November 23, 2014

Site Migrated

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This site has moved to as a Wordpress blog.

David DeMuth, Jr.

October 11, 2014

Fluttering Wings

Softly lips glance, silence, coy invitation, repeat, mild and uncertain jubilance, longing

If mine pursue yours it is not diabolically rather southern, how two hearts separate

I am in a trance anxious to revisit the tone that we last resonated

If merely my thoughts invoke in you an energy of positivity, lighting bolts ought to be striking from your walking body because of that frequency

Aside, we stretch erect, fluttering, shaking the mites and dust, in advance of flight

Being: is often surreal.


September 29, 2014

Garage Speak

Wake up, laughter, cussing, what happened?
She is just pissed at me - why are you tripping out on me, I asked?

Hanging friends started at the Bismarck, then snuck off to the Empire...

Nice, be nice, hug be hugged, imagined sun and warmth.

South they went on to Dempsey's...

Gad they are making out, right in front of us - fuck!?
Fuck it - I am getting a smoke, Raz just fucking does not believe me...

Says Zak

September 10, 2014

Humming Birds

Thumbnail image for 220px-Hummingbird_wake_Pengo.svg.png

Sugar well,
birds abundant,
activity a daily blessing.

Night falls,
a young lad ventures inside,
allows for a pillow case recovery.

Ruby throated,
wings a buzzing,
gaggle of four a chasing.


September 8, 2014

Stella the Basenji

Oh what a life, your back yard antics, pulled a dove from the air, garbled er up, jumped off path for that steak in the bush, your rule of the home, that patience for the cats, your quiet demeanor, your warmth is missed. Stellaat17.jpg

May 29, 2014

May 29, 1994

Mom is gone; sitting out in the front yard, such beauty here, the birds sing with depth, the trees robustfully exhibit their green beauty. Contentment is embodied by the arrivals that inhabit this place. A family of woodpeckers remain as reminders of the few years i've been away, their inhabitance went noticed somewhere around 1990. This home, such beauty, the trees, the trees. A neighborhood, a long time a grown, long time a livin. Mamma walked these steps, locked these doors, breathed this air so many times. She absorbed so much. It could be argued that she remained secluded, but if you were one of the few that could break through, then acceptance and participation was, could be, on the order of overwhelming, or at least intense. She could be content w/ seclusion & privacy because of her contentment w/ her self and because of her extreme participation w/ the & emotional when she did choose participation.

Joan talked last night, about how mother could go only three months w/out seeing me. They were at the Derby parade. Joan asked if David was coming in. I always like to schedule my trip and keep it to myself until the last minute. That, I'd believed, would conjure all sorts of emotion. I loved that call on Tuesday or Wednesday before the Derby, to report to Mother, "Well of course i'm coming, i arrive @9:00 on Thursday night." Such contentment, such warmth, such love was stirred in both our hearts. I'd always wanted mother to know, and she did, that absolutely I was there; she lives in my heart, always did, "I'd believe that nearly every breath i'd take, that she was on my mind." Sunday mornings, just as today were ideally spent with her. I'd sit on this grey bench, she'd peer out of the window screen, warmly acknowledge my presence, and go on her way. She so elegantly allowed us to continue from the foundations she laid. And we do, And we did, and we will.

Hers was such wisdom, such discipline, such denial of self to allow for our freedom. It were many times that'd we do something irresponsible, stay out late in different pacifying circumstances. Mother was tuned to this. There were times, there are times, that we'd [break the rules become I don't know, sir of guilty [or insecure], Audrey does it, i do it, sort of guilty or something; and we'd go off, but mother knew, she knew cause i believe she'd been caught in similar situations; but she remained, sometimes grumbled, but allowed us to make the choice. She so freely allowed us to choose.

I Love you -
And will miss you
more than anybody -
Your Son
8 am 8/9/89 & 5/29/94

1:20 May 29, 94
Seeing Mom was surprisingly spectacular
She had been dying for some time.
Her peaceful presence has allowed
all of her children to deal with it.
Denna has done a fine, very fine
job with her : Mother Beauty remains.

