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Posts Tagged ‘The NDN Silver Blog’

I arose before dawn, sky blue-black and spangled with stars. The forecast finally fulfilled itself last night, leaving a late light dusting of snow upon the earth, but by the indigo hours, all the clouds save a few trailing bands to the east had already moved out beyond the mountains. It was a moment of […]

Today’s clear skies belie the forecast for this evening, all cold winter sun and not a cloud in sight. That can change in a moment, though, and we know better than to depend on the skies of dawn for the weather of dusk. In truth, we welcome the prospect of snow. The land, forced by […]

Dawn, ten days out from the Long Night, and our forecast has suddenly changed drastically. After days of insisting there was no chance of snow during that whole period, sometime around dusk last night the experts announced an 80% chance of snow for tonight. We know better than to assume its accuracy until we see […]

Far less snow is visible on El Salto on this day than in the photo, but unlike last year, there is snow. The drought that has held this land so firmly in its grip has altered not merely weather and climate, but perception and memory, as well. Snow seems suddenly a novelty, something remarkable, when […]

As I write, the light is brilliant but fading fast. Night falls now ever earlier, and the glow at the horizon will not last much longer. At this season, no storm is required for us to seek the grace of the light. It’s true in other ways, as well; countdown to the Solstice notwithstanding, the […]

Our peoples’ traditions vary widely, sometimes within very small spaces geographically. Five hours’ drive southwest, and you come to a place where all mention of snakes is taboo; even the casino bars the wearing of snakeskin boots. In places such as this, they are more closely connected with their water-dwelling cousin, and thus become avatars […]

Perhaps predictably, there turned out to be little substance to the much-vaunted meteorological forecast of snow: a dusting, nothing more. Even so, the sky is as white as the ground this morning, dawn amounting to nothing more than a lightening in hue of the veil that covers the world. Fog. There was a time, not […]

It is darker here this morning than in recent days: The forecast has moved up the snow’s arrival to later this morning rather than tonight. Even so, a small but solid break in the clouds to the southeast allows a strong sun to shine through, turning the earth gold beneath an otherwise violet sky. The […]

Today is brilliantly sunny, and just as brilliantly cold — no hint in the air yet of the weather that is supposed to arrive before day’s end tomorrow. But however clear the day, it will be just a bit shorter than yesterday, the dark descending sooner and lasting longer than before. At this season, the […]

The dawning days of December, and the deep cold of winter has already descended. Here at Red Willow, the mercury struggles in the early hours, the earth unwilling to rise from slumber to meet the cold morning light. Late afternoon, and the temperatures drop as fast as Father Sun before a sky set aflame one […]

Nine degrees, with a wind chill of three. And that’s far warmer than originally forecast. The sun is up, just cresting the ridgeline of the south slope. The clouds have all vanished, leaving a vast expanse of clear pale turquoise in their wake. And a dusting of snow covers the earth, ashimmer like a blanket […]

The crows are calling to each other beneath a silvered dawn sky. Snow is coming, and the wild creatures feel it. Where I come from, snow and rain seemed two distinctly different phenomena, but here, it’s easy to understand them as one elemental force stepping out in different dress. Sunrise was an eerie affair, a […]

December first: that day, in my childhood ignorance of seasonal calculations, that my small self regarded as the first day of winter. It’s certainly winter here. The mercury has risen little from our cloud-covered dawn, and while the light dusting of overnight snow has mostly melted beneath the glare of a sun only recently revealed, […]

The last day of the month the dominant culture allots to the “history” and “heritage” of our peoples, and the snow is only miles off now. As a practical matter, no one even remembers at this point, save us; the rest of the world has long since turned its attention to the frenzy of the […]

In this space a week ago, on a day ostensibly devoted to thanksgiving, I wrote of gratitude for hope: that free spirit that refuses, in the face of all circumstance, to give up or give in entirely. A week later, and that tremulous hope and great trepidation have both been supplanted by simple joy. After […]

The waning moments of the indigo hours, the dawn star glows large and low in the still-dark sky. The forecast predicts snow by tomorrow night, but for this day, the air hold such perfect clarity that the late stars seem still to dance within our reach. It is one of the gifts of winter, this […]

There is safety in numbers, but sometimes, someone needs to be a scout. At Red Willow, the horses know this; accustomed to living communally, many of them spend most of their time living in the embrace of a herd. For those who live outside the old village and its immediate environs, such as ours, the […]

You can’t stand up unless you’re on solid ground. That’s one of the first lessons life teaches you, in profoundly literal ways. Growing up as I did in a place where snow and ice are the norm for near half a year, I learned very early on the perils of slick surfaces. I also learned […]

On this morning, it feels as though fall is gone, having already ceded space in full to winter. The skies are bright and clear, the air sharp as a scalpel’s edge: The winds that howled the whole of the night have seen to that, pushing out every cloud — and with it, every last shred […]

This is the season of the light. At this time of year, dawn and dusk come truly into their own; it’s a time of knife-edged clarity of air and simultaneously one of the clouds’ most spectacularly variable displays. Even on the clearest, plainest days, the silver light of sunrise and its golden sunset counterpart are […]

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 […]

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 […]

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