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One Fine Day 31/03/2014

Posted by zoidion in Long Emergency, Mundane, Weather.
Tags: , , , , ,

Twin Cities ephemera: It was the first genuine taste of spring here on Sunday the 30th: the first time the temperature hit sixty since 13 October. Whew! That was a long spell.

People came staggering out of their shelters, eyes blinking at the bright hazy sunlight, hands stripping off layers of clothing. Many climbed on bicycles for the first time this year and headed to whichever cafe or eatery had chairs and tables set up outside.

M and I went to the Stone Arch Bridge, the graceful arcing remnant of the age of passenger rail travel. (I arrived here by passing over it a few years before the downtown Minneapolis train station closed, to be replaced ultimately by a branch of the Federal Reserve Bank: the depot relocated to a nondescript new box midway between the two downtowns.) It was thronged with students from the U, young couples, families, dogs–not so many bikers: Maybe they were put off by the challenge of threading their way through all the creatures on foot and paw.

We paused several times on our way across, to gaze down at the large chunks of ice (and an abundance of trash) floating in the uppermost lock on the Mississippi, at the curling sheet of water going over the concrete lip of St. Anthony “Falls,” at the “outdoor stream lab” area used to simulate full-scale river systems. I recalled an opinion piece I saw a few years ago that called for the closing of the lock (added only in the 1960s): There is little commercial traffic above St. Paul, and river ecologists are greatly concerned about the prospect of Asian carp arriving and moving upstream. 

Coming back across on the Third Avenue Bridge, I noted how very rusty the railings are: typical neglect of the old while money and resources are poured into yet another new stadium (third here in a decade, not counting the minor league baseball stadium soon to be built in St. Paul) and the exurban mega-bridge going up at Stillwater. Both of us gestured to a film crew set up on the other side, and M–looking down at a still pool–thought the pattern of foam looked like chromosomes.

Throughout our circuit, I found it amazing that the air was not only warm–okay, warm for Minnesota in March–but still: The great continental conduit of water is usually accompanied by a comparable rush of air.

That was one most welcome respite, though I must admit that the pace of snowmelt has been remarkably steady, with no reports of flooding. Even our backyard has been manageable. But I’m mourning the passing of the Nazca pattern. The view today from my study window:


Today has been far more typical: a forty-six-degree start rapidly changing from cloudy to showery to sunny, rinse and repeat, with plenty of gusty winds. During an evening walk, a distant boom of thunder could be heard. Even now, as I write, the wind roars in the bare trees. Another sharp freeze is due overnight.

Our warm, calm, sunny Sunday afternoon coincided with the Aries New Moon: Following by ten days the equinox (or solar Aries ingress), it was in effect the first day of spring. A one of a kind. At nine degrees fifty-nine minutes Aries, it was less than two degrees from the position of Uranus in the ingress chart: a sure indication of a momentary idyll. Two days hence, we’d get a blast from the north.

We would have our pleasant moment, as Sun also closed in on the ninety-degree mark to Jupiter: a prominent but not dominant feature in the map of the season.


It doesn’t look like anything particularly drastic is in the offing for the upper Mississippi River region, but, as many others (including Starlight News) have foretold, considerable turbulence–geological, atmospheric, economic and political–is shown in the ingress configuration of Uranus, Jupiter and Pluto. A series of cosmic triggers is indicated by the Sun’s movement this week making strong angles to all three. Then: the Sun-Mars opposition on 8 April, the start of a period of release of pent-up energies.

There is one obvious flashpoint in the weeks ahead: Ukraine. The Aries ingress moment, calculated for Kiev (and Moscow and Washington), shows considerable potency. The year’s greatest drama–perhaps tragedy–will likely unfold there.

But the astromap shows another likely one: Venezuela.


There, in the lower right, the lines of greatest potency of Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto all conjoin. Events are likely to show that oil politics there have greater relevance to the plight of the teetering American Empire than the situation in eastern Europe.




1. Dave Roell - 03/04/2014

Re: Nazca pattern. Don’t know what you tramped out in the snow, but it appears to be a simplified version of the famous labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral. See the illustrations here: https://www.google.com/search?q=labyrinth+at+chartres&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=YXY9U5H_MujLsQTx8ICwCw&ved=0CC4QsAQ&biw=1024&bih=655

Which is ordinarily covered over by cheap wicker chairs, as it’s seating area for the cathedral’s congregation. Tried walking it myself once. It’s a very long course. Stumbling all over the chairs.

Looked for the same sort of thing at Nazca, did not find anything. Did I miss it?

Have been following the situation in Venezuela, but at a distance. Am hoping Washington has a one-track mind and will stay busy elsewhere. When I think of what Chavez had to endure, I am amazed the Castro boys survived.

My best, as always.

zoidion - 04/04/2014


You are a lucky man to have been to Chartres, with or without troublesome chairs. As for Nazca pattern, I did zero research before tramping: just roughly copied a pattern reproduced in “Labyrinths,” by Virginia Westbury. (I’d say it’s quite a bit simpler than just about any other pattern shown in the book.) It looks like I could recreate it today: eight inches of snow fell overnight. Ah, cruel April.

Been doing a bit of investigation on Venezuela. Maybe I’ll write up something.


Dave Roell - 04/04/2014

Once upon a time I was determined to live in London and once upon a time I was determined to spend weekends in Paris every six months or so. Overnight train/ferry. Once in Paris, Chartres was a day trip. The Cathedral is full of mysteries. Climb the ramparts and look down over the city and up at the two spires and you will discover the very highest sculpture of all, visible only to God himself, is a grinning pig, looking down upon the land below.

And when you think of it, when you think of all the possibilities, a pig was by far the best – and cheekiest – face to put there.

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