
  • “I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.” — Linus Van Pelt, 1965 (but not in reference to a gingko)

You’re right, Linus. For don’t we all deserve a little love? Even the foul gingko.


October 28, 2013 § Leave a comment


After nearly a week away, I’m pleased to see Minnesota is still brimming with color

Color Cluster

October 17, 2013 § 11 Comments

It’s fall in Minnesota — my first since 2010. And I’m a little manic about taking pictures. As winter prepares to rear its white and wise head, it’s comforting to know that all this color precedes it, and the reds and oranges and yellows and purples will still persist buried beneath the snow come November and January and March.


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