November 21, 2013

Brother Sun Sister Moon

Walking, talking, riverside
   with two who cared, and a sweet young lady chihuahua running nearby
hearing my brother's tones and inflections in my own voice
   with two who cared, and a sweet young lady chihuahua running nearby
few directed conversations on our shared loss
   with two who cared, and a sweet young lady chihuahua running
as though he was one of the three
   as though he was one of the one

June 21, 2013

Summer Solstice

You learned from your fathers greatness, his innate shared loved, wisdom

He seemed to always buzz and resonate

Proud of his family

That I was at snowbank, experiencing what was built there and elsewhere, on the peripheral, listening

And at Ash, he smiled

Certain were his days left

The longest day his transformation

Storms and rain quenching life

Rest Bill Sr. rest

May 2, 2013

More on the Human Condition

In an instant, the unsuspected
Or we watch a wildfire jump to its prey
Walking cliff's edge is a decision, required and not
Large eyed senses preserving breath
Sleep and dormancy as a risk-adverse principle
Live how you will, how YOU will

April 6, 2013

Melted and Warm

The swirl of air, puff
Pooling river top, water
Compressed density, snow
Diametered grass evidenced at their bases, oaks
Snow voided path created in anticipation, again
Fluttering wings bouncing between baskets, feeding
Hickson gauge on the increase, yesterday
One day later, Fargo
It's started, solo was the build, and ending...

February 28, 2013

Shooting Star

Casino.JPGSeas of desperation, despair, sagging decay
Closer doorward some being entertained, smiles
Retina flash flash flash
Winners are silent
Killed 56 VC said the wheel chaired elder patriot
Smoke is thick on the reservation
George Thorogood playing earlier,
now even more Northern bound, and at night,
contributing to experimental evidence
to justify the truth.

February 8, 2013

Two Moons of Saturn

Discovered rediscovery, with metropolitan flare, slender beauty erect and alert,
recognition even curiosity served by intermittent occultations,
we seem to agree.

Does that door work?
The piled snow crunching under his feet while trotting across the span o'er the Red in search of music,
his therapy.

Dione Rhea Occultation

October 17, 2012

Heart Skip Beat

My heart is beating, beats, beat, beat...
The heart beats, beat, , beat, .
And then the rains begin their quench and moan - as before.
Peace is his, rest now.

September 23, 2012


That balance of light and dark, that season that hastens preparation, on that day the drummer and his indigenous chant, complemented by bell ringing, sound to the heaven containing universe, as we each stand facing on the perimeter of the medicine wheel, participating in the ascension to those heavens where all essence returns to be mixed eternally with those who have gone before, anticipating those who follow, as the sun sets in a distant clear sky. medwheel_vcsu.jpeg

September 22, 2012

Time to Die

Death as an industry, optimized to be self sustaining, innovation squelched to ensure profit, not life, too often shift workers lacking monastic attitudes of service to anyone but themselves.

Whose life matters but your own, and with age, that glint in the eye, that sparkle fades, eventually we give in to the invading army of bacteria, feeding on their host, as caterpillar eat all the forest, selfishly.

But in my seventy two years, I did this... I did that..., earned a few bonus years, came to appreciate my parents sacrifices for my life, but eventually its "time to die," and my control of that day, that hour, that minute is limited---

One day we will time out before we die for man will invent anti-death, extend life for a time, and for a cost, feeding the industry of death.

September 12, 2012


Summer heat prompting late night Monday ride, a short quiet pedal with a failed music mission. Returning to a sitting and silhouetted Doodle at a distance, under the amber mercury lighting, mousing no doubt, his ear titled towards a commotion that is stirred by my quiet entry, another cat, New New, ambles safely on the perimeter of the house. My pause evidenced another silhouette, that of a fox, Ruthie-sized, one of two pestering these cat's owners who worry its apetite might include a smaller cat, although there are still bunnies, there are still squirrel, and our mousers continue a consistent crunchy diet. New nears foxy's size, yet peanut is another story, said the eagle at the cabin on Ada... peanut_on_clubman.jpeg

December 21, 2011

Dry Eyes


November 22, 2011

Life Cycles

I am a tree
-- grown from the air
---- nutrients and water
------ drawn from the earth

-- After I grow tall and old
---- I will be burned for warmth
------ only to complete my life cycle.

