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Louise Young's Blog

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Mount Valkyrie
  In the always-summer of July when days stretched as long as the season and sunlight kissed warm even at dusk, this beach was alive with barking dogs, laughing families, squealing kids, and lovers who snuggled in the places between.  The waves of  November obliterated the tracks of...
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Amnicon River in December
  After the gaudy melodrama of fall -- a hundred thousand extravagantly colored death  scenes attended by an equal number of gaping onlookers -- early winter is dull, almost boring by comparison.  Temperatures tight rope around the freezing mark, snow falls, melts, then maybe...
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sauna house circa 1915
  Black ash is an unlovely tree.  Last to leaf out in the spring (actually, by the time the leaves are fully developed the calendar has turned to early summer) and first to shed in the fall -- but not before those leaves turn gray-brown and shrivel up like so many dead spiders.  The...
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  Two months ago, camped on a ridge in Montana's Absaroka Mountains, I watched the setting sun, and then followed the full moon as it retraced the daytime path of its sister sphere across the sky until it too sank beneath the peak where the sun had disappeared twelve hours previous.  And...
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  Daylight Savings Time annually outstays its welcome.  During the luxuriously elongated days of summer, that extra hour before sunset is savored, and no one really cares that the sun rises at 5 instead of 4.  But as the days shrivel in the weeks that follow the equinox, morning...
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  A gibbous moon crowns the fading indigo of the sky overhead, but the massive, reflective expanse of the lake mutes all other lights in the sky except Jupiter, low and yellow in the west.  To the east, the sawtooth of pines that defines the peninsula that juts into Lake Superior like a...
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  There is no horizon.  The surface of the big lake is smooth, glassy, gray.  As it slides away from shore it becomes less defined, amorphous, as if the two matrices that enclose it -- air and water -- are bleeding into each other.  Overhead, the sky is the identical iron gray...
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My window overlooks the floodplain created by a sweeping bend in the Amnicon River as it slides north toward Lake Superior.  From the dense tangle of vegetation, a fox emerges.  Slim-bodied and elegant, her earth-colored legs seem to flow without effort.  A vixen: she and her mate denned under our...
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The story is perhaps apocryphal: our neighbor Bill approached John Watson, who at one time owed this entire mountain meadow and had been parceling it out twenty or forty acres at a time until all he had left was a quarter section perched on the highest rim of the meadow.  Bill owned the land...
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lil foxes 016.JPG
In the colorless glow of the first full moon this summer, a bear passed beneath our bedroom window.  We were both awake -- we'd only just flicked off the house lights.  Perhaps the bear had been anticipating that darkness, crouched in the floodplain jungle between the back of the house and the...
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They will tell you that the during the storm the wind roared like an oncoming freight train, an anthrocentric conceit which implies that only human ingenuity could create such an engine of destruction.  The simile is psychologically comforting: we don't want to consider the possibility that there...
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Behind the street lights, the sky is milky gray, featureless, an extension of the sidewalk under my heels.  The air is damp and chill.  My brother’s condo is three blocks away.  Ten minutes ago, I turned down any number of offers for a ride there: tonight I need to process what has come before, and...
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at the river
Last night, with shreds of mist ghosting upriver on the cold breath of the big lake and shadows of spruce and cedar groping at the shoreline, a doe led her newborn fawn out onto the sandbar across the river from our front door.  The doe -- big boned and healthy looking, with a saddle of red brown...
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I abandon the warmth of my bed at the first light of day, but when I glance out the window, I noticed one of the fox kits prowling the lawn near the old sauna house.  The fox den was small to begin with, and crowded with eight growing kits, it must be wall to wall squirming bodies in there, so...
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The leaves on the honeysuckle bushes have doubled overnight: no longer folded into themselves they spread like open hands toward the cold, white sky of dawn. At the base of each leaf pair, I see the white swelling of a flower bud. Usually by now the blossoms would be welling with bees and pollen...
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