Natural Connections

    Have you ever snacked on goldenrod grubs? They’re slightly sweet, says my daughter, Emily, who HAS tasted them!   Crazy? Finicky folks might think so. But this sort of behavior is not a surprise to her parents – who proudly raised this “mud and water daughter.” We’re also proud of her new book, […]

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Rugged, beautiful land protected by working together

adapted from Iowa’s Natural Heritage, Spring 2016 www.inhf.org     A textbook example of partnerships among private landowners, conservation organizations, and government agencies has protected an UN-ordinary natural area in an extraordinary corner of Iowa.   More than 3,000 acres of wild lands – centered on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ 680-acre Iverson Bottoms

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Too early?

Sunrise As much as I struggle to get out of bed when it’s still dark outside, the spring turkey hunting season reminds me that waking up TOO early invariably is worth the effort. Maybe we should take a cue from birds and animals, with their unbounded enthusiasm for the break of day. A white-tailed deer

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Spring fever?

  “Cheer! Cheer! Cheer!” proclaimed the cardinal, announcing his delight at the approach of spring.   You may have scoffed at that happy song a few weeks ago, with temperatures in the single digits and calf-deep snow in the woods – but Mr. Cardinal knew what he was singing about.   OK, it’s still February,

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  Cold. Snow. Ice. Spring is still a month away. The easy-to-get food already may have been consumed. The sun’s rays – if they peek through the overcast – pack only marginal warmth.   That’s why some Native Americans called February the time of the “Hunger Moon.”   You have to empathize with wildlife’s struggles

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Winter Joys

  Although a blanket of snow smothered the landscape, and the air was calm, a faint yet distinct rumbling rose from the valley and was amplified by the Mississippi River bluffs. As we stood admiring one of our favorite Iowa scenes – the view from Pike’s Peak State Park across the Mississippi and up the

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        The first snow. It’s so quiet . . . and white . . . and wild . . . When the storm finally ended, it left a foot of sticky clumps to bend over the prairie grasses, make giant ice cream sundaes out of the deck furniture, and coat the tree

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