Entries by Ann Linnea

Working Bicycles of the Netherlands

We are visiting the Netherlands and learning a lot about this small, densely populated country. One of the most obvious sites (besides the windmills) in both urban and rural areas is bicycles.   The Dutch have the most bicycles per head of population in the world. (1.3 per citizen old enough to ride) Many Dutch […]

Wilderness Quest

For months the Olympic Mountains had been beckoning. Sometimes veiled by layers of gray clouds, sometimes towering in snowy glory, their many moods called to me across the waters of Puget Sound.     Massive rainforest trees, thundering waterfalls, wandering bear and cougar, no highways or roads penetrating their wild interior—I knew it was a […]

Superheroes

  “Grandma, I want to be a superhero with super powers,” said our 9-year-old grandson as we headed outdoors to play baseball.     The previous night we had watched “How to Train Your Dragon”, a DreamWorks animation film which features a young Viking boy (Hiccup) who defies convention by training, rather than killing dragons. […]

Daffodils and Garlic—the perfect send off

It is mid-March— that time in the northern hemisphere where the sun is once again beginning to have some warming power and the southern hemisphere is moving into shorter, cooler days. Two plants have been lifelong harbingers of spring for me: daffodils and garlic. The daffodils shown here were planted in my neighbors yard decades […]

Tracking

We rarely get snow at sea level, but this morning we awoke to an inch of new snow. I realize this is almost laughable for my Minnesota, east coast, and Canadian friends. But it brought out a huge sense of wonder for me. On my morning dog walk I made quite a discovery—a raccoon walked […]

Who Won?

Nature teaches us many lessons. We tend to like the nice ones with inspiring scenery or cute animals. We don’t talk much about the more disturbing scenes that leave us unsettled. This is the story about a hybrid seagull and a female bufflehead duck. It is a story about a predator that is 7 or […]

Companionship

She ran circles in the house upon our return from the state park. At our house we call it frapping—frantically running around playing. She was so happy! She had had such a good time on the hike. And I did, too. It was a dreary Northwest December day. Gray, light rain, temperatures not much above […]

Medicine Walk with my Son

On Nov. 23 my 33-year-old son died unexpectedly in Denver after what was to have been his final surgery on the road to recovery from a terrible accident as a paramedic fourteen months earlier. I am still in shock. To prepare myself to speak at his huge “line of duty” funeral, I sought spiritual readiness […]

Medicine Walk Number One

When I really need guidance, I take a medicine walk. Far more than a walk in the woods or a ski on the snow, a medicine walk is deeply intentional time in nature. Two recent deaths in my family reminded me of the power of this ancient form. My father died on Veteran’s Day (November […]

Orcas!

We were taking a lunch break from office details when I shouted, “Orcas swimming by!” Immediately we headed out the door and toward the beach stairs. We could see a group of orcas loblolling and circling as they actively fished for salmon about four miles off shore in a surprisingly calm Puget Sound. These extraordinary […]