Party on the Deck!

Last April we enjoyed an early, warm Spring, so naturally my expectations were raised for this year and I made it a point to get the patio furniture out as soon as possible.

A weekend of grilling burgers and eating potato salad in the great outdoors was certainly going to be possible before the end of April.

After all, if God didn’t mean for humans to sit on the deck, why did he invent beer coozies and all-weather swivel rockers?

Snowdeck

I guess we have these things because they look so interesting and downright sculptural under eight inches of wet snow.

Describe an outdoor spot where you could sit for hours.

67 thoughts on “Party on the Deck!”

  1. Good morning. I have trouble sitting anywhere for very long. Even if I am in a very relaxing place with nothing to do, I would get up and explore the area after sitting for a short period of time. I might be able to just relax in the evening after the sun has gone down at a camping spot sitting by a fire.

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  2. back in hippy days i decided to go to banff and jasper in the winter to do some winter camping in the old vw van. had tents and sleeping bags and pots and pans and it is surprising how if you live outdoors it is transformed into a partner instead of being that thing out the door. i enjoyed that trip and would like to do it again some day. celestine lake in jasper is my summer place, banff provincial park is my winter place, i have a couple of favorite spots but i dont have names for them. and i am not sure there is a bad place to sit in banff in the winter, in the summer there is a challange finding a place to sit but in the winter you have it all to yourself

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  3. I’m gonna be predictable. My cabin near Cornucopia sits on a big cliff. It is tipped toward the northwest, so there are great views of the evening sunset but no views of the sunrise. The cabin and its lands overlook Bark Bay of Lake Superior. Much of Lake Superior is intimidating in its vast emptiness, but the view from my cabin is of the bay and then Bark Point extends way out into the lake, breaking up that feeling of emptiness and somehow giving a sense of scale to the view. Because we have left many trees and shrubs standing on our land, the best view of the bay and its spectacular sunsets is a ledge of rock right at the edge of the cliff. You can sit there for hours listening to the waves pulsing on the rocks and watching the light change as the sun goes down.

    This might be the right place to mention that tim wants to make a visit to the cabin. I thought I had made my last visit to it last summer with BiR and Linda, but it seems I will try to make at least one more trip up there this May (assuming there is a May this year). The South Shore is as beautiful in May as in October. Anyone interested in joining us for a short, inexpensive visit should contact me.

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  4. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    I WOULD NOT sit on Dale’s deck in this condition.

    Meanwhile, other spots–Forsyth Park in SAvannah–fabulous people watching.
    My deck in the sun.
    Sunny beach with an umbrella.
    Lake Calhoun on the first sunny day of THE SEASON–the sun is nice there, but the people watching is really spectacular.

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  5. There’s a spot behind St. Scholastica in Duluth. You have to walk through the woods to get there but it overlooks a huge valley leading out to Lake Superior. It’s known as “The Valley of Silence.”

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  6. Morning all! Like Jim, I am not all that good about sitting for any length of time. I do like to lay in my hammock in my backyard on pretty summer days (w/ a good book, of course). I suppose the “with a good book” would be in any description of me sitting. Since I’ve been lucky enough to travel to some really cool places, the list of where I could sit for quite a while is pretty long.

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  7. That post reminds me that there are many superb spots along the Superior Hiking Trail to sit and reflect. Two of the most famous are on Mount Oberg and on that great ridge overlooking Bean Lake. But really, the North Shore is peppered with places where you can sit for hours and hours enjoying views of the big lake or maybe one of those many streams and rivers that empty into the lake.

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    1. When I am at scenic locations on the North Shore the thing I most enjoy doing is checking out the plants and animals as well as other things that are a part of the natural environment. Any time we stop some place, it gives me some time to look at all those things and I wouldn’t take too much time to sit in one spot enjoying the scenery.

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  8. Two years ago at a resort on the North Shore, I sat by a fire with a group of other resort guests and a fabulous guitar player who had a large repertoire of folk and other music from my youth. We sang around the camp fire for hours. My singing voice is lousy, but in a group I can join in without being too distracting to others. It was magical. More predictably, I love floating out on the lake in our pontoon boat at sunset on a warm summer evening (remember those?).

