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Dead Chipmunk Floats By

Spent all day setting up the underwater camera to get the mergansers diving in the area, but they were pretty uncooperative. Then this dead chipmunk floated by, so the day wasn’t a total waste haha. Anyway you can see what I’d wager is a talon wound on its side. Chipmunks live (and die I guess) all along the water’s edge, I frequently hear their signature chirping. Lots of vegetal flotsam in the water today too.

Duluth-area Podcasts and Other Audio Productions on the Web

Duluth and its surrounding communities are not necessarily known for their famous podcasts, but in recent years about a dozen productions have been pushed out to the internet and smartphones with the notion that people across the planet might be interested in Duluth’s take on birds, professional wrestling or whatever.

Survey of Lake Superior’s Summer Tidepools

Two Boulders

Shortly after my daughter was born I watched the movie 127 Hours and had a totally revelatory experience. I’m probably not the only person to have a 127 Hours revelation — the movie is pretty impactful. In it, Aron Ralston, a lone-wolf mountaineer, is forced to cut off his own arm to save his life. It’s memorable, even if you’re not nursing a newborn.

At the time, I was profoundly sleep deprived in the way only new parents and cannery workers can be. I was probably legally crazy. Plus, it was before James Franco got busted attempting to hook up with high school girls. It actually was a time-delayed revelation — a kind of revelation landmine that I stepped on much later, when I reread an essay written by Albert Camus about Sisyphus — a Saturday Essay of sorts, I guess. (“Camus on Sisyphus” sounds like either the awesomest or absolute worst pro-wrestling matchup of all time.)

We all know the Sisyphus story, in part or in parcel, right? Sisyphus angers the Gods (he’s Greek) and they punish him by condemning him to an eternity spent laboriously pushing a gigantic boulder up a mountain.

Selective Focus: Midnight Oil

The work from Allison & Jonathan Metzger – aka Midnight Oil Studio – has been popping up around the area at galleries and art fairs. They even do live screen printing demos. Here they talk about how they got into screen printing and where they hope to take the medium and their business.

M. O.: We make fine art, original silk-screen prints on paper; our imagery is based on Midwestern landscapes, Nature, retro-and contemporary Pop-Culture, and American Inventions. We have a lot of fun with our pieces and enjoy making work that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

We both earned our Master’s degrees in Fine Art from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS – Jonathan in Printmaking and Allison in Textiles – so the silk-screen technique is a fantastic crossover between the two disciplines. Also, creating silk-screen prints does not require much more than a spare room, a darkroom, and a little know-how, whereas other printmaking techniques often require large, expensive and HEAVY equipment. The silk-screen process took a little getting use to, but we really enjoy the challenges it brings.

Missing Person: Leah Buehring

The Duluth Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a missing person. Leah Buehring was last seen July 1 in the area of 4000 W. Ninth St. in West Duluth. She is a 17-year-old light-skinned white female, 5’7″ tall, 180 lbs., with brown hair and hazel/brown eyes. She is possibly wearing a knee brace on her right knee. Buehring may also use the name “Angel Faith James.”

Anyone with information pertaining to Buehring’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Duluth Police Department by calling 911, or Duluth Police Department Investigations at 218-730-5560 during business hours or 218-625-3581 at any time.

A Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Back in May, Clare Kolars was “yearning for the sea,” so she traveled from River Falls to Duluth with a friend to spend time by the closest thing — Lake Superior.

Caribou Lake Boat Parade 2017

In this drone video Dennis O’Hara captures the annual tradition of the July 4 boat parade on Caribou Lake near Duluth, where decorated boats of all kinds line up and cruise around the lake.

Duluth Fourth of July Parade 1917

These photos were taken in Downtown Duluth during the city’s Independence Day Parade of 1917 — two months after the United States entered World War I.

MN Hockey: Land of 10,000 Rinks

WDSE-TV‘s recent documentary about hockey culture in northern Minnesota — from the mini-mites learning to skate for the first time, to accomplished high school and college players striving to take their game to the highest level — is now available to view online … right here.

Lift Bridge and Zoo Lion: Random mid-20th-Century Duluth Pics

No Relation of a Dream Can Convey the Dream-Sensation

I’ve had six recurring dreams, all at least 15-20 times apiece:

1
Started when I was about 13 and stopped before I left for college. I’m kneeling on the couch, with my elbows resting along the top of its back, looking out the picture window of Mom and Dad’s split-level house at 1427 48th Street NW in Rochester, MN. I can see the street, the small front yard, the driveway, and the sidewalk that parallels the front of the house and leads to the front door. It’s dark. Probably a Friday evening, because the scene involves groceries and that’s when Mom often brought them home. I watch her pull into the driveway, get out of the dark-blue 1983 Pontiac Phoenix LJ, wave and smile at me, open the hatchback, tuck a brown paper bag of groceries under her right arm, and leave the car open so my brother and I can unload the rest. She’s wearing a khaki trench coat and carrying a purse. This is when she often worked 60 or 70 hours a week in IBM administrative support. She’s about 33 years old. The sidewalk is just under the window, so as she walks toward the door and beams a smile up at me – Mom’s got quite a smile – the angle of her gaze should mean she sees the hunched humanoid-gargoyle-type creature leaning over the eave above the window. But she doesn’t. Maybe she can’t. Won’t? The sidewalk isn’t long – 15 of her short steps? – but it feels like she’s taking forever to reach the door. Even as I’m screaming, “Mom! Look! Mom! Mom!” and flailing toward the creature, which is leering and obviously preparing to hop from the roof onto her, she just keeps smiling at me and strolling. The creature looks something like a tall Green Goblin balled into a languid crouch. Its intention is to kill her. I wake up as it springs.

Twenty-five years since the benzene spill in Superior

Twenty-five years ago today I got a free day at the bar (instead of work) because of the train derailment in Superior and the resulting benzene spill.

Duluth News Tribune retrospective from five years ago: “20 years later, benzene spill still stings in Duluth-Superior memories

Selective Focus: Michelle Bennett

Photographer Michelle Bennett specializes in portraits and makes fascinating images of the artists and musicians from our area.

M.B.: My medium is photography. My subject of choice is people, particularly women. It started when I was in 6th grade when I went to summer camp and my mom would pack a disposable camera in my overnight pack. One year instead of firing away all 36 frames on the camera in the first night I decided to take portraits of my friends and set up each shot with intention. Later on in high school I had an incredible photography teacher. By the end of that school year I was hooked so my dad gifted me his old Pentax Asahi Spotmatic- fifteen years later it’s a paper weight, but I bought the same one once it gave out. In college my professors encouraged me to apply for grant money and was awarded an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program grant two years in a row. The grants allowed me to explore analog cameras while road tripping across the country which ended up being hugely influential to my subject matter.

Happy Fourteenth Birthday to Us

Today marks 14 years since Barrett Chase and Scott Lunt launched Perfect Duluth Day. Celebrate with us tonight at Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be live music by Woodblind and free coleslaw.