A fair, complete with Ferris wheel, alongside the river in Portland Oregon is just the thing to post on the first day of the Spring Semester back at St. Lawrence University. As I trudged through snow to get down to business, the memories of warm sabbatical nights last year were inescapable.
North Country temperatures abruptly rose from 20ºF to nearly 60ºF before suddenly dropping to -20ºF—all in under 36 hours. The result was rain that completely melted almost all snow, followed by freezing rain that deposited a layer of ice, followed by a new 12″ of snow to replace what came before.
In the midst of that chaos, I visited the Grasse River through the center of Canton to see it rising above its banks and jamming the shores with ice.
Hiking in the hills of Picchetti Ranch in Cupertino, views over Stevens Creek Reservoir and the Bay beyond present a classic Californian landscape. Like a postcard from the mid-twentieth century, the little shape of a kayaking fisherman in the foreground (or the people fishing at the shoreline in the background) shows an ideal Saturday afternoon.
This week, Portland was visited by the US Navy ships USS Bunker Hill (the missile cruiser in the background) and USS Jackson (the stealthy littoral combat ship in the foreground). The futuristic structure and military aesthetic makes for odd juxtaposition with Portland’s Old Town/Voodoo Donuts reality.