Blog Posts by Ann Linnea

Holding Extreme Tragedy and Finding Beauty Again

Spring is coming to Ukraine, despite the desecration of its country. We do not hear about the beauty of the natural world unfolding from its winter slumber because so many horrific things are happening to people, buildings, and homes. It is hard to find beauty when everything around seems burnt, bombed, and dangerous. The only reference I hear about the landscape was first frozen ground to enable tanks, then mud to slog them down, and ...
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Do Not Forget Us!

Like so many of you, I have felt shocked, devastated, and immobilized by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. Other than discerning a good way to send relief, I have felt helpless. So, when the Wilderness Guides Council put out a call for a collective gathering to hear the stories, needs, and strengths of our Ukrainian friends, I eagerly signed up. (WGC is a global network of wilderness guides and supporters who offer “contemporary ...
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Our Animals Help Us Be Better Humans

Daily our little blue-eyed corgi helps me be a better human. By doing the things she loves, I become a happier, healthier, kinder person. Having a dog makes sure that I tend to the following: Plan time outdoors every day.  Share love and affection and, of course, snacks. Pay attention to needs other than your own. Offer kindness. Be curious. It seems so simple really. Yet we humans can get involved with matters of ...
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It’s a Fine Line

Outdoor winter adventure is beautiful in the mountains of western Washington. White mounded trees, animals that whiten for camouflage, the presence of tracks so the activity of animals can be discerned, and mountains with their extraordinary mantle of white. Minnesota-raised, my child winters were full of sledding, skiing, skating and snowshoeing. Winter was fun! To access that snowy wonderland from the rainy, green lowlands of western Washington I head up in elevation for a few ...
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Summer Salmon Fishing

Fall has come to the Pacific Northwest. Our dry summer is history. Snow is beginning to accumulate on the mountain tops and area rivers are rising. The latter fact is good news for our migrating salmon—many (though, not all) small headwater creeks now have enough cool water for these magnificent, iconic creatures to complete their egg laying journeys. Once the eggs are laid and fertilized, they rest in gravel bars all winter before hatching in ...
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2021 Summer Family Gatherings

If the summer of 2020 was the summer of cancelled reunions, memorials, and weddings, then the summer of 2021 has been the summer of resuming important family gatherings. As of this writing, vaccinated gatherings have felt relatively safe and so very imperative, but the rise of the Delta variant of COVID is beginning to cast a shadow on late August and autumn events. After our mother died in October 2020, and we were able to ...
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Giving Away Grace

Giving Away Grace Posted this ad on our local Drewslist (our local equivalent of Craigslist) this week: Free: Aquaterra KAYAK Grace: a stable, trusty paddle. Paddles, spray skirt included. This 17- foot, rudderless Aquaterra plastic sea kayak with paddle, cockpit cover, and spray skirt to the person with the right story! In this boat I kayaked 1800 miles around Lake Superior in 1992. We moved to Whidbey in 1994 and she’s enjoyed many pleasant hours ...
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The Organic Farm School

Multi-colored vegetables, goats, chickens, hogs, and fabulous young people learning to be organic farmers. What is not to like about this scene? For the past three years it has been my great joy to volunteer as an adult mentor at the Organic Farm School in the Maxwelton Valley of Whidbey Island. The young people range in age from mid-twenties to mid-forties and come from all over the U.S. to join the ranks of future farmers ...
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Resilience

Recently we had the privilege of hosting our dear grandchildren for a week. Because of COVID and the fact that they live far away, we had not seen them for 18 months. The very first thing we did after getting our second COVID shots was to call our daughter and see if we could bring them here for spring break. Ah, the benefits of vaccination! There are so many memories from our recent week together: ...
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Spring is Coming!

I have lived in the northern part of the northern hemisphere my entire life, including 15 cherished years in Duluth, MN where snow can arrive as early as October and leave as late as May. So, I know the length and breadth of winter—and, I do not think I have ever been so eager for spring as I am this year. After a year of Covid winter, I am ready for some thawing, some blooming, ...
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