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Now that Thanksgiving is just behind us, we’ve reached the official start of the Christmas season. Some may argue that, by the looks of the store shelves and sales flyers, the Christmas season actually started the day after Halloween. Even my Holiday Hits music station went from “The Monster…

The holidays are a time for family, community and friendship bonding. However, we need to further this and think beyond the comfort of our close circles. We need to start noticing the circumstances of our community, by thinking beyond our needs and start thinking about others. This is a toug…

Yet another white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) mating season is behind us now. This year I spent a truckload of time in the woods following several large bucks who were actively searching for mates. I was able to capture a pile of images of the most interesting mating behavior.

My skills in the kitchen have gone through a significant metamorphosis over the years. I’m a child of the 1970s and 1980s, where vegetables were found in cans and dinners were found in boxes that often included the name “helper,” so that was pretty much all I knew about meal preparation.

I am always drawn to unique animals. You know, the kind of critters that are different from all others such as the Virginia opossum, which is the only marsupial in America. Or the osprey, a fish-eating raptor that is the only raptor to dive feet first into the water, often completely submerg…

When it comes to confusing common names for animals, I think the American elk has got to be near the top of the confusing list. This came to light last week when I was in northern Montana to film and photograph elk. I ran into a guy from Europe who was also looking to capture images of elk, …

Chuck Marohn is a University of Minnesota-trained civil engineer with a master’s degree in city and urban planning. He grew up on a farm near Baxter, Minnesota and now lives near Brainerd. He’s also a gadfly — so much so that colleagues in the profession (he calls it “the infrastructure cult…

For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed taking pictures. Long before cameras were part of our phones, even before we could immediately see whether our pictures were blurry or if someone’s eyes were closed, way back when we used film and had to wait a week to find out if our photos were…

Next weekend is the fourth anniversary of the Pleasant Street Art Walk. This year’s event, on Saturday, Sept. 25, will feature local and regional artists including potters and sculptors, painters, woodworkers, jewelry makers, metal workers and more; some from the Pleasant Street neighborhood.

Every now and then I get an opportunity to work with a species that I don’t have much hands-on experience with. These are often rare or endangered species or a species that is difficult to access and lives in areas that makes it hard to get close to.

I am no stranger to traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles to see, study and document some of nature's most wonderful events. For over 35 years I have traveled to see the epic migration of sandhill cranes in Nebraska, stunning flocks of snow geese in North Dakota and remarkable monarc…

Most of us have heard, or read, the phrase, “One thing leads to another.” There’s even a song with that theme. It’s about history and connections and how seemingly disconnected inventions and events, years apart, come together with unintended and unforeseen, consequences.

If you were to ask for a description of Renee Winick, you’d likely receive the standard bits of information: wife, mother of 15-year-old twins, former corporate trainer, current manager of the Winick household, family shutterbug and lover of words.

Today’s paper includes an insert about the city’s proposed use of franchise fees to fund street maintenance and replacement. As your city, we are responsible for clean water, sanitary sewer and safe streets. The initial cost for this infrastructure was born largely by development. Developers…

The complexity of nature is sometimes hard to understand and even harder to justify or feel good about, especially when seen through the human lens. I was reminded of this the other day while filming a family of American redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla) that is nesting on my property.

The summer of 1990 found my wife and I staying in Rockland, Maine at a hotel overlooking Penobscot Bay. We’d been at a conference in Boston and decided to take a few extra days to explore the Maine coast and Acadia and Mount Desert Island National Parks.

During COVID-19, sentences like “Everything is OK!” “Look on the bright side!” and the infamous “Everything happens for a reason,” have been more prominent. Especially since we have been unable to see people in person, these messages have swarmed social media and have increased how much we h…

Words have meaning, but they’re imprecise. It’s why there are poets. Google the phrase, “small town feel” and you’ll find over one billion entries. Prior Lake is said to have a “small town feel.” But does a collection of buildings and humans in a political subdivision have feeling — except m…

Call it “The Big Lie,” or “Alternate Facts.” Tell a nation and a people who gave the world Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Martin Luther and Goethe that “You didn’t lose the War. You were stabbed in the back.” Make them yearn for a “savior” to avenge all the “wrongs.” Then sit by and watch …

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