September 25, 2011

Twenty-fifth Lament (1986)

I thought my garden would be growing full
but I'm just gathering soil.
--- gathering soil ---

I scrape it from my wandering boots,
gather the dust from the streets,
sieve the filth from the air
--- gather it together ---

Then breath my dreams into it,
lightly whisper my spells upon it,
cleanse it worthy of my garden.
--- and ---

Here it is my life one third gone,
but I'm still gathering soil.
--- gathering soil ---

For the garden I thought
would be strongly growing,
brilliantly flowering by now.

--- ... 2011 ---

At twice twenty five with one third ahead,
the wandering remains,
even as my garden bears fruit,
--- still gathering soil, gathering soil ---

With Tina James for Bart James, Louisville

September 8, 2011



The trees, the trees,
oh so very tall.
But lightning could strike,
and then they'd fall.
Our house, our house?
just cut down them all!

September 5, 2011

On Art and Communication

Driven by a need to link with the present or future, with communication constrained only by subjective rules, an artist listens to their id, their ego, and creates any number of tapestries which express being, and by desire influence other antennae.

August 26, 2011

Ode to the Red River of the North

Celebrate the river channel that remains true to its function, its form.

Celebrate the river channel whose locomotion would not be slowed.

Celebrate the river channel that remains deaf to the unnatural tendencies of domination.

Celebrate when nature roars.

August 8, 2011

On Human Nature and Spirituality

A condition of being human is to be subject to the limits of the body. The realization of the infinite expanse of the physical presents then a condition of inferiority, a nothingness. Cast then a extra-human state called spirituality, where we align with that infinity who is by definition inclusive. In the focused attempts to be extra-human we manage a dialog that allows endorphins to flow in our brain machine giving the impression of rightness, or comfort in some, challenge in others. Like the design when standing on a high cliff, my being flutters when approaching the danger of falling, an attempt to maintain life, our brain machine triggers a rightness of spirituality, where that inclusive All becomes infinitely lovable, or at least when our pilgrimages for truth allow.

June 15, 2011

On the Behavior of Birds

cardinals are a rare bird in the hinterlandrobins.jpg
loving the companionship of birds
as they flutter and frown
their beaks have utility in their design
oil seed for some, thistle for others
jaws covered by horny mandibles
no teeth
feeding a high metabolism anatomy
red breasted robins are of a particular interest
defined in their ways of communicating
dance, squawk, squeak
for obvious reasons,
to capture the attention of a mate
and to feed the engine that allows for the continued goal of procreation

March 24, 2011

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da

Magnificent is the time we have with those we choose to couple with, built is a shared place, western facing portals into nature, topped with endless sky blue and notable sunsets, blinders manage our perspective, anonymity, sometimes curiosity but rare, we the last remnants of the village carry on, listening, learning, being.

January 3, 2011

Snow Melt

The mechanism of fear transfers reason into irrational action which catalyze uncertainty, reversing progress, a goal of the fear mongers who enjoy attention to their theories.

December 27, 2010

Water, Fire, and Air

Sunlight, music, dogs, warm feet, patience, and wind, the essentials, as is being grateful.

November 22, 2010

Buoyant Snow

Constraint follows the involuntary withholding of emotion, accumulated mass is sequestered within, anxiety with a near future when past seasons have challenged, but educated. The individual sees only the snapshot that is available, forming action that is self-absorbent, without hope, instead pain. RedRiver20101122.jpg We manage by distraction, accomplishment, necessity, and appreciation for what is earned or discovered. Hard work without intelligence and savvy is misinterpreted but sustains the beating heart, until dysfunction overwhelms. Minute Video

September 28, 2010

Harvest Moon

Trees older than your grandparents converted to a cord times four, peanut and kyro provide personalities, brilliant foliage, skies of blue over the demise of two, separate days and beings with overlap which includes a freedom to live, to die if the physical is neglected, days where winter warmth is scarce fast approach, tonight Jupiter and Walker...

