Jack Frost Mystery

Jack-Frost

 

A couple of weeks ago Virginia Gambardella sent me a few lines of this Jack Frost-themed poem (below). I “Googled” the stanza and found the rest of the poem in an old textbook. Then I found this image (above) on Pinterest. The strange thing is that I haven’t been able to find the artist of the illustration or the name of the poet. Hence, “Jack Frost Mystery”!

How fun it is to read the poems during grandma or great-grandma’s time. Can you imagine how magical it must have been to read classroom books that featured poems and stories about  fairies and Jack Frost?
—S. K.

The Little Artist

Oh, there is a little artist
Who paints in the cold night hours
Pictures of wee, wee children
Of wondrous trees and flowers;

Pictures of snow-capped mountains
Touching the snow-white sky;
Pictures of distance oceans
Where pygmy ships sail by;

Pictures of rushing rivers,
By fairy-bridges spanned;
Bits of beautiful landscapes,
Copied from elfin land.

The moon is the lamp he paints by,
His canvas the windowpane;
His brush is a frozen snowflake;
Jack Frost is the artist’s name.

(From Essentials of English: Lower Grades by Henry Carr Pearson and Mary Frederika Kirshwey, copyright 1921, American Book Company)

By Angela-Marie-from-NRW-slash-Germany-via Wikimedia Commons

“Ice-Crystals II” by Angela Marie from NRW/Germany, via Wikimedia Commons

 

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Monthly Museletter – December 2017

Lunar_libration_with_phase2

“Lunar Libration” by Tomruen, via Wikimedia Commons

A fun and educational compilation of the green, the furred, the extraordinary, and the thoughtful. Thank you, Karla, for sharing your newsletter! —SK

P. S. If you’re from Colorado Springs and would like Karla’s newsletter that includes local events, you can write her at karlaann45 @ gmail.com.

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Prepare to Help Save Our Lands!
A Sierra Club article written by Adam Federman and published on October 26th explains how we must keep close watch on the Department of the Interior. A leaked draft of five-year plan reveals how the Department plans to prioritize “energy dominance” over conservation. This includes the possibility that “In the next five years, millions of acres of America’s public lands and waters, including some national monuments and relatively pristine coastal regions, could be auctioned off for oil and gas development, with little thought for environmental consequences.”

Just . . . Wow . . .
I (Sandra) personally have mixed feelings about zoos, but it would definitely be a thrill to walk UNDER a “flying” (swimming) polar bear! Several zoo/aquariums have clear tunnels under the habitats of these endangered mammals—all the better to see them with.

 

“And because I love this life, I know I shall love death as well. The child cries out when from the right breast the mother takes it away, in the very next moment to find in the left breast its consolation.”—R. Tagore

What about the other survivors in disaster areas (multitudes of plants and animals, large and small)? This article,  Wildlife Rehabilitators: The Hidden Heroes  of Hurricane Season, tells about the survivors and their saviors, and it will melt your heart.

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“Upper Loch Torridon, west coast Scotland. Panorama, from 7 Pictures,” from Stefan Krause of Germany, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Some feel that the time of wilderness on Earth has passed. That since humans are cultivating most of the world and have put their mark on all wild places, Earth is destined to be cultivated, by humans, as a garden is cultivated. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this essay, “The Garden Reconsidered”, by Sierra Magazine’s editor, Jason Mark.

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Tree Talk
“How Trees Talk to Each Other”, a TED talk by B.C. forest scientist Suzanne Simard.

“A forest is much more than what you see,” says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery—trees talk, often and over vast distances. Learn more about the harmonious yet complicated social lives of trees and prepare to see the natural world with new eyes.”

 

 

The idea that trees can communicate is awe-inspiring. What is not so inspiring is how we are hindering those social lives.

“In 2014 the World Resources Institute reported that Canada, in the last decade, has had the highest forest disturbance rate of any country worldwide. And I bet you thought it was Brazil. In Canada, it’s about 3.6% per year, now, in my estimation that is about 4 times the rate that is sustainable.”—Suzanne Simard

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How about Vegetable Fashion Collaborations among gardeners, designers, and dancers next summer/fall? Check out  “What a Fashion Line Made from Food will Teach You About Waste.”

