06.14.21: Minnesota I

Outside Duluth, Minnesota, the fire risk is “very high,” and I am very hot. A week ago, Duluth Harbor hit 97; one of the last times I was here, it was so cold a bottle of scotch iced, a feat I did not know was possible. Then, if you would have told me it would get to 97, I also would have thought that to be impossible. Ravens pant on road-shoulders, plants droop, AC repair vans zipping around frantically make up a good chunk of the traffic.

Last summer, Hannah and I were at WPBO. It was hot and dry then, too, and in many ways Lake Superior was our savior. We swam most days, sustained ourselves with whitefish bought right off the boat, documented—like we have for several seasons—avian usage of the Lake. Now, Hannah’s in Duluth, and I’ve come to see her. We drive up the North Shore for some relief, visit a Peregrine Falcon nest where we lay on our bellies on a sheer cliff-edge at least a hundred feet above this body of water we love so much. We talk about heat; drought; how spagnum is drying out up north and how Boreal Chickadee nests seem to be struggling, for reasons not yet known. Water is life, that much is apparent.

I’ve re-entered my time on the road with an open mind, an open schedule, and the next week will supply explorations about heat and water, scarcity and ownership, control and love. This post is a harbinger for the longform Patreon post that comes next, after the one I’m putting up today 🙂

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