June 18, 2010

Venus over Walker

A disintegrating force caramelized one building and adjoining lot, stochastic and abrupt, shaking the dust off, announcing "too close for comfort" while one breaths no more, explosive energy, I explain to 2010-06-17 19.02.26.jpg
another about 1974, snap a few pics, board, wave, travel, stop, with a need for peanut m&ms, lost serendipity is when you interact by rare chance, or that intuition prompts, but take no action, eventually arriving in Walker, where the winds blow, country music pounds festively, nearby a waxing moon is accompanied by a planet Venus.

March 20, 2010


Four cottonwoods grew sided to each, tall in stature, sloped banks, over a bear cage now submerged, the resident three draw essence from a river Red which pushes wide, readying for a morning crest, and anticipating the formation of ice castles at their feet as a slow descent begins. Under open and cold skies Sister Four is no more. axe-sisters.jpg

February 19, 2010

Wing Tips

The air supports weight when aerodynamically a wing cuts through the ether, that same air has thermal capacities, and announcements of unpredictability. Dew point exposes its essence, provoking decision, to fly or not. Lingering heaviness. Awaiting are currents that impress power. Crazy how misinformed we are, how emotional we become. Troubling most is the ephemeral, because we all are but a vapor.

January 21, 2010

Water Flows

Decisions which influence river dwellers are located at the intersection of urban and rural living, are made in thoughtful realistic and practical ways where no others are asked to compromise their beliefs of safety and longevity, costs internalized, and the impact of their contributions to the sustainability of the region realized as significant.

January 10, 2010


The bitterness of -30F experienced by the human body must be consistent with the intensity of a temperature of 130F, yet in each case, shifting only slightly towards the normative results in a false sense of acceptance, prolonging the inevitable result of maddening variations...

December 23, 2009

Snow Scene

Quietly falling snow, neighbors which have mostly departed wise owls maybe having been prompted by more tenuous spring melts than us, yet neighbor boys return to the levee slopes speculating that a lighter sledder could take a sled further, challenging him when he correctly answered that both a heavy and light ball dropped would strike simultaneously, are they 13?

August 6, 2009

deer ears

one of the younger fawns approaches her mothers size - her brother likes his distance, hidden in the bush - staring from a river backdrop, their largish ears smile a greeting, we converse in a friendly fashion from our deck, stellas and ruthies spirits are energized with our verbiage, i guide them in the door so as not to convey a threat, i look back, they return to eating the foliage below; the grass on the levee anticipates a second cutting.

May 30, 2009

Now May

Gumbo surrounds - when wet, slick heavy mess, when dry, brittle collapse, its purpose, to protect, an ability to suffocate, stop water, the Red did so very much swell, a record, a cooper's hawk may of joined the neighborhood, anything larger has the cats on alert, nature has its way at challenging existence, posing dilemma, regular grass has a myriad of roots which although shallow span and has breadth, buried deep below the rushing currents maintains integrity, as the eventual displays, those grasses worked to hold the steepness in place, only scarred by remnants of the murky waters - distributed strength is effective

February 10, 2009

February Rains

Wind and water working together at removing the white landscape, predictions for high water has some tense, the Red promises to swell, but how high? IMG_4166a.jpg

November 6, 2008

Snow Crash

Abruptness, an about face, directions which have been forced now evidence some potential to relax. In several theatres, the characters I have known have seen a dynamic change, and with limited participation. Required breath is mostly spontaneous, but in fatigue, the mind numbs to a stop. Age and reason, both remind that futures have time to meld into reality. Where will that ball roll next, why must it always snow?

June 3, 2008

Night Vision

The night sky lingers in June in a so notable way. The same birds which feed before the 5 am dawn have maintained a pattern until the nearly 10 pm dusk. Their patterns dictated by the light, socialization, feeding, protectiveness, and ownership. When illuminated truth prevails, and in the dark, dormancy and secret. A roaming pileated woodpecker seems to run solo, but likely is mated, gathering, and dutiful. It has purpose to contribute to its own; partners which rely on each to continue, selection, self-will to remain. Will that linger as the long summer sun, or with the ripples of the seasons, ebb and flow?

