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Local Columns

A pandemic Halloween

Tis the season when it’s common to see zombies and goblins roaming the streets, doing their best to throw a scare into the populace. But enough about the upcoming election. Halloween is also just around the corner, an evening when children celebrate an upcoming religious holiday by coercing ...

Vote like your hunting & fishing depends on it

Some hunting seasons bring snow, cold, winds and inhospitable conditions which we as hunters prepare for in order to pursue an oft-anticipated portion of our year, and in the end find success in the field through our efforts. These efforts may start way back in spring or summer, getting into ...

Harvesting memories

It had been a while since I’d ridden in a mobile barn. OK, so it wasn’t exactly a barn. But a modern grain combine is approximately the size of a barn. And it’s much comfier than an average livestock shed. My cousin’s combine was rumbling through the field of corn across the road ...

Musts for gusts

Beyond the usual celebration of dog and bird and of field boots and swinging shotguns, this year’s pheasant opener was highlighted by another frequent autumn occurrence in the upper Midwest: gusty conditions. In the gales that topped 40 miles per hour on one stretch of my first weekend walks, ...

Susurration

To softly repeat what we all know, there’s a whole lot of stress, anxiety and tension in today’s world. I know that sentence will not surprise you but sometimes we have to face the “elephant” in the room before we can let it out of the room. The key to that escape is finding the ...

COVID cooking

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many of our daily patterns, none the least of which are our eating habits. The infamous “freshman 15” has been supplanted by the “corona 20.” Sadly, this no longer refers to the number of beers consumed of an evening. It was jarring to see empty ...

Books and Beyond

Recently I was looking for a book (or books) to take along when we went north in Minnesota to visit family. I wanted the October Books & Beyond to be about Lyon County. We are celebrating this county’s 150th year anniversary! I do have some titles Paula at the Marshall Lyon County Library ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: My family and I have concerns about crosswalk safety due to traffic not stopping and pedestrians not knowing what to do. Can you share how best to navigate such a crosswalk for both motorists and pedestrians? Answer: Crosswalks involve pedestrians and motor vehicles — the ...

Lessons learned

We humans tend to be slow learners. All of us have stories about what and when we’ve learned something — maybe it was when we learned elementary math, a historical story, not to walk on thin ice or, perhaps, most importantly, what kind of person we are. We learn these lessons of life and ...

The little things

All of us see the big “trees” of life but, how often do we notice the “leaves” of life? We see the tall trees and, naturally, we now see the colors of the leaves but when’s the last time you actually picked up a fallen leaf and studied it? The leaf tells the story of the ...

The shed

My 4-year-old son calls it an “adventure.” Which, being of much slighter stature, and not as familiar with the rise and fall of the hillsides in the small drainage just outside of our housing development, the 30-minute hike we take from time to time probably is a grand trek when perceived ...

Scent checked

In the headlights, the yellowing leaves of fall in the ash tree alongside the approach on the gravel country road were pre-dawn reminders of the ongoing seasonal shift. The cool air that curled into the truck as I opened the door was the second, and the third was the ritualistic walk around the ...

One day

I believe music is the best medium to bring people together. Recently, I’ve heard a lot of people say that, one day, we’ll get back to normal. The two words — one day – have become almost a chant for us. We say it without thinking about them — it’s just, one day... Then, I ...

The purple season

You know that it’s time to harvest your grapes when you start to see purple bird doots on the windshield of your pickup. In any case, that’s the system I use. There are about half a dozen grapevines scattered around our farmstead. Most of them are the Valiant variety. This particular ...

The shot not taken

The eastern bank of clouds meant that my friends on the far side of the state likely would not see much hunting action as my dog and I traversed the gravel roads south and west of town away from the shadow of the frontal boundary. The sun slowly climbed over the gray bank and dawn was delayed ...

They’re laughing with you

The day after I tagged my deer last season was warm but windy and there was no snow on the ground. It was more like a September scene than one from November. With temperatures in the mid-50s and gusty breezes at 25 miles per hour, I watched the hillside grasses bend as the northwest gales ...

Meeting our grandson

My wife and I generally look forward to road trips. There’s nothing like a bright, new morning with an open road stretching out before us, a steaming mug of coffee in the cupholder, an order of French toast sticks balancing on the armrest. Our recent journey to Kansas City seemed a bit ...

Books and Beyond

When I started reading “Seal Morning,” I knew it was the right book for me now. It was written by Rowena Farre, c 1956, about living in a croft in rural Scotland for seven years when she was a young girl. She was with her Aunt Miriam. Most of the time they are by themselves, and enjoying ...

The algebra agnostic

With the arrival of the back-to-school season, it’s all but inevitable that your youngsters will come home with some embarrassingly uncomfortable questions. That is exactly happened to me back when our youngest son began seventh grade. Seemingly apropos of nothing, the boy up and asked me ...

And justice for all

In the midst of a conversation about current events, the comment was made there should be justice for all. There was a fair amount of head nodding after that statement, and then a comment was made about the Minnesota wine we were sipping. It was said the wine was too tart and harsh tasting to ...