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Return to Weaver - Field Report


Fri, May 11th, 2001
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Monday, April 30, 2001

Early Spring 2001

Regular readers may recall my article on the Blanding’s Turtle research project at Weaver Dunes near Wabasha, Minnesota, which appeared in the August 14, 2000 issue of the Fillmore County Journal. As briefly mentioned at the conclusion of that commentary, a large number of questions important to understanding the regional management needs of this state threatened species still remain unresolved and research activities will be continued at least through the end of the turtles’ 2001 nesting season. Largely because of the generosity of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Division of Non-game Wildlife, I luckily will again be able to participate in the study this year as well.

Since much of my time and attention has been focused on Weaver, making the region the topic of this month’s column would seem the most logical course of action. Doing so will hopefully convey at least some idea of the topography, wildlife, and ecological diversity of this truly unique portion of the Upper Mississippi River Valley. This is perhaps best accomplished by providing a field report of sorts, adapted and compiled from the somewhat hastily scrawled comments of my notebooks. And so it begins.

As is probably true of many northlanders, by mid-March I suffer from an acute case of "cabin fever," compounded no doubt by my growing anticipation of the forthcoming field season. Unable to restrain my enthusiasm longer, I toss binoculars into the Jeep Pickup and head off in quest of the year’s first glimpse of Weaver.

Upon arrival, it is clear that old man winter has yet to relinquish his icy grip. Rolling sand prairie dunes, some places perhaps 100 feet tall, are overlaid by a wavy blanket of snow. The many ponds and "potholes" remain ice capped and entombed. Our research trailer and the quarters of my colleagues are dark, desolate and deserted.

A flock of 25 or so Tundra Swans passing directly overhead banishes any thoughts of disappointment. At first, I think their raucous squawks are the barks of some distant pack of dogs. Coming closer, the noise sounds vaguely goose like, a riotous cacophony of weirdly garbled honking calls. When the massive birds finally emerge from behind the screening wall of "cultivated" White Pine their squadron-like "arrowhead" flight formation, gleaming white bodies and seven-foot wingspans dispels all doubts regarding their identification.

Havi .....
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Container Planting Ideas

Fri, May 11th, 2001
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Virginia CooperMonday, May 14, 2001

This year why not try something new in that pot by the door. How many years have you planted geraniums and spikes? OK, they're reliable, trustworthly plants; disease free old friends that provide a summer of ..... 
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Math Class

Fri, May 11th, 2001
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Monday, May 7, 2001

My father was a mathematical marvel. He could figure stuff out in his head faster and more accurately than anybody I ever knew. I dare say I did not inherit either his good common sense or his ability to figure. That is not ..... 
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“It’s all about roads”

Fri, May 11th, 2001
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Monday, April 30, 2001

“The only thing the county board is concerned about are roads,” one person commented to me a few weeks ago.

And the way in which she said this implied that this was not necessarily a good thing.

About th ..... 
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Fri, May 11th, 2001
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Fri, May 11th, 2001
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Fri, May 11th, 2001
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Fri, May 11th, 2001
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Submit a Letter to the Editor here

Fri, May 11th, 2001
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There were no letters to the editor submitted for the week of May 14, 2001.

There were no letters to the editor submitted for the week of May 14, 2001.

To the Editor,

Exposure to mercury is a very serious healt ..... 
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