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March 29, 2006

Beaver Skin

The river and its thawing skin is rising and spilling onto the banks. A warm wind blows from the south convecting away the balance of the deep white slaw. In response to our late night presence, a beaver kerplunks and splashing into the dark, upstream, signaling open water. From white cold to sloppy brown, the Red River of the North is soon canoe navigable once again.

March 19, 2006


Chips, piled high, fresh inner'ds of an ash, lay exposed as the snow melts. Looking up, several canyons were formed in the middle section, evidence of my pileated friend's work.

Other deep scratchings nearby, but at the base, of sometimes large diameter trees, the beaver's goal: to fell and obstruct the creek called the Red, ambition or just a product of their inner programming? To chew, to fall, to cycle...

My nemesis is finding it difficult to decide on when to exit his winter burrow, having no low hanging fruit, greenery, or other shrubbery for his appetite. Last year he was effective on my tomato plant starts, this year I will know better. If possible, I'll be lassoing that varmint before our dike disintegrates.

Allowing those masked as a utility to remain will eventually prove futile, and if capacity is already diminished, deathly.

March 9, 2006

Bald Eagle and a Woodchuck

The wood chuck woke from his slumber, pondered deeply whether awake, peered from his new exit, on a compressed snow covered dike. The crows have also been conspicuously aware, and my finches have been fewer. The grey squirrels continue to jump from the burr oak several feet onto the suspended seed baskets.

The girls and I walked, them without sweaters, down to the river this morning before 7 a.m. - they pulled heartily, remembering that near one of the two baskets was bread chunks, left for squirrels. The warm weather yesterday iced the surface where it would support their 20, 23 lb bodies, but mine, with my knee high sorels, sank with a snap, in places, the snow remained knee high.

The length of each days grows by over 3 minutes, today rising at 6:51 and setting at 6:24 pm (CST), progressing towards the June 21 crescendo. In addition to the wildlife in Moorhead, the length of the day is among the most significant reasons for living in the Hinterland.

This morning, in particular, despite the crows, and limited finches, a bald eagle swooned down upon us as we reached the fringe of our property.

March 6, 2006

Biting Cold

The air is wet, the snow is compressing to a more shallow depth The predictions for trauma have subsided by twenty percent in some areas along the valley, yet there is a high likelihood of 30 feet before the end of May. Deepening and straightening the Red would allow for an increase of capacity. Those areas where the bows were eliminated would then become wet land, calculated as new, also providing as a drainage buffer, absorbing the shocks of magnanimous rains, silt erosion, untenable land use philosophies, and fast drainage associated with urban development. The added biodiversity would contribute to an oasis of plant, bird, and animals. Moose may find the tender wetland buds as tempting. Eagle, already on the rise may find additional comfort as would Canadian Geese, pileated woodpecker, and crane. Lightmatter