Monday, November 30, 2009

Lake Calhoun in November

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Saturday, Nov. 7 – Hordes of humanity circling Minneapolis' Lake Calhoun on a glorious afternoon lend an illusion of strolling the streets of Manhattan or San Francisco! A bald eagle, large as a fire hydrant, held court above the south side of the lake, tieing up traffic.

Sunday, Nov. 8 – November in Minneapolis, and nightime runners circling Lake Calhoun are shirtless! Very warm out there, and very quiet.

Friday, Nov. 13 – I love that I can own exclusively for 75 minutes the luscious and quiet Minnesota mist that shrouds Lake Calhoun tonight! Gorgeous!

Tuesday, Nov. 17 – Kissed by another November day of sun!

Friday, Nov. 20 – A season suspended against itself! Yet another day of warm light, perfect for circling Lake Calhoun to frame up the structure of a performance review. Yet...1 in 10 Minnesota kids is hungry every day; 91,000 mortgage foreclosures in our state; sick people will be denied care at our county hospital; and people's fortunes, families, and souls are stressed. My task today: absorb the light and unleash compassion.

Saturday, Nov. 21 – Several times I have run into Dick Maw of Dick Maw Fine Art, Elk River, Minnesota, who holds court with his artwork on the west side of Lake Calhoun. He also keeps a place in Mineral Wells, Texas, just outside Ft. Worth.

Monday, Nov. 23 – Scenes of the day: The giant bald eagle held court on the north end of Lake Calhoun today. The IDS Crystal Court in downtown Minneapolis has its holiday decor in place. Given 51º temps, the ice-skating rink next to downtown St. Paul's Landmark Center is nowhere near frozen, but the Saint Paul Hotel has its holiday finery in place!

Wednesday, Nov. 25 – Steel-gray shadows and a brisk-brrr, northwest wind skimmed the surface of Lake Calhoun today. Scores of Canadian geese anchored in the southwest bay. Hordes of crows rested in the southern woods leading to Lake Harriet. The main dock, set loose two weeks ago to drift for the winter, rests several yards offshore at the northwest corner. Water level down noticeably in the last two weeks. No bald eagle today.

Thursday, Nov. 26 – Morning at Lake Calhoun. Intensely quiet. Small groupings of ducks replaced yesterday's geese. Stumps from trees removed yesterday. 7-foot emergency rescue boards at intervals, lashed to signs reading "Keep Off Dangerous Ice Not Safe." Dog walkers: some really do look like their dogs. Runners: some have trouble breathing in good air of life, others troubled exhaling used life, and some have perfect balance of both.

Saturday, Nov. 28 – White light to the west and south meets and mixes with blue light to the east and north over Lake Calhoun. So does warm sun and cool air. Busy! Proficient roller skater to one less so: "I am glad to see you again." Dick Maw and his artwork in residence on west side. Crows heard not seen in Lakewood Cemetery woods on southeast side. Seagulls maintain staked claim to floating dock. New puppies strain at leashes; old dogs amble with slow gait. Silent, stoic faces of an extended family unit surely belie their inner enthusiasm and excitement for each other and the day. Trees with golden leaves still shimmer with joy against the sky - all others bare. Wake of two lone ducks slices glass surface of north side where surrounding buildings reflect their full height. Distant smoke suggests large fire in north Minneapolis. This suspension of real winter is like the quilt of a Sunday afternoon before Monday morning.

Sunday, Nov. 29 – Rained last night. Dark, steel-gray and gentle waves on Lake Calhoun under quiet, heavy clouds. Cool, but not too. Could be snow clouds if temp drops.

Monday, Nov. 30 – Bright sun filtering through high layers of white clouds, layered with a bit of blue. Calm silver waves on western Lake Calhoun today. Dick Maw and artwork in residence on west side. 100+ geese at rest and chatting quietly in the southwest bay. Unusual clarity for the lines, settings, and landscaping of the manses lining the south side. Very unusual train whistle from somewhere in western Linden Hills to the southwest; cannot picture the location of those tracks. Snow fence and new lamp posts installed today around new parking bays on south side. Last evening, a stranger responded to my comment to a Facebook friend asking whether I had ever taken the ferry from Boston to Provincetown, as my name is familiar and she has a picture that looks like me. Replied that I have never been to Boston or P-Town but would like to, but did we meet in New Delhi in 1986 because her name also is familiar? She has never been to Delhi, but would like to. Golden leaves have all left the circle of the lake. Waves lapping in continuously on east side. Two ducks at the north side - same as made the wake two days ago? - approached within three feet, on land, totally unimpressed by the presence of humans. Chill, but not cold. November = 30 days x 3.1 miles = 93 miles.


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