Exactly one year ago yesterday, I blogged about the lack of progress in the City’s effort to control the problem of Canada geese shitting in Ames Park, Riverside Park, Babcock Park, and Sesquicentennial Plaza. I suggested a solution (Border Collies), other suggestions emerged in the discussion thread, and the Northfield News drew attention to the problem with an article, editorial, and letters to the editor.
But as you can see from these photos of Riverside Park this week, the problem is worse than ever. Are condo owners at Village on the Cannon pissed? Not only are the geese spoiling their ‘front yard’ and adjacent walking trails, they are likely hurting the sales of condos. Ironically, on their association’s home page, they feature a photo of the geese on the Cannon River. Oy.
It’s just as bad in Ames Park and in and around the Peggy Prowe Pedestrian Bridge in Babcock Park. It’s especially bad on Sesquicentennial Legacy Plaza. I wonder if Ray ‘Jake’ Jacobson knows what the geese are doing to the granite pavers surrounding his ‘Harvest’ sculpture?
I waved Northfield Park and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) chair Nathan Knutson over to my corner office at GBM yesterday and told him I had just taken photos of the problem. He said the issue came up at the PRAB retreat recently and that they were considering what to do. I don’t see anything about it their recent minutes and agendas but I hope this blog post will help focus attention on the problem.
I noticed the setting sun reflecting off the clock at the top of the McGuire Building last week. Viewing from Ames Park, it lit up the water in the Cannon River in front of the Harvest sculpture on the Sesquicentennial Plaza.
I took this photo yesterday morning of a lone goose slowly paddling up river past the Harvest sculpture. And it reminded me of one of my favorite poems.
The Wild Geese
Horseback on Sunday morning, harvest over, we taste persimmon and wild grape, sharp sweet of summer’s end. In time’s maze over the fall fields, we name names that went west from here, names that rest on graves. We open a persimmon seed to find the tree that stands in promise, pale, in the seed’s marrow. Geese appear high over us, pass, and the sky closes. Abandon, as in love or sleep, holds them to their way, clear, in the ancient faith: what we need is here. And we pray, not for new earth or heaven, but to be quiet in heart, and in eye clear. What we need is here.
A week or so ago, local filmmaker Paul Krause, Dancing Sun Multimedia, previewed his new documentary, Harvest, for local media, including freelancer Alyssa Ford who’s doing a story on it for the Star Tribune this week. I weaseled my way into Paul’s studio in downtown Northfield for a photo and a sneak preview.
“Harvest” chronicles the creation of Ray Jacobson’s sculpture of the same title. From the initial drawings to the final installation on the riverfront, the film reveals every step required to craft the three thousand pound, bronze sculpture.
I attended yesterday’s dedication ceremony for the ‘Harvest’ sculpture. Included are 3 photos of the fountain on Bridge Square because A) it, too, was created by sculptor Ray ‘Jake’ Jacobson; and B) the crowd for the dedication was visible from it.
Ray “Jake” Jacobson was on hand to watch his ‘Harvest’ sculpture get installed in front of the Malt-O-Meal plant on Hwy 19 yesterday. It’s due to ultimately be installed at the new 5th St. and Water parking lot/pedestrian promenade when that’s completed sometime next year, part of the Streetscape plan. For more details, see my Aug. 12 blog post and slideshow when Jake spoke to the NDDC forum. (Click photos to enlarge. Two on the right, courtesy of Sue Hvistendahl.)
86 year-old Ray “Jake” Jacobson presented his ‘Harvest’ sculpture at last Tuesday’s NDDC forum. It’s due to be installed when the new 5th St. and Water parking lot/pedestrian promenade is completed. See the album or this slideshow:
The design is based off the main essentials of a wheat stem. The repetitious quality of wheat in nature is reflected in the piece providing a degree of predictability while the complex and abstract form creates an element of surprise. Open to the potential of accidents, Jacobson cultivated the piece until he arrived at its current design which is also reminiscent of a wheat shock. The sculpture is embellished with relief carvings of wheat heads and mill stones countered with medallions emphasizing Northfield’s history and its agrarian roots, including a piece devoted to the sesquicentennial as well as Jacobson’s imagery of the Ames Mill and the Cannon River.