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The Run Has Begun


Fri, Aug 3rd, 2001
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Weaver Dunes Field Report Early Summer 2001By John LevellMonday, July 23, 2001

As Spring 2001 draws to a close, the season's exceedingly wet and cool weather is still cause for concern to those of us working on the Blanding's Turtle project at Weaver. Is the unbelievably small number of animals captured thus far really just a reflection of difficult working conditions, or has low temperatures and an overall lack of sunshine resulted in an actual change in normal turtle behavior?

These animals are after all cold-blooded, dependent on environmental heat for the warmth required to complete all necessary bodily functions. Digestion, mating, the production of eggs, even movement, only possible within a relatively narrow thermal range and all inextricably intertwined to the vagaries of weather.

So how will local turtles respond to what, from our standpoint at least, were seemingly far from ideal ecological conditions? Has the well below average temperatures of spring disrupted the timing of seasonal turtle activities? If so, will these seasonal activities be simply delayed or will some, nesting perhaps, be abandoned altogether?

By the final week of May, the start of the Blanding's Turtle nesting season last year, it is abundantly clear that the timetable of "turtle events" at Weaver is already behind schedule. X-rays of some females, hand-caught in Kelly's Pond, reveal that most have yet to develop shelled eggs.

Not surprisingly, this only increases our trepidation. No Blanding's Turtle nesting migration would mean that weeks of physical effort expended installing a half-mile of drift fence will amount to nothing more than wasted time. With this far from pleasant thought firmly in mind, all we can do is wait.

On the sixth day of June, the peak date of nesting activity in 2000 with over 180 Blanding's Turtles processed, the first dozen or so females of 2001 finally turn-up on our fence. Physical examination and more x-ray photography confirm that these "old girls" are indeed loaded with eggs, an unexpected surprise considering the previous week's view of the reproductive condition of our females.

Cautious optimism concerning the start of the 2001 nesting season is tempered somewhat by the small number of turtles captured over the next few days. On June 10, for example, only twenty-five or so Blanding's Turtles are found, despite a full evening of checking fences and patrolling area roa .....
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Hoffman Stables

Highlights From the Fair

Fri, Aug 3rd, 2001
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Virginia CooperMonday, August 6, 2001

This years Fillmore County Fair was a complete success. Local master gardeners staffed our booth and answered many questions regarding landscaping, flower and vegetable gardening. The next two columns will ..... 
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Antiques and Classics

Fri, Aug 3rd, 2001
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Monday, July 30, 2001

There was an antique and classic tractor pull in town last Sunday. As I drove into the field where it was being held, I thought there must be some mistake. These tractors are like the ones my father made his living with a ..... 
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Jerry Laumb

Fri, Aug 3rd, 2001
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Mr. Laumb, 51, of Rushford, died Saturday (July 21, 2001) at his home of cancer.

He was born Jan. 27, 1950, in LaCrosse, Wis. He married Barbara Carrier on March 16, 1968. He worked at Farmer's Elevator in Rushford for nine years and at Cene ..... 
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Louis Peterson

Fri, Aug 3rd, 2001
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Louis Peterson, age 91, of Preston, MN, died August 1, 2001, at the Preston Good Samaritan Center.

Louie was born June 20, 1910, in Zumbrota, MN, the son of Paul and Olive Peterson. He was raised in Zumbrota, MN, and did carpentry and insula ..... 
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Joseph Clarence Gildner

Fri, Aug 3rd, 2001
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Joseph Clarence Gildner, 81, of Preston, a retired farmer, died Aug. 1, 2001 at the Harmony Nursing Home, where he had lived since June 1999.

Born March 29, 1920, in Hubbard, IA, the son of Robert and Margaret (Butler) Gildner, he grew up in ..... 
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Olympic Games With Chinese Tendencies

Fri, Aug 3rd, 2001
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Monday, July 23, 2001

If you haven’t heard by now, China will host the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The country has been working for the last 10 years to get the games believing that the international spectacle will give China the prestige ..... 
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Fri, Aug 3rd, 2001
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Fri, Aug 3rd, 2001
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