who are you?

people like to tell you

who you are;

these people weren’t

born with some knowledge

that you weren’t.

never swallow the rocks

they’ve dished

up for you–

don’t believe them,

don’t believe me,

believe in yourself.

–photo by me

noble trees

trees come alive

when they die,

or they become

much more useful

when they’re dead;

whether they’re

providing a home

for small birds

and squirrels

in the wilds or

providing wood

for us to build

our own homes,

they’ve answered

a higher calling,

no longer only

providing shade.

–photo by me

Lake of the Woods

I’ve been here at Lake of the Woods for over a week, but, alas, I must return to “reality” tomorrow.

I don’t want to leave.

The lake has over 14,500 islands, and 65,000 miles of pristine pine forest shoreline. It’s been called the “World’s Walleye Capital,” something the locals take pride in.

The only downside to this adventure is the smoke from the Canadian wildfires. It comes and goes, but one day it got so bad, the streetlights in the nearby towns were coming on in the afternoon. It starts to burn your eyes and throat after a while–reminds me of L.A. in the seventies.

Now, as the night falls, it all seems a bit surreal to me; the hypnotic lapping of the waves, the heavy wood-smoke drifting on a burnt zephyr…

No, I don’t want to leave tomorrow. Because I know that the resorts, campgrounds, and marinas of Lake of the Woods will quickly be replaced by trucks, trains, and tractors of northwestern Minnesota. No wonder it’s so hard to leave.

–Photos by me