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Louise Young's Blog

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Apr.12.2014
ole
  Ole, our shelter dog, has lived with us now for two full winters.  He's proven himself to be a wonderful companion: loving, gentle, well-mannered, and patient. His breeding -- which we think includes a liberal helping of hound -- influences his behavior on hikes: he seems completely...
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Feb.16.2014
Under the hunger moon, the new snow brought by this afternoon's squall softens the harsh edges of the old, crusted snow, feathers up crevices in the bark of ash trunks and down the branches of spruce until it fingers out at the needles, creating photographic negative images in the stark white...
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Jan.22.2014
  A hundred years ago, Franz Boas reported that Eskimos have "dozens, if not hundreds" of words for snow.  That assertion now often is referred to as "the Eskimo hoax" -- in Inuit and Tupik, like many other indigenous languages, words can be created by adding multiple prefixes and...
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Jan.02.2014
  A friend from Seattle quoted her husband: "Jim says that once the temperature gets below zero, it doesn't matter how much colder it gets, it all just feels the same." "Hmm," I responded.  I know Jim and I know that it's useless for me to point out that in Seattle the temperature seldom...
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Dec.29.2013
  Yesterday at dusk, we were still enveloped in an early winter thaw: clouds of mist hung low to the ground, generated as our super cold snow vaporized into mist, completely bypassing the liquid form.  The air was heavy with a kind of moisture I'd never experienced before: not rain or...
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Dec.24.2013
This is my favorite Christmas song.  Written by John McCutcheon, t is based on several spontaneous incidents that occurred on Christmas Eve in the war zone in France during World War I.   Christmas in the Trenches   My name is Francis Tolliver, I come from Liverpool. Two years ago...
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Dec.21.2013
  Winter arrived early: silent, abrupt, and unquestioned, like the flight of a snowy owl.  The first snow fell with a dogged persistence, unrelenting, as if determined to annihilate any remaining vestiges of autumn.  Cold followed snow: an arctic high swept skies crystalline blue...
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Dec.16.2013
  Under the waxing gibbous moon, shadows are precisely defined, as if cut into the snow with a blade, but they are not black and the snow is not white.  Black and white require heat, some degree of warmth.  The temperature outside -- fifty degrees below freezing -- supports only the...
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Dec.06.2013
  Last year in April, our snow shovel shattered under the weight of a too-heavy load of late spring, slushy snow.  Stores -- even in Duluth -- don't stock snow shovels in April, so I had to clear the additional 40 inches that followed that spring using a garden spade.  The first...
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Sep.06.2013
  While the alpenglow blushed the mountain that we call The Sleeping Giant and the yearling bull moose in our Montana meadow dreamed of antlers big enough to lay claim to all of those bossy, cantankerous cows, the Superior shore scrolled through the seasons as it has for eons, our absence not...
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Aug.12.2013
  August Above Paradise is a breath that's drawn and held without exhale.  We wait for the knife slash of light from the trail of a shooting Perseid meteor while the silty river of the Milky Way mirrors the silty silver of the Yellowstone snaking through Paradise Valley, and the three...
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Aug.04.2013
  I've always been a pragmatist, a product of my late 20th century American upbringing and a college education grounded firmly in the scientific method of collecting and analyzing data.  But as I’ve grown in experience, I now realize that discounting everything that cannot be...
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Jul.25.2013
  The final campsite of the trip was near the head of Buffalo Fork where the stream rolls and tumbles over head-sized boulders with the noise of constant laughter.  I set up the tent at the edge of a handkerchief of meadow defined by willow thickets where a spring creek snaked toward the...
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Jul.09.2013
  This past week was a stormy one in Livingston: the streets teemed with cowboys, rodeo groupies, buckle bunnies, ranch hands hoping to impress or make a name for themselves, Japanese tourists disgourged from buses, Midwestern families on their way to Yellowstone, fishermen hogging...
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Jul.03.2013
  Human beings are capable of feeling empathy: this – according to many philosophers – is what separates us from beasts, although those of us who live in close contact with dogs take exception to this division.  Dogs have been known to display remarkable insight and compassion....
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