Down to Earth by Michael Cheval
School has been canceled once again (at least in our district), this time at the School District’s discretion, due to temperatures inhospitable to human life.
That’s my Jasmine up there on that bike.
“When it says that frostbite can occur in five to 10 minutes, that makes
us concerned for student safety.” — Anoka Hennepin spokeswoman Mary
Indeed! You can read more here.
Conceptual Photography, Brrrr, by Annette Marie Hyder
An extra after-Christmas present for children across Minnesota
Well the new year is getting off to a happy start for schoolchildren all across the state of Minnesota. With temperatures promising to dip well below zero — the lowest temps in decades — school has been cancelled for this coming Monday at the Governors order.
Governor Mark Dayton ordered all K-12 public schools closed Monday to
protect Minnesota school children from forecasted dangerously cold
weather. The National Weather Service is predicting that most of the
state will experience the coldest temperatures in a decade with lows
reaching -30 degrees and wind chills predicted to reach as low as -50
degrees. High temperatures from International Falls to Rochester are
forecast to reach only -15 degrees.
“The safety of Minnesota’s
schoolchildren must be our first priority,” said Governor Dayton. “I
have made this decision to protect all our children from the dangerously
cold temperatures now forecasted for next Monday. I encourage
Minnesotans of all ages to exercise caution in these extreme weather
conditions.” Read more here.
Packs of wild dogs lope
By Annette Marie Hyder
across the winter hunting grounds of the Minnesota sky at dawn.
Their long drawn out howls are seen, not heard, glow against the cold
and speak of a different kind of animal
whose brief flash of bright spirit
illuminates the day and thoughts throughout thereof.
Ice crystals are teeth that gleam, polished by the wind and sun.
Vertical rainbows are proud plumes of tails.
Halos are paw-prints they leave for our bedazzled eyes
to pick out against the ice-blue-skies.
* From, Snow dogs and sundogs, a previous post: A sun dog or sundog (scientific name parhelion, plural parhelia, from Greek parēlion, (παρήλιον), παρά(beside) + ήλιος(sun), “beside the sun”; also called a mock sun) is an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the sun.
Sundogs may appear as a colored patch of light to the left or right
of the sun, 22° distant and at the same distance above the horizon as
the sun, and in ice halos. They can be seen anywhere in the world during
any season, but they are not always obvious or bright. Sundogs are best
seen and are most conspicuous when the sun is low. Source: Wikipedia
Like to see some photos? Check out MPR News: Sun dogs light up the Minnesota sky, by Michael Olson
Ghosties and pumpkins and leaves
The ghosts are out early, wait not for the dark.
I didn’t know when my daughter decided to get off her bus early and take the long walk home from school, through adjacent neighborhoods, that she would be accompanied by ghosts! (Photos kind courtesy of Jasmine Hyder.)
Flame Flowers and Branched Moon
By Annette Marie Hyder
The bats were out singing in sweet fey high voices
that only a few could hear, besides the ghosts
who were riding the lanterns that served them as boats
as the lanterns polished the mirrored frog pond.
And the moon crept in closer and sat in the tree branches
to get a peep at our view, while show-off paper carried
flame in its hands all the while shaping the flame into flowers,
like a balloon man animal-shapes his balloons.
And the flowers swayed on the rippling water
sizzling sparks as they bloomed beneath the bats and the moon
and did you see the way that they leaned right into
the music of the frog chorused breeze?
The Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival was held today at the Como Ordway Memorial Japanese Garden. If you missed it, here is a brief description from the Como Zoo and Conservatory website. Maybe you can make it next year?
“Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival
Bonsai, martial arts, singing, dancing, drumming, delicious food and
other aspects of Japanese culture, will be featured at the annual Como
Park Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival, an event reminiscent of Japan’s annual Obon holiday, on Sunday, August 18, 2013
on the grounds of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Como Park.
Obon is an important Japanese cultural and family holiday, at which
ancestral spirits are said to revisit their families for three days.
Families pay their respects at gravesites and put out offerings of food
and drink on a tray before household altars. They also light lanterns or
small fires outside the house to symbolically guide the souls to the
home. On the last evening of Obon, lanterns again guide the spirits back
to their resting places.
The day will culminate at dusk with the main event—the lantern
lighting. Six stone lanterns and floating paper lanterns throughout the
Japanese garden pond and the Frog Pond will create a vision of
peacefulness and harmony to commemorate the dead.” — Como Zoo and Conservatory Website