    In response to Saturday’s birthday wishes/comments, thank you. I’m amazed and honored to be included on the birthday list even with my occasional status. My birthday is indeed on March 5 and I do live in Chisago City and ride a motor scooter. The collective memory is astounding. We have recently acquired an “urban cabin” or more accurately a pied-à-terre, in downtown Saint Paul. Back in the building where we lived before the move to the lake. It’s small, (740 sq. ft., one room with a murphy bed) but functional and adequate for parttime living, also convenient to my mother (who never forgave me for moving to the edge of the known universe), children and grandchildren, the Farmer’s Market, entertainment venues and work (for the next 3 years). Looking forward to possibly meeting some of you in person at the market this summer.

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      1. Thanks. It’s coming along nicely and has all ready proved a great convenience on a couple of occasions. Looking forward to Music in Mears on Thursday nights this summer as well as the other perks. We’re shooting for a seamless transition between homes with little or no preparation or packing necessary to stay at one place or the other.

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    1. If you happen to be “in town” on May 19, you might be able to hitch a ride with a St. Paul baboon and come to BBC in Robbinsdale… would love to meet you!

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      1. I’d love to! Have thought about it before but never quite got my act together; this may be the perfect time to break through. What’s the “reading assignment?”

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        1. OC, I am close to downtown St. Paul and can offer a ride to BiR’s, since I know the way well. E-mail me at lruecker [at] gmail.com if you would like to go. Your spouse or spousal equivalent would also be welcome – this is an equal opportunity book club.

          The farmers market is also a good place to meet, as they frequently have music there. They often have the Eddies and the Ditch Lilies, favorites of mine. Not sure of the schedule for this summer, but we should find out more soon. I understand they are still in “winter market” mode, but that can’t last forever. (Can it?)

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  9. WP just deleted my post as I was typing. Why does that happen?

    I was saying that there are a few places where I enjoy sitting for a long period of time – not necessarily hours, but long. The first is on my own deck in my sling chair with hot coffee in the early morning in spring and fall. I love to sit there and watch the light change and the birds. It’s fun, and a little annoying, to listen to first almost total silence, then a dog barking here or there, then car doors slamming and traffic on the streets.

    I enjoy driving long distances. It doesn’t bother me at all. It’s nothing for me to drive from Waterville to Grand Marais with perhaps only one stop along the way. So, I guess behind the wheel of my own car is another place to sit for hours at a time.

    I could sit all day at Palisade Head, if only there weren’t so many other people there now. I used to camp at Finland State Forest campground and go up to Palisade Head in the early morning hours before dawn (no gate in those days). I’d make coffee up there and sit on the tailgate of my pick-up truck and watch the sunrise. Nothing better. Nothing at all.

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  10. Morning–

    I know I’ve talked before about sitting on the step in front of the barn looking across the fields. We had a retaining wall built last summer and that has become another good spot to sit and watch the chickens and ducks and clouds and trees. Good thing I have a cushy butt.
    Back of the house is our deck and it’s an entirely different view. The back view is up a hill so I don’t get much distance, but it’s different trees and a different feeling back there.

    My sister has a fire pit and I’ve spent good times sitting there with family.

    And once, at a summer theater show, I sat at the bonfire way WAY past my bedtime but there was good company and a bottle being passed around. And that’s a fond memory.

    Krista, it’s interesting the sounds changing. I think that too; it’s so hard to find a ‘quiet’ place. We only have one neighbor within about a mile but there’s always distant road noises or planes or some noise of human activity… tractors, lawn mowers (snow blowers) so when you do get only nature sounds it’s fairly remarkable.
    Steve, what kind of quiet is it at your cabin? Are there boat noises? Jet skis?
    TGITH, same question about the ‘Valley of Silence’?

