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"Come Hell or High Water"


Fri, Jun 1st, 2001
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Monday, May 28, 2001

Weaver Dunes Field Report – Mid Spring 2001

Peepers and Chorus Frogs now sing in earnest from wetlands throughout Fillmore, Houston, Winona, and Wabasha Counties. The incredible din of these tiny inch long frogs an unmistakable, long anticipated, and quite noisy announcement of spring’s true arrival.

As I walk the dunes at Weaver, here in the third week of April, the love songs of these diminutive amphibians fill my ears. Of these two closely related species, the Chorus Frog is adapted to more open grassland habitats and the rasping click of their call emanates from every "fish-free" pond and other small temporary body of water in the region. Only in those areas with at least a modest stand of trees and shrubs, mainly Willow, Prickly Ash, Cottonwood and Birch, do the monotonous high-pitched peeps of Spring Peepers join in this springtime serenade.

Stopping to listen more closely, I hear the curious snoring grunts of a Northern Leopard Frog here and there as well. This comparatively large green frog with the black spots on its back, so familiar to biology students everywhere, typically does not begin calling in large numbers until somewhat later in the season. Unlike the larvae of their smaller cousins, which metamorphosis quickly, the young of Leopard Frogs frequently spend southeastern Minnesota winters as tadpoles and the premature calls of these few impatient adults provide an indication of the presence of deeper, far more permanent pools of water.

It is precisely these more stable bodies of water that I seek, as such will be where many of Weaver’s resident turtles will have also over-wintered. This is particularly true of Blanding’s Turtle, the main focus of the studies of my colleagues and myself, with some individuals sleeping winter away under the exact same sunken log or rock pile season, after season, after season. Turtles, it turns out, are quite the creatures of habit indeed.

In spite of the chilly temperature and the drab browns of Weaver’s still largely dormant vegetation, the voices of our three frogs assure me that Blanding’s Turtles are now awake and fully active as well. Possessing an almost uncanny ability to capture the feeble warmth provided by the rays of the still weak springtime sun, perhaps through the agency of their blue/black carapace or upper shell and despite an ectothermic or "cold-blooded" metabolism, Blanding’s Turtles can readily elevate their body te .....
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Foods Weekly Ads

Plan ahead to beat The Blight

Fri, Jun 1st, 2001
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Virginia CooperMonday, June 4, 2001

One of the things I enjoy most about gardening is watching the changing foliage and bloom as flowers parade through our short summer. The month of May starts with tulips and daffodils and ends with iris and ..... 
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The Game of Softball

Fri, Jun 1st, 2001
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Monday, June 4, 2001

When I was growing up, my brothers and I began our softball season as soon as the grass in our front yard was dry enough to walk on without leaving tracks in the mud. We played softball every spare moment we got throughout ..... 
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The Death Penalty, with Chinese Characteristics

Fri, Jun 1st, 2001
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Monday, May 28, 2001

The European Parliament, considers capital punishment to be both barbaric and inhumane, regardless of the means by which the death penalty is carried out. They routinely mention the United States in the same breath as Chin ..... 
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Fri, Jun 1st, 2001
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Fri, Jun 1st, 2001
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Fri, Jun 1st, 2001
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Fri, Jun 1st, 2001
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Submit a Letter to the Editor here

Fri, Jun 1st, 2001
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To the Editor,
Monday, June 4, 2001

In regards to the letter from Marc Prestby regarding the dismissal of the County Engineer, Mr. Prestby says they cannot respond to the rumors and gossip concerning this issue. Why not? You were el ..... 
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