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“You don’t conquer these mountains. You crawl up, like a child crawling to your Mother’s lap.”—quote from the 1st Sherpa to climb Everest, whose true name is Chomolungma or “Goddess Mother of the World”.

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You’ll never look at a tangerine the same way again—let Yoshihiro Okada’s art amaze you.

 

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I did it—maybe you can, too? Urge your mayor to join Mayors for 100% Clean Energy

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Some good things that happened in 2017: (from SierraRise.org)

• The rusty patched bumble bee became the first bee in the continental United States to receive endangered species protections.
• The government tightened standards for lead exposure in public housing.
• Multiple banks have sold off their investments in the Dakota Access pipeline.
• A group of 91 banks agreed to update its principles to reflect climate change and indigenous rights.
• Massive tourism development at the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers was voted down by the Navajo Nation.
• Hardware chain True Value agreed to phase out bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides.

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“The clouds above us join and separate. The breeze in the yard leaves and returns.
Life is like that, so why not relax? Who can stop us from celebrating?”
—Taoist poet Lu Yu

Nubes_movimiento2

“Movement of Clouds in Fast Camera, Santiago, Chile” by Jorge Barrios, via Wikimedia Commons.

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And . . .

How about a HOLOGRAPHIC Christmas tree? . . . no needless killing of live pine trees, no untangling of strings of lights, no space needed for storage the rest of the year . . . Santa can still find you & the kids can open presents.

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Happy Holidays (and, soon, a Happy New Year) to all!—Karla and Sandra

 

 

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The December Rose

rose-tricia-knoll-photoshopped

Photo by Tricia Knoll.

The December Rose

From so many, so few,
survivors of first pruning,
waywards scrabbling
sideways for some sun,
as Lenten roses plump
up their buds, those faux
first flowers of late winter.

Where summer gives
full-blown,
lush of reds in silk,
just these, orphans
of short days, of freeze,
they narrow
the number
of months
without roses,
that darkness
of impossible
hope.

—Tricia Knoll

Tricia Knoll (2)
Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet whose rose garden keeps expanding. In 2018 her new poetry collection How I Learned to Be White is coming out from Antrim House. Her 2017 collection Broadfork Farm (The Poetry Box) focuses on life on a small family-run organic farm in Trout Lake, Washington where Knoll farmsits when the farmers need to go away.

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Crystal Light of Morning

quarry-rock-slide-colorado-springs-gazette

Pikesview Quarry, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Photo from The Gazette Telegraph archives, by Carol Lawrence.

 

Crystal Light of Morning

In the crystal light of morning I look to the mountains.
The earth has been cut open, it is bleeding red.
the snow is like a blanket covering the dread.

In this shimmering, frigid air I can see the veil between us and them.

This ancient earth and the ancient humans abhor the modern world that is now.

The earth is alive. The broken open skin of the earth cries because of these atrocities.

—Ginger Hipszky

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ginger_110509-1

Photo of Ginger and Gretchen by Skee Hipszky.

Virginia (Ginger) A. Hipszky was born in 1960 in Franklin, Indiana. She relocated to Colorado Springs, Colorado in December 1979. She has one daughter and two stepsons. Various interests include reading, collecting modern and ancient coins, amateur radio, book proofreading, and collecting rocks and fossils. Meteorology and astronomy are two of her favorite passions, and she also enjoys writing poems and prose.

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Note from the Editor: I met Ginger a couple of weeks ago at a mutual friend’s art sale. She told us of a poem that had come to her, inspired by that morning’s view of the first significant snow of the season on a mining site nearby. I found the poem captivating and asked her if I could publish it here. Ginger said yes, and then wrote a little about how it came about in an email: “When the sun first comes up, it turns the exposed granite pink. . . [The poem] just came to me. I felt anxious all day till the words got out and on paper.”

