Winter in Iowa . . . So?

Massive storm. Life-threatening. Worst in a generation. Stay home!   Weather forecasters warned all week that the blizzard was coming. First snow. Then winds. Then cold. Lasting for days.   But we’re Iowans! We can take it! Right?   I’ve been through decades of Iowa winters. I can remember scooping snow out of the cattle’s …

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Dog Days?

Dog days? We may grumble about the heat and humidity this time of year – but don’t blame it on your poor dog! The term refers to Sirius, the “dog star,” which is part of the constellation Canis Major. Sirius aligns with the sun from July 3 until August 11. The Romans thought that caused …

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Summer Images

Michigan Lilies Barn Buzzard   Fawn Tanager Itch Why did the skunk cross the Motor Mill bridge? Mama killdeer Lightning Hope Lutheran Spike in velvet   Indigo bunting   Butterfly milkweed   Turkey River explorer  

The Land Remains

    Many of us baby boomer farm kids recall growing up in the 1950s and 60s walkin’ beans, baling hay, quail in the fencerows, and “the back 40.” But you don’t need a time machine to recapture that era – and to ponder the future of Iowa agriculture. Just read “The Land Remains,” by …

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Happy New Year!

  2022 along Clayton County’s Turkey River is starting as an Iowa January should: 4 inches of snow on the ground, more on the way, and temperatures forecast to drop well below zero. We’re cozy by the wood fire – but empathizing with critters that must brave the elements. The birds seem to appreciate our …

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Too much fun gardening and savoring the approaching summer to write a real blog – but here is a selection of images from the season.        

A Hoot in the Storm

Have you ever heard a barred owl’s distinctive, 8-part, hooted call – “Who- cooks-for-Yoouuu? Who-cooks-for-youall?” The eerie song echoes through the Iowa woods – from city parks to remote timberlands. But it’s far easier to HEAR barred owls than to SEE the reclusive birds, who hunt primarily at night, and may spend daylight hours sitting …

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Real Winter!

It’s starting to feel like a real Iowa winter! Good thing the tractor still runs, because the snow-bladed-off-the-driveway pile is nearing record proportions. The farm store clerks love to see me coming, because I’m probably there for yet another bag of sunflower seeds. Chickadees love to see me coming to fill the feeder, too. They …

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Turkey Float

  A calm, blue-sky May day, with the Turkey River running clear and stable. Spring migrants singing from the trees along the river banks. Redhorse spawning on the gravel bars. Could there be a better day for a leisurely canoe float? Even before Margaret and I launched our boat, the turkey vultures put on a …

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Happy Earth Day!

As an organizer of the FIRST Earth Day, in 1970, I celebrate the 50th anniversary. Yes, I mean FIRST. We University of Michigan students held our “Give Earth a Chance!” rallies early, because we were going to be on spring break on April 22. Earth Day succeeded! Visionaries and activists demanding a better world saw …

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