Saturday, October 09, 2010


My brother came out for a five-day visit. When Patrick and I go to visit him and my sister-in-law, we spend most of our time lounging around their wonderful, comfortable house, talking and reading and petting numerous cats.

Our place is far smaller, so we tend to take people out more. Wednesday my brother and I went to the Minneapolis Art Institute and looked at Chinese Art. Thursday the three of us drove south along the Mississippi River and looked at fall colors, which are not yet at peak in the southern part of the state. It was a lovely, though too-warm day with a bright, clear, blue sky. Patrick saw an eagle above the road. Neither my brother nor I saw it.

Friday we drove north to Duluth and along the North Shore of Lake Superior to Split Rock Lighthouse. We wandered down to the shore below the lighthouse and watched clear water lap very gently over rocks. The colors along the shore were past their peak, but plenty of birches were still holding their bright yellow leaves. It was another cloudless day, though with a heat haze over the lake. While we were in Duluth, we saw the Edwin Gott, a thousand foot ore carrier, come into Duluth Harbor through the shipping canal and under the Aerial Bridge.

We stayed overnight in Duluth and went onto the Iron Range Saturday to look at Hull Rust, a huge, open-pit iron mine -- three miles long, a mile across and more than 500 feet deep. It is still in operation, but just barely. A half dozen or so gigantic machines labored at the pit's bottom. The birches and aspens on the Range have mostly lost their leaves, but the tamaracks still have their needles, which are a dull, soft gold. Again, the day was bright with a clear blue sky, and again it was too warm for this time of year.

My brother was more impressed by the mine than anything else.

When we were driving up to the Range, I saw a raven above the highway. It was soaring, and I could see its wedge tail clearly.

We are back home now. My brother is leaving early in the morning. I have to cover a table at the St. Paul Art Crawl tomorrow afternoon. Next week is full of appointments. Then things should slow down, and maybe the weather will cool down. We shouldn't be getting temps in the 80s and 90s in Minnesota in October.


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