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    1. Absolutely no unnatural sounds at my cabin except on the extremely rare day when a boat goes by. My cabin is far enough from the highway so you don’t hear trucks or cars. The only sounds you usually hear are the waves (nearly all the time) or the wind moving through the trees. You virtually never hear the folks who own adjacent cabins. In the daytime you hear gulls a lot. At night, foxes barking.

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      1. Occasionally an otter splashing into the lake. In the very early morning, deer munching. At night, once in awhile, a scream from some creature that won’t see the dawn again.

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    2. Ben,I saw a few signs of early field work several weeks ago and I wonder if any small grains were planted. How about you? Any oats planted?

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      1. Jim,
        No, nothing has moved around here. Too cold, too wet, too snowy, too muddy. Pick your adjective. Still got snow piles in a few places. We need the rain so I’m not complaining. Much.
        But I put the snow blower away on Saturday and moved some other machinery around. Got the seed wagon in the shed and I’ve called the dealer and told him I’m ready for delivery.
        I’m only a small farmer; the big guys are probably more anxious than I am. According to my notes, back in 2008 it was May 6th before I started planting oats. But that’s a little later than we like. Could be around there this year again the way it’s going.

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        1. I guess it has been the same here, but I was surprised to see a couple of fields that looked like they had been tilled during a brief period of drier weather some time in March.

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  11. If I have my knitting and/or a good book, I can sit just about anywhere for a good long while. Absent those things, I would probably need something like Lake Superior to look at. Duluth Harbor is nice as is Jonie’s Beach on Madeline Island-the ferry docking area there is nice too (we always go when it is too cold/early for most people, so these spots are pretty unpopulated).

    Hoping like anything to make my tiny little backyard someplace I want to go and sit for an hour or two this summer (there will be summer, right?)

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    1. I believe the memo that went out was No Spring. We will just go directly from Winter (or a Wintry Mix) to Summer. Spring might sneak in a couple days but don’t count on it. But, yes, there will be summer.

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      1. But doesn’t there have to be that time between bare branches and full leaf cover when the trees are misted over in a veil of pale green chiffon with the structure of the branches showing through? I love that part.

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        1. Yes, but I bet it will be for a very short time.

          I was sort of kidding about the No Spring memo – but I’m pretty sure that spring will be over before some of us realize it’s here.

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        2. And I love that pale green chiffon thing, too, OC. One of the things I miss about the north shore would be when you are down by the Lake and you look up and see the entire hill misted over with that spring green…

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  12. Hmmmm, sitting? On my bicycle saddle after riding for a couple hours along one of the many thousand(s)? of miles in the Twin Cities area. Thanks all for the company. Ricardo “Rico” Morales

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    1. Hi Rico – you may or may not remember me, but I’m also Abby from PDI back in the 90s (with Susan, Barbara Mc, Patrick…)

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  13. Outdoors:
    – our little screen porch (photos at
    http://daleconnelly.com/2012/07/07/the-screen-porch/ )
    – like Steve et al. have said, somewhere looking at/listening to Lake Superior
    – by the Big Thompson River outside of Estes Park, CO
    – Mirimar Beach near Half Moon Bay, CA
    Indoors:
    – Amtrak Observation Car
    – in a comfy chair in front of a fireplace (pretty much any fireplace), preferably with a book, a cat, and a glass of wine

    Last Thursday, my mom had two medical appointments at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Pk. Later on it took us over an hour to get home, but between the appts. we were able to lounge in front of a lovely gas fireplace listening to someone playing the baby grand there. Not too shabby – only missing the wine and the cat.

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  14. Today is described as “unseasonably cold” by the weather reporter. I am beginning to doubt if we will ever be able to enjoy sitting on our deck. We are looking forward to lovely vistas when we travel to PEI and Nova Scotia this summer.

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  15. My only answer to today’s question: on the wooden swing a few feet from the Crystal Bay shoreline. Better yet is on the rare occasion a friend sits with me out there.

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  16. OK, the sleet has hit here in Robbinsdale. There are 7 or 8 robins out on our front lawn going,
    “What the hell?”

