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December threatens to be cold and dry

by Northern News Now meteorologist Dave Anderson

Minnesota is all abuzz lately about hardiness zones for gardening and planting being changed. Southern Minnesota winters seem to have warmed five degrees over recent decades. Up here, it seems we are holding our own for hardiness as temperatures over the last five years have averaged within the zone of normal climate variability.

Our annual mean temperature is 38.7 degrees. Climate variability runs from minus 0.8 degree to plus 0.8 degree. 2018 was plus 0.4 degree. 2019 was plus 0.2 degree. 2020 was plus 1.6 degrees. 2021 was plus 2.5 degrees. 2022 was minus 1.9 degrees. The five-year average is plus 0.56 degree.

December threatens to take us to the cold side despite the El Nino effect. The long-range forecast suggests we will be cold and dry with temperatures averaging four degrees colder than normal. Snow may be five inches short.

The monthly trends may include sunny but cold conditions from December 1 to the 10th. It should be somewhat snowy and near normal for temps from the 11th to the 22nd. December 26 to 31 could be cold and dry.

One of the popular almanacs indicate that snowier than normal conditions could return in January so winter won’t be a total bust for snowmobilers or skiers hoping for some good quality outdoors time.

Calligraphy Class Taught at Silver Bay Public Library – By Haley Searls

Calligraphy, or the art of fine handwriting, can be viewed as a lost skill. But for Lynn Prouty, calligraphy is a passion. Beginning October 24th, Prouty taught a free, four-week calligraphy class at the Silver Bay Public Library.

Lynn Prouty is a writer, artist, and calligrapher. Born and raised in Bismarck, North Dakota, Prouty built her career there, owning Impact Gallery for 25 years. In 2021, Prouty and her husband, Wayne, moved to Silver Bay. She worked at the library over the summer, giving her first calligraphy program there in August. “This has been a goal of mine,” Prouty said. “To teach the art of beautiful writing with calligraphy and to keep the art of writing alive for coming generations.”

Prouty learned calligraphy herself while still in high school through a course at Bismarck State College, taught by Joanne Winestorfer. “It was part of a commercial art program I was taking. I learned the Roman and italic alphabets and developed a lifelong passion with the written word.” She was first referred to teach calligraphy when she was just 18 years old, at the Elan Gallery in Bismarck. “I started working for the Bismarck Mandan Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, making banners and signs for conventions. The work was like giant calligraphy!” She found that calligraphy enhanced and enriched her life, and taught private lessons.

“When Wayne and I started Impact Gallery I was free to take on a variety of calligraphy projects over the years and continue teaching,” Prouty explained. She taught a creative arts program that included calligraphy as part of the curricula to at-risk youth for 10 years, and started a program for people of all abilities, and one for Native American youth. “The best part of calligraphy for me is to see the positive reaction to the work written in calligraphy and to see a student realize they love calligraphy too, and to know that they are developing a lifelong skill.”

The class at the library began with learning the italic alphabet, and students were permitted to use their own calligraphy tools or to borrow dip pens and ink from Prouty. Growing accustomed to dip pens and ink was a learning curve for many students, as it took a good deal of practice to create a consistent ink flow. After the italic alphabet, students learned the Roman alphabet, which is a serif font. Students then took what they had learned, and on November 21st, lettered a quote on vellum and mixed-media paper.

Thank you to Lynn Prouty and the Silver Bay Public Library for helping pass on the art of beautiful writing! You may have inspired a lot of beautiful Christmas cards this year!

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