Showing posts from 2005

Into the War Zone

Into the War Zone

Autumn is here. At least that’s what my eyes are telling me. Bright yellows, oranges, and reds speckle the hillsides. Autumn is here, but it feels like summer. The warm sun is making my skin glisten with sweat. I’m glad I packed a pair of shorts.

We spent the morning in the heart of our great state learning about cranberry farming. I’ve lived in Wisconsin my whole life – traveled to every end of it – and had never seen a cranberry bog. Actually, I probably had seen a bog without even knowing it. The tart red fruit can hide itself pretty well under a tangle of thick vines.

Early afternoon I found myself carrying two paddles down to the boat landing. As soon as we saw the “Canoe Rental” sign we ditched our effort to go hiking and headed to the water instead. Our vessel had no sooner slid into the marsh when three gunshots cracked above us. Two dogs exploded into the water to retrieve their prize. Our peaceful marsh was now a war zone.

The tepid water lapped around our c…

Solace in the City

Riley and I went out for a walk at 6:30 this morning. Had I known it was going to be so cold I might have stayed in bed. We went around the point where the 3 of us walked earlier this winter. I wish you could have been there with us this morning. The views were breathtaking.

An eerie fog was drifting across the frozen lake as a blaze-orange sun crept over the far shoreline. As the sun rose higher, the fog turned from dreary gray to a soft, glowing orange. New frost glistened on the brittle tree branches. The marina breathed steam across her cooling waters as a pair of loons dove for a morning snack. The neighboring houses and factories no longer existed. They were lost behind mother nature’s winter curtain. I could have stood at the edge of the water for hours but the cold was creeping into my bones. Riley’s coat was covered in frost and icicles poked out from her chin. Wearing smiles, we headed for home.

Winter Dance

Goal: See the Northern Lights on a cold winter night
Set: 2000
Accomplished: 01.17.05

It’s funny how things don’t always turn out like we had planned. Over the course of a few years I had conjured up an image of seeing the Northern Lights for the very first time. My plan was not to seek out the natural phenomenon but instead stumble across it on a bitter cold night as I snowshoed back to my winter camp. The Lights would dance above me as I stood in the snow, mouth agape and freezing cold but too awestruck to care. My first glimpse of the Northern Lights did not happen as I was communing with nature but instead as I was driving in my car. There goes the romance to this story…

The time was 5:30 on a Monday morning. 2 1/2 hours of open road still lay before me. I was once again making the sleepy drive from Chippewa Falls to Appleton – from one side of Wisconsin to the other. Often during these early morning drives I would interrogate my sanity. The questions were unnecessary for I already kn…