May 20, 2008


Animals run, turkeys float, the sky's blueness remains, the grass so very green, and heaven is where I stare out upon each morning as I wake - yet, some have this belief that living in obscurity is possible, as have I, and the birds with yellow bodies have visited, as have the hummingbirds, when we both said, hummm, maybe a basket for them, as we agreed... balance, resonance, she knows not what I know, and lives a purported lie, maintaining innocence, or at least unvolunteering the truth, yet each day is slowed as molasses strives to drop under gravity, oh so slow, and my heart is wrenched with her nature.

March 16, 2008

Slow Melt

Crisp sun shines through the living room windows, dogs laze with their black coats absorbing the days gift, an earlier walk evidenced a seemingly healthy greenish brine on the top edge of the dike, stone pavers heating proximities doing the same, at thirty four degrees water flow in the guttering is brisk and resounding as the roof-top snow vaporizes into the March sky, and most notably, slowly, a key to confidence that the first weeks of April will be uneventful, and the Red will remain sober for yet another year.

March 4, 2008

What makes cold warm?

What makes the cold warm?
As bitter cold air surrounds, scraping deeper w/ exposure (time).
Mobility becomes compromised with thick pile layerings, and dormancy is sequestered.

What makes cold warm?
Crisis or tragedy fixes a vantage where less extreme is preferred, at least when longevity is desirable.

What makes cold warm?
Hope? But only ephemerally unless manifested.
Poignant action (motion) towards a preferably holistic and lasting solution?
But will we then ask, what makes warm cold?
For some, comfort is preserved in normality, while others w/ extremes.
Yet all systems inevitably find a balance point away from their once stochastic extremes.

What makes cold warm?

Implicitly: your own comfort zone is decided by the resources earned and the environment evolved from either work by you or others before you, and possibly serendipity.

-originally February 22, 2008 near 9 am en route to St. Paul

December 15, 2007

On One Leg

Slowly waddling through the deep snow were the river oaks turkeys. The white powder became trampled, now by turkeys, where the sunflower hulls were sprinkled under the suspended green and yellow seed basket, at least a virtual invitation to feed and roost. As I approached each retreated.

The next day, flying in from across the river, the rather rotund bodies flap to the ground, ambling up the hill to review the food situation to discover the gray squirrels' remnants from my attempt the previous day. Quickly these birds inhale any morsels of ground covering and as we watched from the living-room window. I donned my polar boots and jacket, scarf, gloves and cap, to offer more.

Their skepticism prompted retreat as I approached, but curiously they remained within eye shot. I splash seed again onto the trampled white and do some retreating of my own. They consume, then relish in the bright blue-skied sun that heats their dark thick feathers. Their water supply is the fine white powder they ingest as each flake is a kernel of moisture.

Bitter cold has a regular hokey pokey like action as one claw balances the rotundness, while the other is tucked high into the warmer feathery bush. Two of the five elect to perch four feet higher on the porch railing. It would seem that both our cats and dogs have grown accustomed to these big birds.

November 24, 2007

Paul the Woodpecker

I am watching the ice start its dance on the river's surface marking the inevitable demise of moderate temperatures. I worry that as many as 90 days could pass without temperatures above zero (Fahrenheit) which requires attention to infrastructure. Fortunately many of the birds will remain for the duration, in particular Paul, who chips and chops daily, enjoying the regular suet that he has grown accustomed. Meanwhile, migration south continues.

View image

October 29, 2007

Long Shadows

The setting sun swims south, no longer obscured by the now leafless trees to the north, the shadows grow taller. Both domestic and wild animals seem relaxed with the long slow migration to winter cold. Blue blue sky, water clarity and leaves scatter the landscape, the rump of a red squirrel protrudes up from her burrow stash of nuts just over the wood pile located our of reach from the typical spring thaw that is inevitable.

