Sunday, November 18, 2012

November sunset

It is that time of year when sunset brings a rosy glow to the eastern sky. Cold morning temperatures this past week made small lakes freeze over with a skim of ice, but some unseasonably warm, sunny days yesterday and today will no doubt reverse that.

Nevertheless, cold winds from the northwest have been driving flocks of tundra swans southeast to their wintering grounds. On Monday, a day off from work, I counted no less than five flocks flying overhead. They were flying low enough, giving their eerie low whistling calls, that I could hear them from indoors. The larger trumpeter swans have also flown, leaving their breeding lakes in search of open water. The trumpeter swans do not travel as far as tundra swans; they spend the winter at various places along the Mississippi River in southeast Minnesota.

Some people find this time of year in Minnesota unsettling, with the onset of short days and freezing nights. Their thoughts turn to warmer, sunnier places. But I enjoy the stark beauty of bare trees, the green of pines and spruces that seems greener in the absence of brighter colors.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The view from above

A coworker went flying in a helicopter the other day to check the condition of trout streams in the area. Since Sand Creek is one of our few functional brook trout streams, I knew he would be flying by my house. I have always thought it would be fun to fly over my land at low altitude, just to get a feel for the area and see it from a different perspective. My coworker was nice enough to get some great pictures of my house!

This is looking from the northeast, with the swamp in the foreground. Vinny recently made that trail across the swamp with the help of the four wheeler and some of the planks that used to be my raised garden beds. He has a deer stand over there, and he has used it a couple times during deer season. Still no deer though, but a friend gave us a deer he shot today; it was an extra one for him. I am looking forward to venison in the freezer! And still hoping Vinny gets one.


The main reason for my lack of regular posts lately is that I have been struggling to find an iPad app that will do what I want it to. I thought BlogPress was okay, but I realized when I tried to make photos publish the size I wanted them, it would just enlarge a thumbnail and the result was blurry photos.

I didn't think I could post photos by going into Safari and using the regular Blogger interface, but apparently that has changed. All I had to do was download the Google Plus app, and upload the photos from my iPad into a Google Plus album. Uploading is a slow process, but it's about halfway through the photos now.

As a test, here is a photo I took at Edisto Beach, South Carolina in August. On a damp, chilly November day it makes me smile.