25 October 2007 Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan looked like the ocean this evening.
A strong east wind created a surf that
broke hard on the sandy shoreline.
The moon rose in a cloudless sky.

We walked down the shore,
heads bowed against the wind,
leaning in to each other to be heard.
I picked up smooth rocks
beige, purple, red, gray,
striped and aggregate
filling my pockets with bits of moon and sand.

20 October 2007 Manitowoc

Here in Alaska, fall reds are deep garnet and limited -- carpets of dogwood, high bush cranberry in the understory, a few small maple trees trying to survive way beyond their comfort zone. These are all beautiful and appreciated below and among the dominate gold of the birch and cottonwood.

But a trip to a small city in Wisconsin in October is a reminder that fall colors elsewhere include vibrant reds and oranges. The maple trees lining the streets of Manitowoc were in various stages of autumn. Some were still green; others a gradation from green to yellow to orange. It was the maples in full fall regalia that stopped me in my tracks and found me pointing my camera lense up into their branches. Again and again and again. Thus another difficult week to choose just one photo.

13 October 2007 EYES WIDE OPEN

A moving exhibit on the human costs of war is touring Alaska and was presented in downtown Anchorage yesterday. I've been reading about Eyes Wide Open for several years but didn't think it would ever make it to our lonely outpost on the peace frontier. So this last summer when Friends committed to bringing EWO to Alaska, I signed up to help in any way I could.

Eyes Wide Open started with 500 pairs of boots in 2004 to represent the number of American soldiers who had died in Iraq at that point. When the number of US casualties reached into the thousands, the exhibit was split up for state exhibits. The Alaska exhibit has 109 pairs for soldiers either from Alaska or based in Alaska when they were killed. Each pair of boots has a tag with the soldiers name, rank, age, and hometown. EWO tries to put a personal face on the war, to remind us that real lives are impacted and ended by war.

This personal face is not only for US casualties but also for Iraqi civilians who have lost their lives in the war. In Anchorage, 300 pairs of shoes, sandals, boots, and sneakers held tags with the names and ages of Iraqi children, women, and men who have died. The exhibit also has a series of posters - Dreams and Nightmares - showing the hope and despair of the Iraqi people.

The program varies from state to state but usually includes a reading of names, alternating between soldiers and Iraqis. Two local singing groups also sang and peace poetry was read periodically throughout the afternoon. The mother of a local soldier who was killed last February joined us for the day and read a poem that she wrote after her son died. Her presence was a constant reminder that war cuts short the dreams of not only those who die in battle but also of those they leave behind at home.

{I've added some links to organizations seeking a peaceful world with a variety of approaches. I hope that some of these speak to y0u. I've posted more of my photographs from the Anchorage EWO exhibit at my online gallery.}

8 October 2007 Anchorage

When I called Paul from Denver on Saturday he said the temperature hadn't fallen below freezing during my absence so we'd yet to see a frost in our part of Anchorage. The story had changed by the time he picked me up at the airport on Sunday night. The first snow had falled sometime early Sunday morning and the temperature hadn't risen above freezing all day. He had saved the five red cabbages from the garden and a few remaining herbs had been lost.

The temperature this morning was 20 and some golden birch leaves have been frozen in a suspended state in rain water from last week. Mountain ash leaves in orange and red are now falling as the sun shines through the clouds.

3 October 2007 Colorado

A conference took me to Denver so I visited with family for a few days, including our loving nephew and niece, Dylan and Nell. I also saw 'new' nephew Ryan, who has changed so much since we first met in June. Dylan and Nell hadn't, so I've posted this photo of them from June. The weather was still tailored to shorts and sandals during this October visit.