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"The Great Wall of Weaver"


Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Monday, July 2, 2001

As if near record flooding along the Upper Mississippi was not enough already, mid and late Spring 2001 for the most part proves to be gloomy, cool and gray. With the exception of two or three consecutive sunny, unseasonably hot and humid days with temperatures in the low nineties, it is a seemingly endless season of week after week of cloudy, almost blustery, rain filled skies.

Naturally, such weather offers little to improve conditions at Weaver. No warming, moisture stealing sunshine to help shrink the sand prairie’s flood-swollen wetlands. Area ponds, potholes and marshes remain engorged - slowly stagnating pools of water so uncharacteristically deep, dark, and cold.

Unlike previous years, aquatic traps catch little other than bowfin, carp and bullheads. The scattered turtles that do occasionally turn-up, whether Painted, Blanding’s or Snapper, are apparently just those few malcontents unwilling to await more balmy weather. The comparative lack of turtle captures is discouraging to say the least, and dominates all our thoughts and conversations.

Perhaps the depressed temperatures have caused our quarry to just "shut down," not an uncommon occurrence amongst those organisms termed "cold-blooded." This does seem highly unlikely, however, since each of the three previously mentioned turtle species are frequently observed awake and freely moving about in the frigid water of still completely ice-encrusted lakes and ponds.

Cold water may instead be reducing the turtles desire to feed, or their now greatly expanded wetland homes might actually be providing a virtual smorgasbord of normally unavailable foods in quantities far exceeding their average daily dietary needs. Certainly our bait of cheap sardines, which so effectively attracted these animals just last year, now largely decomposes within perforated cups almost utterly ignored.

Of course it is possible, perhaps even probable, that we simply cannot get traps close enough to capture our turtles. Indeed, many of our radioed animals have steadfastly remained well within the boundaries of their traditional haunts no matter how far underwater. In any case, all our turtle trapping efforts go largely unrewarded.

With typical aquatic traps ineffective, our attention increasingly focuses on other means of capturing turtles. Water depth and clarity makes dip netting by hand almost impossible as well, leaving little alternative other than b .....
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Reader Mail!

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Virginia CooperMonday, July 9, 2001

Question: I need to move my perennials in late summer. Although this is not the right time for all of the plants, can you give suggestions of how to keep them alive? How should I prepare them? Should I trim ..... 
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A Stickler for Reality

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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By Wayne PikeMonday, July 16, 2001

Having been home from our trip to Colorado for a couple weeks, I have had time to reflect on some of the events and observations that we made. Traveling to another state can hardly be considered exotic, but i ..... 
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The Mighty Ducks

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Monday, July 9, 2001

It has been quite awhile since I was a volunteer coach. My first opportunity came in my early twenties when Bob, a friend of mine, and I were coaxed into coaching soccer to a mixed group of six and seven year olds in a YMC ..... 
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Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Submit a Letter to the Editorhere

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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To the Editor,
Monday, July 16, 2001

Does anyone remember the phrase, “Let’s Keep America Beautiful” or how about “Don’t be a Litter Bug”? Maybe these slogans date me, but I can remember when there was an emphasis placed on not litte ..... 
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