All of a sudden, Winter on Lake Superior

A Snowy Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving Snow

After a non-winter last year, Thanksgiving was unusual on the weather front. It was a warm, sunny day that evolved into an evening winter storm. The night wind and snow blew across the big lake, and all night the waves pounded our rock cliff. Friday morning 4 inches of snow covered everything. The snowy landscape was beautiful and quite a surprise. In a few hours time lake effect flurries became the norm, and winter began.  And 5 days later it continues to snow.
Not bothered by the weather change, chickadees, a nuthatch and common red pole are busy at their feeder. Downy woodpeckers are everywhere and the eagles and seagulls fish the lake. These are our local winter birds.
Most plants and seed heads are now covered with snow but the stately little blue stem still stands proud and is unaffected by the severe weather change.
From land you can observe the silhouettes of enormous waves surging far out in the big lake.
The firearm deer season ended on Sunday and maybe some of the wildlife will come out of their hiding spots to explore this new snow covered land.

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Buy Local this Holiday

Shop local, shop green

Buy Local this Holiday
This week we enter the biggest shopping time of the year. Questions we should ask ourselves are: How can we keep dollars in our own communities? What purchasing choices are the best for the health of our families, friends and our planet?
Every holiday season I start with a goal of purchasing USA/Minnesota made products and putting my dollars into companies that match my values for fair wages and good working conditions.
This week I was thrilled at how much local produce I could find at my local coop, and shopped a local craft fair where I purchased items made from recycled and upcycled Minnesota/USA products which put me on track to reach my “Buy local” goals.
These are my suggestions to buy local:
1. Always read all product labels and become aware of where your purchases are coming from. Ask if they are not labeled. It must say “made” not distributed by!
2. Shop craft fairs and your local stores. Let businesses know you are looking for products made in this country or state, and demand they offer you choices. At our house we do not shop “Big Box” and try to patronize businesses that pay a living wage.
3. Shop your own home. What do you have that you can reuse? Remember grandma, and how she did things. Reuse, Reuse Reuse and Reduce-Cut back on the new items and use items in the back of your closet.
Have a wonderful healthy holiday!

http://www.mn2020hindsight.org/view/black-friday-with-a-conscience-buy-local-be-socially-responsible

http://www.ethicalocean.com/black-friday-cyber-monday?utm_source=Ethical+Ocean+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=18dc4326ac-All_All_All_Mktg_Email_172_Black_Friday_Start&utm_medium=email

http://earth911.com/news/2009/11/16/5-steps-to-an-eco-black-friday/

http://madeinusaforever.com/

Drive less, Walk and Public Transport More

Solidarity with NYC, Lots of work to do

We know this congress won’t take on climate change so each of us needs to take personal action instead of blaming a disfunctional political body.  Our own health and safety as well as the health of our earth depends on it.

The election is over and repairing and cleaning from Hurricane Sandy is moving along even though not as fast as some wish. Scientists agree our earth is heating up. We can’t stop mega storms from happening, but maybe simple things we do can lessen the intensity. What lessons can we learn, and how can each of us make a smaller footprint?
Today as I was taking the bus into downtown Minneapolis my thoughts turned to how dependent we are on our cars, and the irony of New York City’s Sandy when many in NYC don’t even own cars. They live the epitome of a “public transportation life.” Just imagine, If each of us in solidarity with New York City eliminated one personal car use this week, or consolidated several car trips, what a big difference for our environment with little effort on our part.
Begin a reduction diet from auto emissions. Walk, car pool, bike or take the bus for one or more trips this week, change the status quo, have more fun, and get some exercise, also!

http://climaterealityproject.org/24hours/?wwftw1

A Vote For Our Earth

Vote for our earth
My thoughts are with those trying to recover from the terrible devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the worst storm ever experienced by New Jersey. Meteorologists say this is the new normal? This year in Minnesota areas have had 10 inch rainfalls surrounded by serious drought.
Tuesday’s vote is an important vote for our earth. Are we heading backward to deny that climate change exists or will we move forward actions that help our air, water, wildlife, and our own health? President Obama has taken historic action to protect our environment: Such as fuel efficiency standards, increased clean energy, worked with the international community, and he believes in the EPA and FEMA!
Some candidates sound like business can do no wrong. I am sorry business does need regulation. Just observe the recent meningitis crisis, the hazardous waste dumps and the damage fracking is bringing. Studies show the public thinks that business and environmental standards can work together.
Please remember our earth when you cast all your votes on Tuesday.
http://content.sierraclub.org/voterguide/