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  17. Two folks contacted me in other channels asking about my absence. So a brief and very unspecific explanation: right now I need to devote my emotional energies to getting through some ugliness. This will take awhile.
    Enjoy the common trip down the trail.

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    1. i saw richie play at the depot in about 72 and fell in love.
      i liked him before i loved him after. he sat and told stories all night long. and then sang the songs with his conga player i think this vide is the group he had with him then. notice he plays all his chords with his thumb and finger wrapped completely around the neck of the guitar.
      he lost all his teeth running from a pursuer across the rooftops of manhatten in the 60’s and you didnt notice his lisp before but listen again it is unmistakable. he hit a steel clothesline running full speed and it lifted him off the ground took all his teeth and he got away but left his teeth behind.
      he disappeared form the scene for the longest time and i wondered if he was indeed the folgers coffee guy and he was as it turns out. the best part of waking up is folgers in your cup.
      i saw him at the guthrie 10 years ago and he had not changed a bit. i had but he hadnt. i was a little disappointed at first then i celebrated that he knew who he was and was happy and comfortable to stay put as many moved on.
      rip richie
      peace

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      1. i bought two bootlegs form musicland of richie playing his stuff on stage un flavored by the studios. when i saw him play he was so upset with the notion of bootlegging he rallied about the thieves who made money from his singing hen he made none. first anti bootlegging talk i ever heard. directly form the man. i never forgot. terrible quality but captured the wonderful raw feeling his studio orchestration screwed up in the 70’s
        i had someone who i loaned all my favorite albums to after they had been ripped off get ripped off again and i lost the richie havens bootlegs and numerous others i remember in bits and pieces as life goes along. i may have to restock up on richie now that alarm cloc and some other wonderful albums have been refreshed in this old foggy memory

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    2. Oh no. This makes me sad. I think he is an amazing musician. My sister (yes, the FBI one) knows Richie (I think she’s a good friend of his girlfriend?) and she told me a couple years ago that he wasn’t doing well and was in the hospital. So maybe he has been in poor health for a while.

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  18. Unlike some denizens of the trail, I can sit for hours in my zero gravity chair and relax. It can be in my own back yard, or any of the numerous small oases I like to visit. Edith just reminded me of the baboons’ gardening excursion to clean up my yard last year toward the end of April. I’m not sure of the exact day, but on April 30th, there was a guest post by vs, complete with several photos of the gardening baboons. What strikes me about those photos now, is that last year at this time, most of my tulips were already way past their prime, and the trees were “misted over in a veil of pale green chiffon with the structure of the branches showing through,” as OC so beautifully described it above. This year, a few brave tulips are an inch or two above ground, and as I look out my windows this evening, it looks more and more like a winter wonderland. I did notice yesterday that my garlic is up, so there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I’m predicting spring this weekend!

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    1. i sell fertilizer in my non blog life and last year i had to tell my buyers that the people were absolutly going to believe spring eas here on march 15th. crabgrass season was almost over april 1 and dandilions were up by april 15. this year they all altered their ads to compensate for global warming.. dont you love seasonal predictions. fleet farm crabgrass ad was on april 1 this year.

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  19. i misread the blog this morning and couldnt understand why everyone else missed the winter part of the question.first clue everyone else missed it. if i get to sit outside in the weather of my choice that changes my answer a bit
    http://www.trailpeak.com/trail-Celestine-Lake-near-Jasper-AB-1962
    here is where my ashes are to be spreasd. i have a painting of it i did way back when hanging in my house. it still gets me when i stop to look and remember.
    that place for me

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  20. This weather tends to bring out my inner couch potato. I could definitely sit for hours, but outdoors? I don’t even want to take the recycling out in this.

    If it was a bit drier and there was a good blaze going in a fire ring, the picnic area at Como Park would have appeal, though.

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    1. Winter picnics can be fun. I used to go on winter picnics several times each winter with a friend – but it was never super cold, and I’m pretty sure that it was never as wet as it is in this snow.

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