Everyone in Colorado Springs, Colorado is familiar with the mining scar of Queens Canyon Quarry, not far from the one in Ginger’s poem. During a little research I found an article that told how that quarry was mined for limestone, to be used in the concrete foundations of buildings at the Air Force Academy, the Colorado Springs Airport and NORAD (and, I’d add, tens of thousands of homes and businesses). The article stated that in 1966 when Stewart Udall, then Secretary of the Interior, visited here he dubbed our city as “the city with a scar”. For many decades people remarked on its ugliness and how it marred a landscape that held, so close by, geologic wonders like our Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak. Here’s the link to that article if you’d like to read about how 20,000 hours of volunteer labor went into reclamation of that area below. The good news is that now you can actually see trees growing on this area.

queens-canyon-scar

Queens Canyon Quary, Image from ImFromColorado.com. Another discovery I made is that it is very difficult to find images of the scars. Understandably, they are not something people enjoy photographing.

 

As the YA author John Green wrote, “The marks humans leave are too often scars.”

—S.K.K.

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

This is the first thing I read when opening up The Gardeners’ Community Cookbook this morning. They seemed like the perfect words to share this Thanksgiving.

With much love to all,

Sandra

Smith&Hawken-Gardeners-Cookbook-opening-Victoria-Wise 001

From Smith & Hawken The Gardeners’ Community Cookbook, published by Workman Publishing Company in 1999, compiled and written by Victoria Wise.

 

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What are we here for?

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November 16, 2017 · 5:33 pm

Monthly Museletter – November 2017

Lunar_libration_with_phase2

“Lunar Libration” by Tomruen, via Wikimedia Commons

 

This month’s list of thought-food, with a focus on the feminine, the soulful, the green, the winged, the feathered, the furred. Again, thank you so very much, dear Karla, for sharing! —SK

P. S. If you’re from Colorado Springs and would like Karla’s full newsletter that includes local events, you can write her at karlaann45 @ gmail.com.

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“Delicious Autumn ! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird, I would fly about the earth seeking successive Autumns.” —Marian Evans ( pen name George Eliot )

 

Why eat sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes? They’re anti-inflammatory, have two times the fiber and calcium, & 1300 times the Vitamin A . . . naturally tastier, no need to add sugar! Whip them together with white potatoes for a beautiful peachy color!

Annouimo, by 田村 義邦, via Wikimedia Commons.

“Annouimo”, by 田村 義邦, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

How about . . .TEN GOOD NEWS stories in a minute! 

Exquisite Acapella: The Finnish group Rajaton singing Butterfly.

 

Supercool livestreams of critters!!!

Turkeys (apropos for the season) & vampire bats in sanctuaries, gators & spoonbills, a grey owl nest, pandas eating bamboo, a tropical reef . . .

SIERRA Fall Webcams 2018 WB

Click on the photo to check it out . (Which one’s your favorite?)

 

Let’s count the VICTORIES this last month! These are fights no one thought were winnable!

1. A u-turn on Brazil’s corrupt president’s plan to destroy a swath of Amazon forest the size of Denmark.
2. A court order stopping Donald Trump from destroying internet privacy.
3. A UN investigation into the atrocities in Yemen despite vicious Saudi Arabian opposition.
4. A major government review of climate-change denier Rupert Murdoch’s bid to dominate UK media.

Salty Goodness: Jaw-dropping images of these Bolivian salt flats with the Milky Way above can be found here. But first, read about this natural salty wonder in this Los Angeles Times article.

Piles_of_Salt_Salar_de_Uyuni_Bolivia_Luca_Galuzzi_2006_By Luca Galuzzi (Lucag), edit by Trialsanderrors , via Wikimedia Commons

Piles of Salt on the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia by Luca Galuzzi, 2006, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

The Gift of Courage IS Contagious! As the allegations against Harvey Weinstein reminded us last month, when one woman speaks up titans can fall. This truth extends to battling all our plagues! When we all speak up together: We have the power to change the worldGretchen Carlson, former FOX news anchor who sued her boss, talks about her new book, Be Fierce.

There is much to be thankful for every single day.

Seminole_Indian_Thanksgiving_Meal_(2)

“Seminole Thanksgiving Meal”, c. 1950s, Irvin M. Peithmann, via Wikimedia Commons. (Note on back of photo: “Wild turkey, venison & pie”.)

 

Sending love to all of you!—Karla and Sandra

 

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