Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

What If Chicken Little Is Right?

Here in Minnesota, we don’t get much snow. Minnesotans THINK they get lots of snow, because Minnesota is thought of as a wintry state. But the snowfall here is moderate, not great, in a typical year. If Minnesota were snowy, and Minnesotans could handle that, it would be hard to explain the 400 or so accidents that happen on the Twin Cities highways every time it snows.

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Back When I Was a Kid, We Had Real Winters!

March is the snowiest month. We get lots of snow in December. Sometimes it is too cold to snow. When I was a kid (whenever that was) there were more snow storms, the total snow cover was much, much deeper, and when it snowed…it snowed, by golly!

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Changing of the Birds

The reason people think that Robin Red Breast is a sign of spring is that we believe that robins fly south for the winter and north for the summer, so when we see them, it must be getting near summer. The fact that many robins don’t migrate at all, but simply become reclusive for the winter, is not widely known.

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A Simple Assignment

This was a simple assignment. I worked for an independent auto damage appraisal company, writing estimates for auto repair. My boss’s guidelines were clear. If the floodwaters had reached the bottom of the seat, the car would be declared a total loss. I didn’t need to continue to write the estimate up until the damage reached 70% of the value of the car. I would only need to note the level of water damage.

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A Young River in an Old Valley

The Red River in Minnesota flows backwards in its channel, in a northerly direction. Its course is backwards not because it’s going north (many people in America do think that rivers flow south), but rather, because its channel is part of a larger channel that historically carried more water than any other river on this planet has ever carried. This was the Warren River, which emptied Lake Agassiz (the largest fresh water lake ever) via the Red River Valley, then on to the Minnesota River Valley, then to the Mighty Mississippi. Much mightier then.

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False Starts and Cold Snaps

False starts and cold snaps. A sign of warm weather followed by an icy slap in the face. That’s a Minnesota spring. Native Minnesotans pretend this does not bother them, but it does. I can see it in their eyes, and every now and then someone will let out a plaintive wail or even just grunt to themselves when they hit the cold outdoors. That’s how I know it bothers even the wizened old timers who grew up before indoor heating and learned to love the winter by walking to school across the frozen lake every day…uphill in both directions.

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