Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Best of Greentangle 2010

Time once again for the annual list of my favorite posts. OK, so the previous three annual lists were all done in April of this year, but now it's an annual event. This was a year of big changes: I lived in five states and spent way too much time on buses and packing and unpacking, started the year in hell, spent the middle in paradise, and the end in a lovely waiting room of sorts. For the blog the big change was the addition of photos, and many of the posts on the following list are little more than photos of favorite places. A sense of place was perhaps the theme of the year--revisiting and leaving important old ones and finding an important new one. More changes will be coming to my corner of the blogosphere next week. Have a happy beginning to the new year, and thanks for reading.

Out of Place

Watching my grandfather die, and several of those places in one post.
Burn, Baby, Burn!

The green fire, that is. Here's a new link for info about the movie.
Monastery Life

A place of refuge and retreat.
12 X 12 > 350
The meeting of two books.
Monastery Photos

Scenes from a place of refuge and retreat.
I'm a Whale Watcher, Watching Whales Go By
One of my favorite Boston activities, repeated many times.
It's a Doover. I Mean, Do-Over.
The past becomes the future.
Photos from Minnesota/Park Point, my favorite Duluth hike.
Lovely Day
Photos from Jay Cooke State Park.
Searching for Hope
A black bear goes missing, a columnist is lost.
Scenes from the Terraces
Mammoth Hot Springs, constantly changing, and a place where I'll be spending a lot more time.
Your Mission: Find a Face or Name a Flower

Great Horned Owlets.
What's the difference between a magpie and a wolf?
Dining out in the wild.
Quoth the Ravens
Keeping track of deaths at a breakfast meeting.
Beaver Ponds Trail
Not really any great photos, but it's my closest new home hike, done with a new friend.
Road Trip!
To the Grand Tetons!
Norris Geyser Basin
Photos from one of my favorite Yellowstone places.
Shoshone Lake
Photos of the first waves I'd seen in months.
Old Faithful: The Two Hour Hike
And not a photo of Old Faithful to be found.
Elk, Wolf, Bison, Bear
One post, four species.
Seeing Eye to Eye

Clashing elk and other photos.
The Hounds of Hell
One of those bus trips I mentioned.
Lake with Ice
Superior Lake.
Harbor with Ice

Duluth Harbor.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Harbor with Ice

I've never had a more difficult time deciding which photos to post here. From variations on the same scenes to abstract moments to oddness I found oddly appealing, there were a lot of tough choices. It's hard to go wrong with such beautiful scenery.

I've finally started playing around a bit with what the camera will let me do as far as changing aperture and shutter speed. I'm still confused about the whole aperture/digital/zoom relationship, but I know switching to a very fast shutter speed for the next batch of shots would have been a good idea because this bird was moving. Maybe the water was cold. Actually, moving so fast that I couldn't even focus--I just pointed ahead and hoped for a swimming appearance--so maybe the shutter speed wouldn't have mattered. Anyway, my fingers were so cold that I didn't even think of it at the time.

Taking flight on this next one, which I don't think you'd figure out if I didn't tell you. Somehow the complete lack of focus makes it seem sort of painterly to me.

I've been having a lot of fun this week hanging out by the water, in the cold, taking these shots and reminding myself why I loved living here. Arrows are still flying in Duluth's woods until the end of the month, but I'll try to do some winter hiking next month. It's been good for my mind and spirit if not my feet which I'm thinking of calling a doctor about before I leave civilization again. Good rumors of how long that next sojourn is going to last but I haven't seen a contract yet--I'll let you know when I do.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lake with Ice

One of the many things I love about the Lake is how changeable it is. I took these photos on Wednesday--most of the ice covering the water in them was not there Tuesday or Thursday. The last salt water ship came in yesterday--still a month to go of the lakers.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lake at Dawn

I got down to the Lake a little after seven this morning, just as it was getting light enough for a little color and steam to show up. I'll try to make it a little later tomorrow.

Later in the morning, there was a great looking ghost ship coming into port through the steam but I didn't have my camera with me.

My employment dates are being talked about at Yellowstone. And I had an idea for an April post after my return there assuming Nature cooperates. Ha! You're gonna laugh!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Timing's Off

A bit of last night's sunset through a window. Of course, five minutes earlier as I'd been walking home from the bus the entire sky was a mix of pink and orange and blue.

Still not doing much walking since everything is covered with snow turned into ice, and my current gait is left heel, ow, right knee, grumble. Living on the third floor of a building with no elevator isn't helping the knee at all. I'll try to save what's left of me for hiking in Yellowstone. After a month sleeping on the floor (more accurately, the floor covered by thick carpet, a foam sleeping pad, a folded blanket, and my sleeping bag), my back finally convinced me to buy an air mattress which got its first use last night. When inflating it, I was really tempted to explode it, but I resisted the urge.

I heard from Yellowstone last week, wondering if I'd be interested in coming back to work now because some people hadn't shown up. I'd be incredibly damned interested, but it's not possible because I prepaid a four month lease here and am working on resolving a number of issues. But I still said, damn, damn, damn. Yellowstone in Winter. Why didn't you just hire me in the first place when I filled out the winter application? Damn, damn, damn. Hopefully next year.

I spotted a full time accounting assistant job with the Yellowstone Association just outside the park in Gardiner (Which incidentally is the only town I know which misspells its own name--it's named after Johnson Gardner, but there was an error by an early expedition which the town never changed. So we have the town of Gardiner on the Gardner River.) which I considered applying for--much better pay, health insurance, security, a place of my own, etc.--but decided that in my circumstances, I'd rather live in the park and have access to the many group hikes and events. Also, difficult as it is for me to believe, I actually started liking some of the people I met this summer. It's not your average American who decides to work in Yellowstone, and non-average people are the kind I need around me. Back to the Association, there are however interesting volunteer positions with a minimal stipend in and out of the park which I might apply for as a way of getting between work seasons in the future depending on how things work out.

I also noticed the Unabomber's land is for sale. Hmmm.

I was planning to be out early this morning because the sun was going to visibly rise, but didn't make it because I was awake for a few hours in the middle of the night. But if you enlarge this photo from when I finally got there, you can see the Lake still steaming a bit, and ice on the rocks.