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The NDN Silver Blog

Today is a day of almost perfect dissonance. What the dominant culture calls “Thanksgiving” now over, society rushes headlong into the biggest orgy of commercial excess of the entire year, otherwise known as “Black Friday.” All this on the same day said culture designates, under duress and on sufferance, “Native American Heritage Day.” It’s almost […]

Rose and coral bands to east and south, lavender and periwinkle to north and west. A solitary Morning Star shimmers in the embrace of a soft corona just above the tips of the silvered aspen. Slowly, slowly, the jet of the night sky gives way to a softer indigo. Dawn, on a day that the […]

The snow may be nearly gone, but the weather is changing; if the night clouds were not proof enough, my joints certainly are. The weather experts agree: Tomorrow’s forecast calls for a seventy percent chance of new snow before day’s end. It seems somehow perfect for a day of colonial pageantry and indigenous remembrance. Some […]

Dawn, and golden light is just hitting the westernmost face of El Salto. The skies are unencumbered by even the smallest wisps of cloud, the air so cold and clear that it cuts cleanly, like a scalpel. We are now two days out from the dominant culture’s great orgy of mythology, and our own thoughts […]

The red-tails have returned early. They are always with us in the winter, at least our mated pair, but they typically spend very little time here until well into the depths of the season — mid-January into February. Then we usually have them solidly in residence for a couple of months, and they move on […]

We have silver sun on one side of us, cobalt clouds on the other — a seemingly perfect metaphor for this time and season. The forecast insists that there shall be no snow, nor any chance thereof, before Thursday. My wrist says otherwise, the pain deep within it a usually-accurate herald of a change in […]

At long last yesterday, the clouds returned — nothing holding precipitation, merely the wispy trailing clouds that more usually adorn our turquoise sky at this time of year. With the trailing bits of white came warmer winds, too: temperatures rising close to sixty, fully nine degrees above the projected high. And the forecast predicts a […]

Our world wears a blanket of snow, and we hail the arrival of the buffalo. Literally, perhaps, but not as you think, with regard to the latter; two days ago, a dear friend sent us a gift of untold riches in the form of buffalo meat. For us, this is wealth: It means meals for […]

Dawn arrived cloaked in white: no snow, nor even a stray cloud, but the palest expanse possible absent a blizzard. It’s a rare sky, one we almost never see here at sunrise, even with several inches of snow on the ground. Of course, now that the light has begun to fan out across the earth […]

We have a warm-up, finally: clear skies, bright sun, warmer winds . . . and mud. In town, very little snow remains on the ground, but here, it remains deep enough for Wings still to be plowing even as I write. We are preparing for a hard winter, the kind we have not seen here […]

The storm is gone, even from the peaks. Here at Red Willow, our small world shivers beneath a clear turquoise sky. The mercury read zero at dawn, with a wind chill of nine below. Wings was up just before five, and said then that actual temperature was minus five, with a wind chill of some […]

There are days when the world is determined that, if it cannot teach us humility, it will at least teach us respect. Today is one such. Yesterday’s storm dropped a good ten inches here (albeit far less in town, where the elevation is lower and the air warmer). As if such unseasonal blizzard conditions were […]

Humanity is fond of control. We see it on a global scale, with the urge to authoritarian geopolitical behavior; in the world of business, where old theories of Big Brother manipulation seem laughably tame now; on an individual basis, in which we all succumb to greater or lesser degrees to the delusion that we can […]

On this day, a marker for me personally, delving deeply into the old ways is one method of processing the events it commemorates, and the year intervening. It so happens that, on this day, Wings’s newest collection has just dropped, the penultimate grouping in this larger series, and it’s one that is remarkably apt: The […]

I awakened this morning to an unsettled world. Part of it is the sudden bittern cold, overnight lows in the teens and wind chills during the day that belie what passes for the highs. Part of it is the knowledge that, despite the clear translucent skies, a winter storm watch looms over us, one that […]

Sometimes, the cosmos teaches us humility in more ways than we expect. And sometimes, it uses the same tools to bring us gifts we don’t expect. Today’s feature is one that was part of a pair of matched works. The other one remains in Wings’s private collection, but several years ago — back when we […]

Our weather is as unsettled as the rest of our world: a change clearly perceptible in the air, yet no definitive forecast to give shape to the storms to come. We are stuck in a holding pattern, an ever-colder wind stealing breath and speech alike, and so we wait. Waiting has never come easily to […]

The dreaded day is past, and results have shaken out more or less as expected: some good news, some bad, and not nearly enough of the sea change needed to heal the ills bred and bound into the country’s blood and bone and DNA. We expected no more, of course, Wings and I; survival under […]

Dawn comes this morning on a cold pale light, ready to fulfill its promise of, later, turquoise skies and a chill wind. These last few days, simply going out of doors is a humbling experience, air riven by the ferocity of an unseasonal north wind near-constantly. If predictions hold, there will be more to come: […]

The last few days have shown me that this winter promises to be very different. Oh, not in the sense of what a “normal” winter here looks like, no; I mean that it will be very different from what I am used to on a personal level, blood and breath and bone. I fell ill […]

The clock tells me I’m up nearly an hour earlier than yesterday, but in point of fact, it’s actually only half that. No, I’m not a fan of Daylight Savings Time. While it’s true that the values we assign to time are, in a sense, always artificial, I tire of such overt (and failed) attempts […]

It is still dark outside; dawn is only the merest suggestion, a faint lightening along the blackened eastern ridgeline. These are the indigo hours, that mysterious space between night and day when the dark only just begins to recede in favor of a sheltering blue. On this day, the sky seems closer than ever: Despite […]

What remained of autumn was swallowed up on October’s last day in a sudden burst of early winter. Dawn breaks in a temperature of twenty-six degrees, and if yesterday is any indication, we will be lucky to get out of the thirties. A small consolation this morning is the silence of the trees; yesterday, the […]

The Day of All Souls, and our small world is as eerie as one might expect for such a marker. After a second small dusting of snow shortly after midnight, the cold and dark settled in for the duration, an appropriately icy end to a mostly uneventful night. Dawn seemed more suggestion than fact, such […]

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