Another glorious day for Minnesota’s schoolchildren

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.

Governor Dayton declares all K-12 schools closed on 1/6/2014

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.

From KARE11 News:

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.

Sun dogs*

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.

Happy Thursday!

* 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.)

Sunday Things: Flame Flowers and Branched Moon

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


Cold beverages and a picnic blanket outside on a beautiful summer night

Image via Behind the Byline and Copyright Kraft Foods

Just using that image to get your attention.

If you’ve been wondering what all the buzz is about here in St. Paul when it comes to the CREATIVE ENTERPRISE ZONE and Give & Take, tonight’s your chance to find out firsthand with a cold beverage in hand and a picnic blanket as your seat.

Every Give & Take CREATIVE ENTERPRISE ZONE happens in a different part of the neighborhood. Tonight’s event is from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm in the outdoor space that is part of The Lyric on University Avenue and Hampden. The line up sounds like a lot of fun!

Details from Give & Take CREATIVE ENTERPRISE ZONE:

“There are amazing people all around you. It’s especially true in the
Creative Enterprise Zone. Come out and meet some of them in a fun and
creative environment. You never know the potential value of a single
connection until it’s made.

What do you know? What do you want to know? Give & Take uses these
simple questions to launch an interactive evening of presentation,
performances, and surprises in the Creative Enterprise Zone. It’s a
simple way to celebrate creativity and connect with others in your

The event will feature three presentations and take place in and showcase the Creative Enterprise
Zone. Located mid-city between St. Paul and Minneapolis, and
traditionally home to makers of all kinds, the Creative Enterprise Zone
has the goal to be a recognized center
of creativity and enterprise, a place where more people make a living by
their creative capacities.

As all of the presenters will demonstrate,
the community that’s in the neighborhood now is dynamic, intriguing, and

With presentations from:

    & GRETCHEN-SAGE MARTINSON from Avalon School on doing school
    differently with project-based learning and a teacher-led model.:

  • Artist and educator ASIA WARD on coordinating a giant interactive
    musical instrument using conductive elements like skin, chairs,
    aluminum, water, and food, and the free open source software called
    Scratch, developed by the MIT Media Lab:

**Bring Your Own Picnic Blanket**

Co-presented by Works Progress Studio, Saint Anthony Park Community Council and the Creative Enterprise Zone


Thursday, August 15th, 2013
Doors @ 6:30 PM
Program @ 7:00 pm
All Are Welcome!

The Lyric
765 Hampden Avenue North
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55114

Happy first day of spring 2013!

It’s the vernal equinox, the first day of spring, and Minnesota welcomed it this morning with 7 °F and blankets of snow on the ground. However, it is a scintillating sunshiny day!

flower beds
By Annette Marie Hyder

sunshine, like buttercups and daffodils,
riffles in the cold breeze atop the beds of snow.