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Solstice Goodies

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Saturday we turn toward spring as the sun reaches it's apex and returns to warm and light our Mother Earth. Most cultures celebrate this transition.  I'm like the travelling gypsies who celebrate everyone's holidays. Christmas and Hannukah are also celebrations of the renewal that the winter solstice embodies.  It's all about light, food and community.  

Three Letter Conditions

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NO voice is what I've been emailing people who call me and leave messages.  It has been true for four days now. I have the FLU.  And I have to lay low and behave myself so that I don't trigger my CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for those of you who don't deal with the beast.).  Oh goodness sakes, I've been feeling sorry for myself. I'm not big on pain.  Coughing scares me because I had pneneumia nine times as a child.  And I'm not sure I won't drown in my own mucus.  

Fledging

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The crows have fledged and is it loud the back yard.  The feeders were pretty quiet for a few weeks as the adults  tended the eggs and hatchlings.  Fledglings make all the difference.  They create movement!  They create NOISE! LOTS OF NOISE!  And great amusement.  

The End of WInter

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The snow is nearly melted and the we're all shifting gears.  I have a few great shots from this transitional time.  The next will be full of green grass and liquid water.  

Late last fall, when the river froze over, the fawns romped and jumped to discover they could cross on the ice.  There are highways betwixt the favorite spots, one being our backyard.  Here is a shot of the yearling bucks with the orphan they adopted shortly after deer season.  

Life in Mora at 27 below windchill

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This is one of those days that it's more fun to look at than experience full force.  So I'm making ricotta;  finishing Allen's chevre with dried blueberries, Moroccan lemon and toasted almonds; and listening to Mozart on public radio.  I have some nice energy today after a number of days of feeling pretty lousy. I had hoped my Chronic Fatigue would go away when I moved here, but it hasn't.  So the good days are better and so are the bad days.

Vasaloppet

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It was a downtown finish for the Mora Vasalopet this mornng.  It was my first and lots of fun.  Here are some of the shots I got.

This is the last hill after lots of wind on Knife and Mora Lakes.  The snow has begun big time.

Hard work.

Tundra Swans

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I went on my first photographic expedition with the good folks of the Northern Exposures Photography Club yesterday.  This was different because it was just about photography and fellowship.  

Ordinarily I take photos as I bop through life, when the light is amazing out the window, or as an idea strikes me.  I do lots of dashing out the door. Bless Allen as he shakes his head and is always interested in the photos when I eventually return.  

Self Portrait

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The topic this month for KCAA (Kanabec County Art Association) is self-portrait.  It's a topic all artists return to again and again.  Frida Kahlo elevated it to an art form when she was trapped in bed for years, her paints, a canvas and a mirror for companions.  At first I hadn't noticed that the look in her eyes was different in each portrait.  It is that internal quality of the self portrait that evokes the artist in the rest of us.  So many of us feel a need to insinuate ourselves into her self portraits.  Here's one of mine.

Seeds

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As the river freezes over and the trees retreat to their roots, I find myself quieting into the essense of life here in the woods.   It is still the busy part of winter for many people.  Winter Solstice is the holiday I most look forward to because we get to decorate a tree in the woods for the creatures to enjoy.  It's different than the goodies in the back yard because we get no benefit from it other than knowing they can feast.

Settling

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The most welcome first real snow has arrived here at the river.  I'm listening to some Handel and sipping coffee in front of our big window looking out into the back yard as I compose this.  A very confused Mourning Dove is careening through the air just now.  She should be far south by now.  Perhaps the juncos will help her find some food.  I have plenty out there for everyone.  

The goldfinches are convinced they'll never find another seed, so I refilled the feeders before their competators, the redpolls arrive.  

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