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Showing posts from May, 2014

Book Review: "Changers"

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T. Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper. Changers. Book One: Drew. Akashic Books 2014.

One of my favorite experiences as a Latin major in college was reading the Metamorphoses, Ovid’s epic poem about changes. In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas/corpora... With the first words of the poem, Ovid announces his intention to tell stories of “outward appearances changed into new bodies.” Outward appearances (formas) are changed, but essentials remain unchanged: Niobe remains a grieving mother even when she’s changed into a rock formation; Arachne as a spider still spins and weaves; Narcissus as a flower still bends his head to see his reflection in the water.
Some of Ovid’s most intriguing stories are about a change of gender. Tiresias lives as both a man and as a woman, and gains significant insight from the experience of crossing between genders. Hemaphroditus bathes in the pool of the nymph Salmacis and their bodies are merged—hermaphroditic, both male and female. And then there is th…

Spring Wildflowers at Big Woods State Park

Blooming on Sunday, May 11, 2014
Wood anemone
Rue Anemone
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria). Past peak.
Hepatica. Past peak.
Trout Lily (Erythronium)
Marsh Marigold (Ranunculus)
Bellwort (Uvularia)
Spring Beauty (Claytonia)
Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)
Toothwort (Dentaria)
Wild Ginger

Budding
Blue cohosh
Trillium

Walking News: Creativity and Connectivity

"Want to Be More Creative? Take a Walk
The New York Times reports on a study conducted by researchers at Stanford University that links walking with a boost in creativity. 
"A Photographer Walks Through Tulsa" (H/T Christopher Tassava
Mike Simons, a photojournalist for the Tulsa World, is slowly making his way on foot down the 16-mile length of Peoria Avenue, which runs "from one end of Tulsa, Oklahoma, to the other, traversing the city’s richest and poorest neighborhoods along the way, the most rural to the densest." He's walking a mile at a time, each side of the street, chronicling the life of the community he passes through. 
Some of what he finds can also be found in Northfield: sidewalks that abruptly end, and residents from a poor neighborhood forced to walk along a narrow highway bridge with no sidewalk. 
Residents of the poorer neighborhoods of North Tulsa often have to walk because they don't have reliable access to other modes of trans…

My Visit to the Shooting Range

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The Morristown Gun Club is a ten-minute drive along Highway 60 west of Faribault, Minnesota, in the southwestern corner of Rice County. The scenic highway passes Cannon Lake just west of Faribault, and continues on across numerous wetlands past Sakatah Lake and into LeSueur County. The Sakatah-Singing Hills State Trail, a 41-mile paved bicycle trail along the former route of the Chicago Great Western Railroad, runs parallel to the highway until Madison Lake, 20 miles to the west.

Herons fly languidly over the highway as I drive out to Morristown on a Sunday afternoon in early May. With numerous wetlands and lakes, large and small, this must be a paradise for waterfowl—and for waterfowl hunters. 

At the edge of Morristown (population 984), a bright yellow billboard (“5,000 GUNS”) points the way to the gun club, another two miles or so across the rolling fields. At the end of a gravel road, a large cannon marks the entrance to Ahlman’s gun shop and the gun club. A yellow sign on the ba…