Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Midsummer in Minnesota

We'll be celebrating Midsummer Fest amongst Norwegians-Uff-Da to you. Oddly they think Uffda is Norwegian when in fact it is upper MidWest specifically Minnesotan.
Dutchmen's Breeches
Rose Breasted Grosbeak

Baltimore Oriole

 I am residing in a lovely area of southern MN in a tiny secluded valley thru which the Zumbro River winds. It is edged by old growth woods and is a haven for golden eagles, turkey vultures, Baltimore Orioles, Rose breasted grosbeaks, cardinals and many other lovely birds. A gravel road runs from Rt 52  circuitously to other farm and county roads-gravel as well. Someone took a T-square and right triangle to southern MN except for our particular road which oddly enough has a name-Sherwood Trail. Roads have numbers. Farms have 6 plus digit numbers. Like 69825  324th Rd SW.

 We have a hill in our valley. Actually two hills. The one across from our park was a clay mine. Until the 40s there was a factory and kiln where pottery and tiles were made, there was a railroad to load the barrels to ship out to the world. There is only a rail bed now. Nothing else remains. Strikes me as odd that the clay bed is on top of a hill. I haven't mentioned the wildflowers. Drooping trillium, Dutchman's breeches,rue, huge red columbine, angelica, tall vivid blue something-that I can't find in my book,wild honeysuckle and more.
One day snow came down. The sun was shining and it was warm with a light wind. Yet everywhere was a whirl of snow. The cottonwood trees decided the weather was advantageous to their propagation and the fluffy down with a tiny seed attached falls like snowflakes and covers the ground and drifts in piles. Everything is about a month late here due to the cold and rain. Farmers in many cases have given up planting as the fields have been too wet. They have an opportunity to plant alfalfa later. If they want to collect crop insurance they can't plant anything for a while. The main crop in this area is corn-for ethanol   Farms are measured in sections. It is amazing for a native of Massachusetts to see fields as far as the eye can see--in fact the curve of the earth, of rich dark soil free of stones and instead of growing something beautiful on it they grow fuel. Ah, but that's where the money is. It is all highly mechanized even to planting with a GPS.
So I am nestled in this lovely situation with painting opportunities everywhere. I plan to paint the river,of course, with the tubers floating down bobbing and turning. Tubers are adults and kids in special inner tubes that bob and turn down the river. Fun.
 I have to work in the store 5 days and take reservations as well. Larry works outside,collecting tubers in a tractor and wagon, does karaoke parties, bundles split wood and delivers to campers, See www.shadesofsherwood.com . On Sunday we work the pancake  breakfast at the Rec Hall and sing for the folks at the church service beforehand.
We are working and enjoying Shades of Sherwood Campground in Zumbrota, MN for our summer occupation.
Last week 3 tiny kittens appeared on our doorstep yeowing at 7 AM. Larry said they came from the barn on the hill above us. Something must have happened to their mother. Two were very spookish, one was calm and sweet. One of the spookers was very much like a lilac Himalayan the other two were yellow tigers. We fed them and hugged them and with kindness they responded and became tame but still full of spunk.
Two kitties and a teddy bear buddy
They all have homes now. We will miss them and so will our adult cat,Tex. He had grown tolerant and even friendly to the last one remaining. I enjoy your input. Comment please.