Winter                                                                             Settling Moon II

Another 68 degree day. This has moved past a January thaw into a January spring time. I walked around in the back, on the completely thawed out areas and did find some green leaves, especially a thick velvety leaf. There was also bright green moss growing on the ground and a dull green lichen spreading over a rock. The ice melts and flows around the tiny rocks, flakes, large flakes of a tannish-pink rock, then seeps into the soil at least part way.

This kind of thawing, followed by freezing, is a soil-making process. It is the slow, very slow process of eroding away Shadow Mountain. First the rock becomes soil, then rain and streams carry the soil down the mountain. Eventually, there are soft foot-hills or aged peaks like the Appalachians.

Shadow Mountain is even more basic an environment than Anoka County in Minnesota. Northern Anoka County has a high water table that has resisted development and retained the rural, northwoods atmosphere that has made it special. Yet here on Shadow Mountain even development is not as much of an active force as snow and rain, cold and heat. To transform northern Anoka County all that would be required would be an increased drainage of wetlands. Unlikely to happen now, yes, due to stringent requirements on the conservation of wetlands, but possible. Here it would require explosives, massive earth and rock moving equipment and years of time. Even then there would still be the bulk of Shadow Mountain left. It’s just not economically viable, thank god.

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