Thursday, November 24, 2016


Winter has finally come to the North Country. Not to be confused with the country north of here which would be Canada. For the United States (as long as they're still united) we are the northern edge and a lot of Canada actually lies south of us.

The transition to winter was quite abrupt this year occurring in less than two weeks. We had a windy day on the lake, but the day after was still good enough to get some pictures. When the skies clear, the temperature drops, and the dusk can get kind of pretty. Click on the pics to embiggen.

Even after the sun went down there were still some waves rolling in. There were quite a few photographers and people wandering around, but being that it is off-season for tourists, most of them were locals. The colors get more intense this time of year.

Then it was the Supermoon rising in the east. At this time of year it is also called Hunter's moon, Frosty moon, or Full Beaver moon (I know what you're thinking!). It was big and bright and I am sure you saw many pictures of it.  This is one shot from across the harbor and over Coast Guard Point.
This is also the time of year when shipping tends to stay closer to shore in order to avoid the heavier winds out on the lake. I am not sure, but this looks like the Indiana Harbor, which is a thousand footer with a 105 foot beam. Sometimes I can identify them by their profile.
Then we had a howling blizzard last Friday night and had to play at  the Winterer's Gathering dance at North House Folk School. Travel wasn't recommended, but about fifty people showed up. Last year it was about 200. Winds were gusting to 50mph and the temperature was around freezing, so the precipitation varied from snow to freezing rain and back again. It added a challenge to the evening. It snowed again yesterday and added a little more and made driving more exciting than most would prefer. It looks kind of pretty this morning here on the farm.
It is definitely winter now and will be for the next few months.

People have their favorite music for the holidays and my favorite for this one is Alice's Restaurant. It is about 18 minutes long, but tells a great story. At about the same time this came out I started driving and turning into a grownup. I'm almost one now. Maybe just a few more years.

Happy Thanksgiving to us here in the United States!

Saturday, November 12, 2016


So now we have a new President-elect in this country. Half of the voters chose a man who, by his own words and actions has marginalized a large part of the population of this country. Muslims, refugees, immigrants, LGBT people, people of color - anything other than white - the disabled, women of all types and in so many ways from health care to their appearance, and who knows how many others. I can't remember them all as there have been so many.

I get that there may be other reasons, like Mr. T (no disparagement to the REAL Mr. T*) isn't a Washington insider, but then most of the incumbents (Washington insiders) were put back into office. What's with that? I also get that Hillary has a lot of baggage and may not be seen to be a suitable president, but she knows how things work, or don't, in the political landscape. She knows when to keep her mouth shut and her temper under control where the president-elect is often out of control and reacts like a thirteen year old bully. That will not bode well in the international scope of the world. Don't forget that the rest of the world knows a lot more about us than we know about them.

The president-elect promised to rescind the ACA (Obamacare) in it's entirety last week and take millions of people back out of the rather lame health care system that we have. This week he is backtracking on that. We'll have to wait and see what his base thinks of that broken promise.

By the way, I know he is not technically the president-elect until the Electoral College votes, but it is easier than calling him by name, so it will have to do for now. I will not forget that he insisted that the current president was not born in the United States and maintained that for years until very recently when he denied ever saying it.

The evangelical support he got makes me rethink what a Christian is supposed to be. Certainly not the loving and caring follower of Jesus who said something like, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," at his sermon on the mount. That must mean something else to his Christian supporters.

I guess the point of all this is that a KKK supported, fear-mongering, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, racist, got elected by the voters to be the next president of the United States. I am not okay with that now nor will I be in the future. I am glad that at least half the voters did not vote for him and I will not support him nor the people that are his base. I will do everything I can to be sure something like this doesn't happen again and help folks to see the error of their ways.

For all those disenfranchised and marginalized Americans and residents in this country I am wearing and will continue to wear a safety pin so they know they are safe around me and know that they are not alone.

* P.S. I did not mean to insult this man by using the name Mr. T which rightfully belongs to him.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Mule on the Hill

Day after day alone on the hill
The ass with the foolish grin
Is keeping perfectly still
But nobody wants to know him
They can see that he's just a fool
And he never seem to notice
But the mule on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round
Well on the way, his head in a cloud
The ass of a thousand voices
Is talking perfectly loud
But nobody ever hears him
Or the sound he appears to make
And he never seems to notice
But the mule on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

Oh, round, round, round, round, round
And nobody seems to like him
They can tell what he wants to do
And he never shows his feelings
But the mule on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round
Thank you Beatles

I've looked at clouds...

Sorry for the absence, but the Fall Panic puts me in a panic. Lots to do around the farm to get ready for winter, but we have had very warm and relatively dry (for the first time since the snow melted) weather.

 I also started a pottery class. It was something I did back in college for a few years and became nearly competent at doing. I had wanted to get back to it on several occasions, but life got in the way. There are only so many years you get with a life and when the opportunity came up again I decided to take it. Some of the techniques are still there in my memory, but most of the subtleties are having to be relearned. We have class once a week, but have been given 24 hour access to the studio. I have very little opportunity to take advantage of that which is a bit frustrating, but I do the best I can. The instructor is a wonderful woman I have known of for a long time, but never got to meet.

Any break from our never-ending election cycle is very welcome. We vote by mail in this county, so I already sent in my ballot. Most of you who follow me know that I did NOT vote for Orange Cosby (aka Donald Trump). If everything goes wrong on Tuesday there is a good possibility I will move to a place where I can eat Tim Horton donuts every day and do much of my shopping at Canadian Tire.

Speaking of Canada, remember that colorful Maple tree in my back yard? It changed.
It has been a good year for the Mountain Ash trees and their berry crop. The waxwings and other winter resident birds will have a good winter.
The tourists have thinned out considerably and we have our little village back to ourselves. This shot is from right before the leaves dropped.
The clouds and sunsets have been lovely to watch as the season changes. The weather patterns move into their short day and long light pattern and are quite striking. Sometimes I just want to lie on the ground and look up for hours. Just lay back and daydream about all the possibilities of life on this planet.

Here are some sunsets.

As always, click on the pic to embiggen.