It’s hard to beat this time of year. The cool days, the colorful trees and pumpkins. Ya, that’s right, pumpkins. I find pumpkins fascinating. Especially the history of pumpkins. You might agree after reading about this amazing vine.
In the geopolitical arena, some nations fan the winds of nationalism and embrace a “me first” strategy. While this garners the populist votes, this does not work unless nations pragmatically interact with other people and nations. The reason is simple: we have only one world, and we are all …
As I meet with stakeholders throughout our community, one little-known fact many are not aware of is that public schools must undergo annual audits conducted by independent accounting firms. Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools is no different, and last Monday the school board received a detailed …
Summer nearly ended and then we had a surprise. Stories always were told that when a big storm comes from the west towards Savage, it comes to the river and veers north. Well, maybe not.
A seasoned worshiper asked as she was leaving worship, “Pastor, do you think the church is going to get back to normal?” The pastor asked for clarification, “What do you mean by normal?” After the slightest of delays came her wishful reply, “Our sanctuary filled with people.”
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, …
There are lots of things I hope will change because of the pandemic, and one of them is how hard it is to ask for help. Life is too much to do alone — even in times of stability. And our heroes of faith certainly got help. So why— oh why — can’t we let someone help us?
I have acted as a voter protection lawyer during many elections. Minnesota has very fair voting laws, which allow Minnesota residents to vote if they follow reasonable voting rules. Minnesota laws are reasonable, but also protect the integrity of the voting system. According to a federal cou…
On Sept. 11, 2001, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks traumatized, and also galvanized, our nation. As we stand 20 years removed from the horrors of that day, the perspective afforded by time is sobering.
I saw a great political advertisement last week from Curtis Johnson, who is running for school board in Roseville. Mr. Johnson stands in front of famous time travel machines from the movies (TARDIS from “Dr. Who” and the DeLorean with flux capacitor from “Back to the Future”) and suggests th…
As if 2020 wasn’t enough, 2021 has left a walloping punch. With the pandemic still on the rise, the conflict in Afghanistan and climate change increasingly becoming greater issues, philanthropic efforts are needed now more than ever.
Standing in a small clearing, deep in the northwoods of Minnesota, I was telling the participants in my black bear photo workshop some of the more interesting natural history facts about the American black bear.
Watching the news of Hurricane Ida, I was stunned by how it caused flooding in the northeast. Ida made land in Louisiana. Those images were devastating, but hurricanes in the Gulf are somewhat expected.
In my sophomore college year, the classroom discussion one day was our individual priorities. The professor mentioned that if you want to know someone, just watch what they do with their time and money, and that will show you who they really are, what drives them and what their priorities ar…
Perhaps it’s never been possible to have agreement on the definition of a faith tradition; ideas about what it means to follow a religion have always been fluid and contentious.
We really don’t think too much about metaphors. An intriguing or powerful metaphor might grab hold of us out of a song lyric or a meme but for the most part we don’t talk much about metaphors. If we brush the dust off our middle school English class brain, we might remember a metaphor as a t…
Being a community leader has never been easy, and couple that with the difficult decisions being made regarding public health issues related to the pandemic, boards and councils have found their decisions at the forefront of today’s news.
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.
On the way to taking my son to college out of state, we went through the drive-thru for a paper bag supper. It was a quick stop and we were back on the interstate in no time at all.
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…
Glendale United Methodist Church has spent August on a study of anger, under the guidance of Ephesians. In chapter 4, we looked at anger as a helpful alert system that lets us know when something needs to change.
As a veteran and a person who has worked on Republican campaigns, I am trying to figure out the strategy and actions of the current Republican party. When I supported Republicans, the Republican party stood for a strong defense of our country, support of law enforcement and fiscal responsibility.
There is nothing I like more than exercising in the outdoor pool at my local health club. It is usually early morning; the breeze is still a little chilly and the sun has not yet come over the building to bathe the pool in warmth.
Every now and then I meet a true wildlife superhero. You know, the kind of person who has dedicated their life to understand and protecting wildlife.
Well, it seems that the pandemic isn’t quite over. The climate report is dire. And at a time when we thought some of the anxiety of the last year would be greatly reduced, we find ourselves still trying to cope with a world that seems to be out of our control.
Now more than ever our community needs us — our neighbors need us, our family and friends need us. We are in the middle of exhausting times. However, we can’t let this situation bog us down. We have to face reality with intellect.
Popular depictions of heaven are usually humorous or sentimental. Cartoonists typically cast heaven as a place where angel-winged people float about on clouds. Often Saint Peter or an angel speaks to an entrant at heaven’s gate.
Ah, the Olympics. Normally, I am not a sports fan, but there is something about the Olympics that seems to appeal to everyone.
We are disaster weary. Fires across Canada and the far west burn millions of acres, billowing smoke into an already chronically stressed atmosphere. Despite hopes that vaccines would solve our greatest challenges with COVID, millions around the world still wait for shots, a large portion of …
I have been thinking about the current divisiveness in our country. We don’t agree on many core strategies and values for our collective future. There are diverging viewpoints even on what constitutes facts. Our mutual mistrust is amplified towards someone different than us. Perspectives and…
I think I might need to replace the rug we have in the garage that sits in front of the door leading into the house. It’s not that it is worn out or anything. It looks to be holding up just fine. The problem is that it does what it is supposed to do too well!
No matter where you live in the seven-county metro area, if you drive a car, you will eventually get stuck in traffic on Interstate 494. It is one of the region’s most vibrant, growing areas with the Mall of America, the airport, hotels, businesses — even IKEA. Trucking and freight associati…
On July 4 this year, I was traveling to a campground in Butte Montana (on the way to Yellowstone National Park). I drove through many small towns that were heavily decorated with the stars and stripes.
Heavy, smoky air greeted us as we got out of the car in Fargo last weekend. It was easy to see that the smoke-filled air wafting in from Canadian, western U.S. and northern Minnesota wildfires appears to be consistent across the upper Midwest. Couple the heavy air and high temperatures with …
Blackbirds always seem to get a bad rap. As the late Rodney Dangerfield was fond of saying, they “get no respect” in the bird world.
There was an article in the July 19 Minneapolis Star Tribune titled “Solar power glows in Minnesota.” The article discussed solar power becoming an increasingly important part of Minnesota’s growing renewable energy mix. There are many benefits from the growing solar power industry.
Here we are already in mid July. Summer is half over and many changes have occurred since last July. I like to focus on the good ones.
Our recent affair with pandemic isolation yielded fresh awareness of the condition we colloquially describe as “feeling cooped up.” What relief to shed the restraints of quarantine as we frolic about these balmy summer days!
Do you have a stubborn streak? What is the thing that you will do, no matter the obstacle, that is so important to your character and well-being that you plan for it, make time for it, spend money and energy to get it, defy the odds and make it happen?
Here’s something to think about: You could spend two, or even three, decades in retirement. To meet your income needs for all those years, you’ll generally need a sizable amount of retirement assets. How will Social Security fit into the picture?
We are a generation reconsidering its past. It is not something many of us know how or even want to do. But the past has a way of catching up to us, and that is exactly what is happening.
Amid the fireworks and the parades of our recent Fourth of July, I was thinking about our country’s history — not only our Declaration of Independence, but other less glorious stories about unpleasant events that journalist Dan Rather calls “holes in our history.”
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.
Promise yourself to think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud word, but in great deeds.
How confident are you feeling? Before the pandemic, the answer to this question might have been different than it is today. Our lives are getting back to normal, but many people are realizing they do not want the same life as they had before. Perhaps saying no to obligations was difficult, m…
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