cityscape


As our temperatures rushed into summer highs yesterday, people were resorting to the tried and true ways of staying cool.  Mid 90’s and high humidity cause some Minnesotans to shelter in air conditioning, while the majority choose to embrace the weather but cool off by a lake.  Whatever wind that’s blowing across the lake surface cools and becomes a delightful and welcome breeze.  People were out at Lake Como canoeing, kayaking, walking, relaxing and savoring the warmth of summer; winter’s cold seemed a long way away!

Like the flip of a switch, spring blew into the Twin Cities this past week.  Last Monday, May 1st, brought us snow flurries in abundance – it looked and felt more like November than May.  But as the week wore on, the temperatures rebounded, the sun appeared, and the leaves started opening.  The tulips and daffodils became riots of color, the crabapple trees were awash in pinks and whites, and the once-barren, brown grass became green again.  This weekend found people outside – gardening, walking, running, biking, having parties on their patios and decks – anything to soak up the warmth and the return of spring.

womens-march-mn_1471cp_staatsWe joined a crowd of 90,000-100,000 people in the Women’s March Minnesota yesterday.  With an expected crowd of 20,000 it soon became apparent that many more people found this an important event to support.  Light rail and buses were overflowing with commuters, but everyone was in good spirits with the intentions of the day; songs erupted – “Lean on Me,” “It’s a Small World” – and everyone joined in.  Navigating the sidewalks and streets that were filled with melted snow and ice was part of the day.  The crowd of women, men, and children moved slowly toward the Capitol building, all in support of a movement for respect, dignity, health, and family.  It was good to join family, friends, and others who marched peacefully throughout this country and throughout the world bringing attention to the concerns of many.

cold-in-the-woods-15405_staatWe seem to be on a weekend snow schedule – the last three weekends have brought fresh snow.  However  this weekend’s precipitation has been followed by blue sky and plunging temperatures.  I was snowshoeing in the woods yesterday morning.  Temps were the highest they were going to be, 5 above, and the wind was starting to blow.  I listened to the sound of my snowshoes dropping into the six inches of fresh light snow, and the wind that was picking up the powder and blowing it sideways.  The brittle oak leaves would rustle in the strong gusts, then settle down to silence.  It was eerily quiet and foreboding of the subzero temps that were fast approaching.  Then I heard the sound of a snow plow truck, and I was reminded that I was still in the city and the “woods” I was enjoying are actually a part of the University of Minnesota golf course.  A quick dose of reality that there is nature all around us, and it offers up its beauty to us whenever we want to get out and appreciate it.

winters-arrival-ordway-japanes-garden_14930-staatsWe knew it was coming; it was even later than usual this year.  But winter’s arrival is always a shock, especially when the temperature drops 30 degrees in one day, the wind blows and gusts, and the rain turns to snow.  For less than 48 hours we have been below freezing.  The snow fell Friday afternoon and evening, and here in the Twin Cities we have less than an inch on the ground.  But the white was evident on the plants and grass, and the cold was enough to put a layer of ice on the water in the Ordway Japanese Garden at Como Park.  One tree bravely held on to its bright red leaves – the only real spark of color in the now-winter landscape.  In this beautiful quiet this morning, the only sound was the waterfall that was continuing to gurgle and the geese whose flight south to open water took on a new sense of urgency.

one-world-trade-center-8252_staatsTime moves forward, but we can always remember and reflect on September 11, 2001.

Cat in the morning_062146_627_StaatsThis past week started out with unusually hot temperatures and high humidity.  Everyone was staying inside and trying to keep cool in whatever way we could.  After about four or five days of heat, a storm moved through with heavy rain and wind, followed by a cool front behind it.  The next morning I was out for a walk in our neighborhood.  The lighter, cooler, fresher air was a welcome relief.  I walked over to Como Golf Course and spent a few minutes watching the sun clear the hills and trees.  People were out and about walking their dogs, running, and bicycling.  It was as if everyone was anxious to enjoy the cool of the morning and the promise of a new day.  I turned a corner and found this cat precariously seated on the house railing – as if he too was enjoying the morning and waiting to welcome the sunrise.

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