October 6, 2007

Patches of Sun

Wild turkeys are grown and feed from my hand, the riverfront groomed despite several large falls, protection to 38.4 feet, rye-blue spread well, more work, patio, sauna, clay. Pontoon on Bay, heat is good, everyday.

June 7, 2007

High Waters

Wind blows, ducks paddle, fish swim, birds fly, and water flows while I monitor the red's rise to beyond 30 feet, just 8 short of my designed protection. Cool temperatures keep us dormant as does afternoon fatigue which finally is tapering from a recent return from Beijing.

March 26, 2007

Woody Returns

Water began rising last week on the Red River of the North from alongside the banks where its thick icy crust remained fixed, but thawing under atypical temperatures. Yesterday morning we rose to the marriage of temperature with dew point providing an element of mystery and wonderment on how after several heated days the ice remained.

Near ten in the morning, water rising against an nearby upstream dam/falls no doubt contributed to the massive laminar sheets release. Reflecting its power from the solid motion, the sun continued to bake the morning fog. The noise, pops, crashes upon the undulating banks and water soaked trees were fantastic. Any small diameter trees were heard severing by the low velocity high momentum blows.

The motion remained cyclical for twenty four hours. The splintered logs and winter refuse skirted underneath when blocked. With time the river's span was no longer bridged by ice. Random episodes would prompt yet another jam but ephemerally. Four hundred square foot bergs would catch a corner on a flooded tree base issuing an abrupt stop, an audible stress, and followed by a flow rotation sending it again into the mainstream. Throughout the event, I remained curious on the state of the downstream northern frozen-ness of the river.

Canadian geese honked from high altitudes above, birds and bushy tailed tree rats continued to forage without any noticeable respect, this first major sign of non-winter. In returning towards the house after my river's edge inspection I hiked up the hill and was surprised to discover another sign the need to coexist with nature, the return of my nemesis, woody.


March 3, 2007

Lunar Eclipse

A brazen orange sky retreats to a western glow, while in Rome, a lunar eclipse wanes from totality.


February 12, 2007

Changing Landscape

Much of the winter lays behind, only limited shake from above has deprived us of an opportunity to exercise, both on skis and in my driveway pushing the white pile. I find polar cold to be an intriguing challenge when she first arrives. Temperatures near 30 below can serve dysfunction to the automobile, particular a specific German brand. While in NY, tens of feet of snow weigh down on roof-tops, we in Moorhead simply wonder if a bit more base would allow us to exercise our waxing hand.

Chronically I continue my bird metaphor commenting on the lack of "lemon birds" this year. Before the winter set in, we filled the hole with nearly 500 cubic yards of clay, allowing a much reduced reach to the feeding tubes. I wonder if somehow the changed landscape has my finch friends onto another feeding platform. For now, the woodpeckers continue to entertain while the greys and the reds seem to only annoy (but not completely).

October 30, 2006

Flight of the China Moon

Seeking food, comfort, recognition, solitude, and for reasons which are inherent.

Do I speak of American citizens? Russian or Chinese? Pileated, Downy, or any of the wide asunder of wild finches?

For humans, multi-decade-al bands represent the average span of function, with five being the norm.

The flight of the emotional-less shanghai pedaling has prompted a new recognition of intonation, challenge, and balance.

September 28, 2006

On the Bird in September

Bipedal, warm-blooded, oviparous vertebrate animals characterized primarily by feathers, forelimbs modified as wings, and (in most) hollow bones. (wiki) Not meant to be gilded, built to fly freely, food seeking, functional, and sensitive.

A cat, feathers ruffled, most get away, while some are ingested. Domestic wildness, tree clingers not moved by our presence, suspected sustenance remained the priority. Berries chewed from downed trees branches offer a backdrop of activity and comfort.

The house is heated but not repaired.

