The Eye (or Camera) of the Beholder

A few weeks ago we visited the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum that had a night art installation by Bruce Munro – lots of light, a little weird music, and a great deal of walking. Throw in the S’more kits being sold around a fire and it was a lovely evening. We walked along dark pathways from sight to sight, under a clear, starry sky. Light pollution often obscures the sky in our neighborhood, so I took the opportunity to point out some constellations to my daughter. We had to keep finding dark areas… Read More

Reality Never Left

The summer is almost over. School starts again. We’ve returned from vacation and I’ve returned to writing. And to paraphrase Sergeant Schultz, I’ve learned nothing. I really thought I’d learn something; that I’d be awash in epiphanies and personal revelation. I thought I’d be more fit, more well read and in the end, happier than my current moroseness belies. The first title I chose for this post was “I’m Still Me. Damn It.” I celebrated my 49th birthday in Monterey earlier this week. 31 years ago, I was 18, fresh out of… Read More

Stories from the Road: The Search for Narrative

After a vacation in Montana, I’ve returned home, a head full of unorganized thoughts and a vague sense that I’m on the right path again. For months, I’ve been languishing in a purgatory of writer impotence and flailing about for some sense of purpose. We took the Amtrak train from St. Paul to Glacier National Park, staying in a century-old lodge with few amenities and scant Wi-fi. We paid for a view and a convenient walk from the train station. Following our arrival, we spent our days hiking and horseback riding and… Read More

Stories from the Road: There’s Something About Larry…

After a two week road trip around the Great Lakes, I’m making a quiet re-entry into the blogging world – homeward bound in more ways than one. My family and I take different vacations together. I’m often up at the crack of dawn hitting the hotel fitness room or fumbling about in the dark making coffee or off on a walkabout. They sleep in unscheduled bliss. I love them and I love my mornings alone. In Mackinaw City, Michigan, I wandered down the street near our hotel on Lake Huron, finding a… Read More

The Dog Days of Blogging

The Green Study is on hiatus until September. As the smell of tar drifts in through open windows and the cicadas drone on, I wrestle with decisions and consequences. Anyone who has read this blog for any amount of time, knows this is a constant state for me – the wrangling of life out loud, never settled, never quite comfortable. I started writing for this blog in January of 2012. The intent was to get in the practice of writing out loud. I went quietly about my business, writing about things that… Read More

Return from the Wild

The customs agent asked if we were bringing anything back into the U.S. that we didn’t have before. Had he not been so serious, I would have said 15,000 mosquito bites and a renewed sense of determination. Levity might have brought a full on search and I don’t know if we could have repacked the car without leaving out the kid and a couple of sleeping bags. We are magicians when it comes to packing camping gear and 3 people into a Prius, but I always have a nagging suspicion that it’s… Read More

Dragonfly Summer

Extreme weather and the loss of natural habitat have made my garden a little lonelier this year. No butterflies. I’ve seen a couple of Cabbage Whites, but usually I see Swallowtails (black and yellow), Painted Ladies, Fritillarys, Monarchs, Skippers, Checkerspots, Sulphurs, and Coppers, as well as a pretty good range of moths. The monarch population has dropped significantly over the last 18 years, with 2012 being the lowest year ever (a 59% drop in one year). The push for biofuels (aggressive large scale farming in the Midwest) and the use of GMO… Read More