Happy 2019

Happy SNOWY New Year! At least here in Clayton County . . . Nearly all December we waited. Where is the snow? The few skiffs we had weren’t enough to appease the kids who wanted to sled, the sentimentalists who’d hoped for a white Christmas, or the deer hunters who needed white ground for better

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Too busy to write, with summer duties of prairie photography, watching white-tail fawns, enjoying fireworks, fishing with grandkids, cruising on the Mississippi, gardening, star-gazing . . . . you get the idea! So here’s a sample of what my camera and I have been doing these past weeks!

Summer! Read More »

I thought it was APRIL!

The turkey vultures and killdeers arrived weeks ago. The Canada goose already is on her nest on the island in the pond. Song sparrows have been singing cheerily for days. Waterfowl – ducks, geese, pelicans, coots – are funneling north along the Mississippi. Many goldfinches have turned mostly gold again, shedding their drab-green winter plumage.

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With the temperature soaring into the 60s, wave after wave of snow, blue, and white-fronted geese streamed north and northwest during the last couple of days in February, paying no heed to the human calendar. “One swallow does not make a summer,” wrote Burlington native Aldo Leopold in A Sand County Almanac, “but one skein

MARCH!? Read More »

Back to the Boundary Waters!

Majestic pines. Pristine lakes. Rugged portages. Eagles and loons and ravens and gray jays and red-breasted nuthatches. Billion-years-old bedrock and cliffs and boulders. The satisfaction of traveling under your own power, staying dry and comfortable in a tent you pitched yourself, and eating around a campfire. A recent canoe trip to Minnesota’s 1.1-million-acre Boundary Waters

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The joys of summer into fall

When August gives way to September, the grandkids figure summer is over. Back to school, no more swimming or baseball. But this 70-something Grandpa welcomes the transition. Fruits and berries are maturing, nighthawks are migrating, insects abound, fall fungi and wildflowers decorate the woods, and wildlife numbers are at their peak following the breeding season.

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Thanks to the showers . . .

Maybe it was those April showers that unleashed the headlong rush into the delights of spring. Before we knew it, the early hepaticas and spring beauties gave way to toothwort and anemonella and May apples and the emerging shoots of young oaks and maples and Virginia creeper. Thickets of wild plums burst into fragrant bloom

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The season “officially arrived” a couple of weeks ago. And even before that, the red-winged blackbirds had tried to push winter north in late February. Not until the first hepatica blooms will I concede that winter has passed, however. Thus, we poked among the leaves on the north slope, enjoying the early-April warmth, hoping to

SPRING! Read More »

The tragedy of lead . . .

Sad. There, grotesquely sprawled in the snow, lay our national symbol. The adult bald eagle apparently had been dead for some time. It had fallen near the Turkey River, hidden at the base of a bluff. A friend just happened to find it while exploring a remote valley. How could it happen? Surely no poacher

The tragedy of lead . . . Read More »

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