August 27, 2006

Downy Woodpeckers

Although near-distant storms and tornadoes helped a recent trend of greening grass, the season for growing is near its end. Instead, each blade works to store energy for next year, and I expect only one more cutting. The bees continue their mania for nectar, as does a hummingbird near the finch tubes that have been increasing in popularity. The squirrels remain busy as this is the year that the aggressive seeding burr oaks attempt to increase their numbers. I expect it will not be long before the raccoons claw their way up the corner burr, and begin their several week vacuum of the roof-laden acorns. Two years ago I toyed with keeping them away, but this year, we might instead enjoy the visits. Besides, they entertain Stella and Ruthie into the night. I hung another peanut tube and enjoy more frequent visits from the hairy and downy woodpeckers.Downy Woodpecker by Larry McQueen


July 29, 2006


Limited rain, brown very dry grass, trees beginning to stress, yet after nearly one month without a need to cut grass, a thunderous rain storm is passing through the area.

The Horse Park opened today.

June 26, 2006

Catfish'n on the Red

Hot sun shine is a most welcome luxury. Short haired black jacketed basenjis agree. The removal of one very large burr oak has opened the skies both for the morning sun, and for the evening stars. Surrounding trees provide border, and shorter days will allow earlier stars. A long pontoon ride on the Red would be delightful. Dropping a line to snag a few cats is also needed.

May 30, 2006

Lemon Birds

The sun-green trees have filled nicely, my Mhd neighbors are active, I am now several grass cuttings into the summer, annoying bugs have yet to evidence themselves, and the temperature soared on Memorial Day making for a hot and cleansing baking.

I enjoy the new sky from the deck throughout the day, the 150 year tree removed to provide for the levee retrofit. The low branch cleanings also have enhanced the property. Her exit was fascinating, leaving me much to burn for next season.

Woody showed up two weeks ago early, I, under-dressed, grabbed my varmint pistol and jotted outside, he stayed from its cross hairs. He has not been seen again. His lower berth has not been utilized this season.

The Evinrude started perfectly yesterday for a trip up to Convent Bridge and back, the river was at 18.5' or so, with a moderately high current. That, along with, Andrew's weight as compared to Gail's, may of prompted running out of gas, but some paddling was nice.

Hendrum has wickedly high grass now and I without a good method to transport the Snapper. I hope to sort that out soon. It may be that she was bought.

The bambies are clean and glow tan-brown, as opposed to the dark winter coat. Stella was excited by two tonight.

The turkeys remain, as do the Hairy's, a few lemon birds (as doodle refers to them) visits regularly.

The sun sets so wonderfully late in the Hinterland.

April 30, 2006

Wood Ducks

The month started wet due to a rapid snow melt which surged the Red to a near record high (37.2 ft, 20.2 ft above flood stage). The event was spectacular. A community army loaded and hauled bags to the dike, some 800 40 pound bags were eventually deployed to restrict water from the basement.

Predictions for crest heights continued. Three days before, a new higher crest was predicted, more stress and worry for my first protective dike. At crest, water streamed under the bags, across the black plastic tarp laid as base, and down the tiered wooden trestles that makes the dike. An blessed 80 gallon per minute sewage pump groaned below in full control. A nearby second provided backup security but was not needed at the time.

We walked the dike all of Sunday night, as the temperature dropped to near freezing. An orchestra of chippering pumps cycled, removing the ground water which was pooling from the stressed dike. On occasion one of us would grab a shovel and scratch a new mud trough to direct the water to a pool.

On Monday near 4 p.m. the crest was reached. The water began to drop, all so slow, as was the case with its rise over the past day, the final heights occur so very slowly, but my optimism began to stir.

Below the three feet of sand bag and plastic liner is the earthen dike, built to protect the river home from what was becoming a more common occurrence - flooding beyond experience. Thwarting the walkout, it was build some 20 years . The earth and rooted grass is robust to temporary flow, but the 20,000 cubic foot per second flow rate was particularly powerful and potentially destructive. The last two feet of water remained for nearly one week; any vulnerabilities would surely be exposed in the extended period, and then the breach...

Embraced optimism allowed me an opportunity to check in with work. My family was encouraging sleep and my intent was to honor their request, but a quick email check would allow a gauge for the length of my dormancy. A quick check from my office window had me in my boots, dawned jacket running out the front house door declaring the dike had breached.

