Saturday, December 30, 2017

June Late spring in Minnesota - Planting seeds and getting gounded by Lake Superior connecting to the land

Yellowwood - from a tree south of our garden.  Watching over our 7th year of transforming a lawn into food and flowers for the neighboorhood in Crystal    Tree Kentucky yellowwood or American yellowwood (syn. C. lutea, C. tinctoria), is a species of Cladrastis native to the Southeastern United States, with a restricted range from western North Carolina west to eastern Oklahoma, and from southern Missouri and Indiana south to central Alabama. Also the tree is sometimes called Virgili

Cladrastis kentukea

 View of approx 50 ft by 12 ft garden June 12, 2016
Pole and bush beans planted in early June


Another bridge in Duluth near Hawk Ridge

Hawk Ridge where I was the site manager for the Duluth Bird Club in the mid 1970's!

View from Hawk Ridge looking southeast with Lake Superior on the right

Orange hawkweed north of Two Harbors Anderson cabins  -----
Skyline Drive and W 5th in Duluth with Park Point, Lake Superior and lift bridge in the distance to the right 

Blooming Cornus canadensis, "bunch berry" blooming in June northern Minnesota
Disc golf course in Duluth - green of spring!
Duplex at 1716 E 5th St Duluth that Tom and Sue Weaver lived in from 1975-78, before we moved to St Cloud MN

Back in Minneapolis ----

Steve Borden with lilies in front of his home on Thomas Ave in Bryn Mawr neighborhood of Minneapolis

Tom Weaver' deck in the spring, in St Louis Park

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Coyote Medicine - Connecting to nature through humor, storytelling --Wilderness Awareness Schools and More

Merry Christmas on a very cold Dec 25 here in 2017, St Louis Park Minnesota  3 below zero F---sitting in meditation and contemplation, after completing the Bon Tibetan practices of the 9 Breathings of Purification and the 5 Tsa Lung exercises as instructed by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche along with Marcy V---thinking about the indigenous traditions spirit has led me to learn about over the years --and the peace that passes all understanding, that I have gained through working the 12 steps in a good way---as the Promises Say in AA '
1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed
before we are half way through. 2.We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
3.We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
4. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
5.No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience
can benefit others. 6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
7.We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
8. Self-seeking will slip away.
9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
11.We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
12. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for
ourselves Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us
-sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.
Alcoholics Anonymous p83-84

Grateful to have found encouragement from my Foster nephew Bobbie to attend a week long Spring Meditation at Serenity Ridge VA, led by TWR, with support of his sangha, including Marcy Vaughn of Bon Philadelphia ----Here is a link for starting a meditation practice and is free!! modeling generosity of spirit

Dec 2017 Reflections on Libby and Professor Bill Muir -----Two of my Coyote Teachers 

 One of my favorite images of "the professor" William "Bill" Muir, PhD, U of Wisconsin, who served as my advisor in the biology dept at Carleton College, Northfield MN, supporting my graduation with a BA in biology and education in 1969 ---this is taken at the family cabin, not sure of the phtographer, at Highland Lake near Marcell MN north of Grand Rapids Itasca country - FYI he went totally blind from his diabetes in 1968 --

I was reminded of his special impact on my life, as his widow, Libby AKA Elizabeth Ann Townsend Muir,, "passed away peacefully in Grand Rapids, MN on December 7, 2017, 15 days after her 88th birthday" online obit ---Libby and Bill married in June of 1952, and moved to Madison, WI, where he was a PhD student in the Department of Plant Pathology at UW. She worked as a Research Assistant in the same department. Two of their daughters, Patricia Muir (husband Bruce McCune) and Cynthia Muir Kuhns (husband Mick Kuhns), were born in Madison. The family moved to Northfield, MN in 1957, when Bill accepted a faculty position in the Biology Department at Carleton College. Two more children, Margaret Muir Marshall (husband Bill Marshall) and William Ralph Muir (husband Bob Wright) were born in short succession after their arrival in Northfield.-------Bill, became totally blind by 1968. Her life then changed drastically, as she became what she referred to as “a seeing eye wife.” She worked with him around the clock to enable him to keep teaching at Carleton, helping him to do all that was required of a faculty member. She accepted this change with courage and grace, as did he. Shortly before Bill became totally blind, they bought property on a lake in Itasca County, MN, and that property and the cabin they built and re-built there, using only hand tools, has been a primary gathering place for their family ever since. They went to the cabin year round, often snowshoeing in the last mile, often in the dark, Libby leading Bill. They and their children lived at that cabin during an entire fall and winter, while Bill was on sabbatical. Life there was hard – no electricity or running water, and wood for heat– but Libby loved the time there.In 1971, they began teaching Botany at the Associated College of the Midwest’s wilderness field station on Basswood Lake, and they, with their children, spent that and several following summers there.-------
Bill died unexpectedly in 1985, and Libby, who had basically given her life to help him, was suddenly on her own. She rose to that occasion as well. She became active in various volunteer efforts, including leading Bible study at the men’s penitentiary in Faribault, MN and serving as a volunteer reader for the MN Radio Talking Book, a service for the visually impaired, for many years. She received a Rice County Outstanding Senior Citizen of the Year award in 2003. She continued to spend time at their cabin and traveled often to visit her children.
She accepted with grace the changes that came with age – she sold her home of 50 years in Northfield and moved to Grand Rapids, MN, where her daughter, Peggy, and family live. Her new home in Grand Rapids wasn’t ready by the time she sold her Northfield home, so she lived for two months alone in the autumn at her cabin. She voluntarily gave up driving, and moved from her new Grand Rapids home to an assisted living facility there, again graciously recognizing her increasing limitations."  The Muir family has had a special place in my heart for a long time ---Bill and Libby's kindness was a big part of my choosing to major in biology over geology (my first advisor was Eiler Hendrickson a geologist ---and I have discovered I am a true pejuta wichasa, plant man, during my 30 + years learning about D/Lakhota spirituality on my Zuya, life's journey
The professor, Bill Muir, digging out dirt by hand, when I came to support the cabin renovations in the late 1960's I captured this image with Highland Lake in the background 
Billy Muir in the yellow shirt putting a tarp on the trailer with Libby his mom, with the cabin in the background on Highland Lake by Tom Weaver-   When I enrolled at the U of Minnesota Med School in the fall of 1969, my love of nature, and connecting with the plants especially, stayed with me ---while completing the basic science curriculum there, I often studied in Diehl Hall Library where I met the retired Owen Wangensteen MD, who as a retired famous surgeon, had a passion for the history of medicine --fortunately for me, the hermetically sealed collectors books included many botanical volumes with beautiful plants and colors  ---a great place to study ethnobotany and how plants influenced medicine ---I wandered over to the school of pharmacy and met John Staba who was the last of the pharmacognosists it seems - from the U of M archive "
-->From 1968 to1982, Staba acted as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pharmacognosy at the University of Minnesota. Staba retired in 1995.' And wandered over to the Botany building then still across the street from the Mayo Building and Med School and was led to Donald B "Don" Lawrence PhD, and after a depressing rural physicians associate experience in Crosby-Ironton, I become more aware of my need to connect with nature, more as a healer and less interested in the direction of West Medicine into big pharma and pills ---my ecological self, still called me and voila' I served as a TA in the Botany Dept for 2 courses with Don from 1972 autumn through spring 1974 where I met folks like Matt Wood, Russ Hurt and Sue Johnson who would be my future wife and mother of my two sons!