"Highly Unusual"

Sunday, October 11, 2009

One of the biggest faux-pas of blog writing is to solely relying on the weather to provide you with writing material. But when you live in northern Minnesota, sometimes the weather is worth mentioning because it quite frequently does some pretty strange things. That said, a lady I work with right now, who grew up in the South, said that for the past twenty years, no matter what the weather is doing, one of the locals will tell her that the weather is “highly unusual for this time of year.” So maybe I’m just part of homegrown cult with a deeply ingrained belief that our weather is unique.

Whether it’s normal or not, it snowed about two inches two nights ago and the night before that, I fell asleep to the sound of “grouple” (not quite rain, not quite snow) falling on the shed roof outside the bedroom window. Snow flurries are fairly normal any time from mid-September on, but the snow rarely sticks on the ground for any period of time before November. This morning, there’s still about an inch of snow on the ground, covered with yellow and green leaves. It reminds me of the time I frosted chocolate cakes with white frosting and topped them with autumn leaf sprinkles when I had a summer bakery job during college.

In other news, Andy and I aren’t the only ones reaping the benefits of the grouse population surge this year. Andy’s taken to cleaning any grouse we get on a large window right below the window my desk is next to. Yesterday, I watched a pine marten dart around on the rock and hillside, gathering up neglected grouse bits. It’s not the pine marten’s first forage into freeloading. Last week Andy watched the pine marten surreptitiously hide a grouse wing under a shingle on the shed. I can only guess where he’s squirreled away all the other bits he’s been helping himself to.

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