Bag after bag was peeled from a high point filling the burbling water on a mid point of the dike. Three of us fought, other watched, the water swelled. We err'd in attacking the symptom, not the disease, it beat us.

After the breach, the water level equilibrium with near 6 feet of water in the basement in a matter of minutes. The door blew open at the 1.5 foot mark under the excessive pressure of the rising water; a closed deadbolt ripped from the door jam releasing a great deal of pressure that was on foundation wall. Water filled, the electric panel buried, the heating system buried, all remaining contents soaked in river water, some of which were floating.

For two days the water remained, freshly thawed, not far from its 4 degree base. On Thursday afternoon the water dropped to below the lip of the breach, and the pumps turned on using temporary power provided by the city. By the end of Friday, I could walk in the basement to inspect the damage while the wood ducks were swimming in my back yard.

Today, like yesterday, it rains...

DSC_0016.jpg DSC_0048.jpg

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

February 28, 2006

Canadian Geese

Two cars down, brushes and drop-outs, prompting welcome dialogue, for the eighty mile one way trip.

Early this morning, before a significant melt was realized, were noticed, a congregation of geese. The flock clustered, near a beet pond in north Moorhead, a spot returned to annually; several hundred, but today, the last of February, prompting my surprise.

Four days earlier we saw extreme temperatures, severe, these birds, selecting to live in that environment seems unlikely, this must of been their first day back. A welcome sign of spring to come.

Navigating the springtime requires presence, sensitivity, and tenacity.

February 24, 2006

Heavy Snow

Mounds of snow falling, large flakes, blowing through the leave-less trees, at times, nearly horizontally. Snow piles, then melts, but when? For us, in the Hinterland, the ground has been swallowed by snow since October. However, our many birds remain as cheery customers.

January 29, 2006

Yellow Squirrels

The dance was enjoyed, as was the lobster bisque. Wet snow fell much of the day, hampering vision of the river - my swarm of yellow birds descended early to harvest the thistle, from eaves on the house, a sheltered feed zone with consistent supply. A birch fire warmed the room. Doodle and Boo stay nearby. Gray squirrels were dissuaded with high speed steel pellets; although reds are as common, grays are edible.

January 23, 2006

Dryocopus pileatus

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Toyota Corollas are subject to rust.

Turkey Birds

Snow on ice on snow on ice on snow form the foundation of my trail. Winter blows across the oxbows, filling in my path, as though they have never been traced, unless your eye is discerning. The crisp sun shown down to illuminate my history. I found, however, that in places the snow would not give, and my skis would only skim the surface.

When numerous large claw prints were discovered, I imagined hawks at first. Instead, a flock of turkeys stand dormant across the open field, collecting sunlight on their dark feathers, bundled together they find me of no real interest, as I continue to skate along the layers of white.

Each year the snow lays over the valley. Each year it melts. In that time many have discovered life, while others discover death. Like the seasons, we cycle.

What do we do when seasons pass before a love is discovered gone?

January 21, 2006

Hairy Woodpeckers

Where are the finches? The restaurant is open. Thistle tubes hang from the eves of our modern ranch home whose orientation is maximized for the mid-winter sun. Windows peering over a creek sized river known as the Red, where cat and walleye are known to be caught in its turbid waters.

A Pileated woodpecker was, however a regular visitor due to the water saturated spindles which adorn the area. Squirrels, both gray and red run the spaghetti junctions. Deer regularly graze.

Oil sunflower seeds in a basket hang from a high branch tethered by a cloth rope. Hairy Woodpeckers discovered the Felled by a crafty squirrel, replaced by a 25 foot dog chain.

Oil seed, woodpecker, chickadee, nuthatch, and then, golden finch, american.

The yard is now busy.

January 20, 2006

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A First Post

The mild winter presses forward, division, uncertainty are easy to embrace for most. Instead, I propose creativity to solve the dismay, creativity, feathered with humility but certainty that our work is to teach, to research, and to service.