Friday, February 29, 2008

Back from Hibernation

I'm not sure what I've been doing since Christmas... Reading a lot; writing a couple of stories; dealing with my personal life, which is not exciting, but involves a lot of detail work; checking out political and economic blogs on the Internet, a wonderful invention; and working, of course. This is the busy time of year for accounting, which is what I do at my day job.

Last Sunday, Patrick and I drove to Duluth. We have been staying in town on weekends, because the cost of gas is so high. The weather forecast said freezing fog. As we got north, the trees became frosted -- every needle of the evergreens and every twig on the deciduous trees. Bushes were frosted, and dry weeds along the highway. As promised, there was fog. So we drove through a foggy, white-frosted forest. Very nice.

We saw a flock of birds, that flew up and across the highway as we approached. They were sparrow-sized and flew like sparrows. At a distance, they looked black and white. They were not anything I was used to seeing. The closest thing I could find in my bird book was snow buntings; but it's their breeding plumage that is black and white. In the winter, they should be brown and white. So, I don't know.

And we saw a bird that flew like a hawk, but turned out to be entirely black. A raven, I am pretty sure.

Lake Superior was open, though there was ice in the harbor. The 2007 shipping season is over, and the lake boats are all docked. The 2008 season will begin in March. We thought of looking for the boats docked in Duluth, but security has gotten tight since 9/11; and we didn't want to get into hassles with security guards.

We checked out our favorite stores in Canal Park. Pat bought a shirt and a vest. Now that he's a lobbyist at the state legislature, he needs to dress neatly. I got a pair of earrings. We looked at art, and I dreamed of buying a raku raven.

And we came home.

This coming weekend, I will be at MarsCon; and I will be at Minicon, which is over Easter weekend. The big trip and treat of the year is Wiscon, which is over Memorial weekend.