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As we near the close of the 2021-22 school year, I have been reflecting not only on this year, but also on my seven-year career at Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools (PLSAS) that has been filled with meaningful relationships, wonderful accomplishments and complex challenges. Throughout it all, I…

It’s Mother’s Day weekend. A time to thank the moms out there for all that they do. As a mom, I definitely enjoy the acknowledgment and pampering that often comes with the special day. My only problem is that I have a tough time answering the question, “What do you want for Mother’s Day?”

I am fascinated by the diversity of mother nature. And this was abundantly clear to me the other day while I sat in a tiny chair blind, in the dark, waiting for the sun to come up and for a ruffed grouse to enter the habitat that lay before me.

Recently while leading a photo tour throughout Florida to photograph birds, it occurred to me how much things have changed. I don’t mean how much things have become worse, or crowded, but rather how much several species have increased in population.

My family has just made it through our busiest months of the year. Between November and January, we celebrate our four birthdays as well as the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. This not only means calendars that are full of family gatherings and special celebrations, it also means that m…

Once again, I found myself sitting outside in my small photo blind trying to capture a handful of images of birds in a winter/snowy setting. The temperatures were a balmy 5 below zero and I was starting to feel the cold penetrate my many layers of clothing.

Having just returned from three weeks in Yellowstone leading photo tours and workshops, I am tempted to write more about the several encounters I had with the large charismatic predator, the gray wolf. However, this time I think I will write about a small, rather un-charismatic predator. A p…

I genuinely believe that every single person has the capacity to change the world for better or for worse. We live in a time where so many Americans are hurting in many ways with the pandemic crisis, increased competition for jobs and economic security, and the pressure to simply survive is …

The complexity of nature is often hard to understand and even harder to witness. Sure, we learn about it in school, read about it in a book, or watch it on a TV nature documentary, but it isn’t until you see it firsthand that you start to understand and appreciate the complexity of nature. I…

Years ago, Marcia and I gathered with a group of friends on New Year’s Eve for dinner and a game of Trivial Pursuit. I enjoyed Trivial Pursuit, but if I won too many games, they’d ignore me and turn to a discussion of current events.

Winter can be a challenging time for wildlife, especially when deep snow blankets the land and the wind blows bitterly cold. Birds fluff up their feathers and search high and low for anything to eat. Squirrels are extra plump and fuzzy and dig down through the snow in hopes of finding a forg…

My professional purpose has always been to provide life chances for all students. As Superintendent of Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools this means I am committed to ensuring all students have what they need to be successful; each student feels a sense of belonging and all students and staff ar…

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, …

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