Reflections – February 4, 2022

Yesterday I asked a question I have often asked before, “What’s in the neighborhood where I live now?

Although I have now lived here for about 11 years, it still feels relatively new to me. It’s the first time I’ve lived in this state. It’s where I moved when I retired to be closer to my daughter and grandchildren. My grandson has lived here with his mother since before his first birthday – 23 years ago.

I arrived battle weary after retiring early from a series of difficult academic jobs and personal losses, merely looking for a small house and yard where I could plant gardens and create a sanctuary. I was tired of dealing with mean and petty people in power. Of course, one often finds pockets of both kindness and wisdom and cruelty and ignorance everywhere. No matter where one lives, one also discovers the interface of natural beauty with threats to exploit and control nature in ways that continue to leave great harm for future generations.

The place where I live now is no exception. Yesterday, I was inspired to ask that question about my neighborhood in a more pragmatic, action-oriented way. Once again I greeted the morning by looking out through my front window toward the rising sun.

Hibbard 1

(hmm- the bell tower really does seem to lean although not quite as much as this photo suggests)

It was another bitterly cold morning when the sun would be so welcome, even though it would do little to add warmth to the day. But its light was blocked by a thick steady stream of smoke rising from the spooky tower sitting in the St. Louis Bay less than a mile away.

I learned a little about the tower from my last young neighbor in the rental house next-door. He was the first and only one of my neighbors who seemed to care about such things. He told me that the tower was owned by Minnesota Power. His father had told him that it was used to burn trees from northern forests that were destroyed by past storms. (Sadly, he moved last year when he bought a house. I miss him and his housemates, as well as our backyard conversations.)

With too many things to do before and after my young friend moved, I just stored that information away for future exploration “someday,” like the books on my shelves waiting to be read.

But that someday has arrived for the beginning of my exploration of what’s in my neighborhood. I decided to begin the story this morning before I begin grading papers, a sure way to lose the ability to think and write in my own language. But I need to sign off now to begin that task before tomorrow’s class.

Hibbard 4

Duluth (edited screenshot)

To be continued…

Of course, if you’re curious to find out more about the tower before I have a chance to write again, you can explore the links I have posted below.

http://towns-and-nature.blogspot.com/2021/01/duluth-mh-hibbard-renewable-energy.html

https://www.mnpower.com/Company/MPJournal12022016

http://www.energyjustice.net/map/displayfacilityadvanced-64839.htm

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hibbard 2

Hibbard Renewable Energy Plant, by Jadin Hanson, September 2018 (edited screenshot)

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hibbard 3

Hibbard Renewable Energy Plant, by Jadin Hanson, February 2019 (edited screenshot)

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10 thoughts on “Reflections – February 4, 2022

    1. Thank you so much for your delightful comments, Skywalker! I hope to make time for this new mystery, too. I want to be able to see this facility from as many different perspectives as possible before coming to any conclusions, even though I am concerned about what’s in the smoke and the ash they send off to local composting sites.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Bob. The short list does include differing perspectives and I look forward to opportunities to explore this facility further before coming to any conclusions.

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  1. I wonder if there could have been a better solution than burning the destroyed trees. Using the remains of the wood for something else? Hmm…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, yes, Stacey. I agree. I plan to see explore facility from any many perspectives as possible before reaching conclusions, but I have a lot of concerns as well and want to find out if they are warranted.

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