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Thursday, September 18th, 2014
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There’s Snakes in Them Thar’ Hills


Mon, Jun 5th, 2000
Posted in

Monday, May 29, 2000

With records for at least 39 of Minnesota’s 50 or so native amphibians and reptiles, the rugged stream-dissected Blufflands of the far southeastern corner of Minnesota is easily the most herpetologically diverse region of the state. For those unfamiliar with such things, herpetology (a name derived from the Latin root word herpeton which loosely translates as crawling thing) is simply the study of reptiles and amphibians in the technical terminology so prevalent throughout the realms of science.

In any case, there is little reason to be surprised by the diversity of reptile and amphibian species found in Minnesota’s southeastern corner, as the region is most certainly both geologically and ecologically unique. Collectively known as the “Driftless Area” and encompassing much or all of Goodhue, Fillmore, Houston, Olmsted, Wabasha and Winona Counties as well as adjacent portions of Wisconsin and Iowa, southeastern Minnesota is one of only two (the other located in the state’s extreme southwestern corner) narrow slivers of the state to have escaped the glaciations of our planet’s Ice Age.

Geologically this has preserved an isolated plateau of ancient sedimentary rock literally scraped from the landscape elsewhere in Minnesota by the relentless, repeated advance and retreat of mountainous, all encompassing ice sheets. Composed largely of limestone, sandstones and shale deposited by a long vanished sea, this rock often likewise preserves the fossilized remains of a wide variety of aquatic, 350 to 450 million year old, “Paleozoic” (literally “Early Life”) life-forms. Fossils of many of these organisms including the clam-like Brachiopods, Crinoids (Starfish relatives), Snails, and Cephalopods (basically squids enclosed by cone-shaped or coiled shells) are, in fact, often found in almost ridiculous abundance throughout much of the Blufflands.

Free of ice, regions like the Driftless Area probably further functioned as “refugia,” sanctuaries of a sort for a wide variety of animals and plants that would otherwise have been pushed far into North America’s more southerly portions. These reproductively isolated, refugee plant and animal populations in turn perhaps serving as the seeding stock in the re-colonization of land newly exposed as glaciers retreated.

Although spared the inevitable grinding force generated by a moving wall of ice hundreds of feet thick, the Driftless Area could not escape the power of th .....
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Play Ball!

Mon, Jun 5th, 2000
Posted in

Monday, May 29, 2000

Outside the old St. Mane Theatre in downtown Lanes-boro, the sweet strains of the Count Baise and Duke Ellington orchestras float through the warm evening air. Even before entering the theatre, you know you are about to be ..... 
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Beat the Rain

Mon, Jun 5th, 2000
Posted in

Monday, May 22, 2000

Most of the people I know are glad it is raining today. It has been very warm and dry this spring. Even though the weather has been warm for weeks, the recent overnight cold caused some of the small corn and soybean plants ..... 
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The three year plan

Mon, Jun 5th, 2000
Posted in

Monday, June 5, 2000

It was at supper a few weeks ago, when my family was all gathered, that I told them.

"Now that we are all together, there is something I need to tell you," I said to them in a voice that was serious but devoid of e ..... 
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Play Ball!

Mon, Jun 5th, 2000
Posted in

Monday, May 29, 2000

Outside the old St. Mane Theatre in downtown Lanes-boro, the sweet strains of the Count Baise and Duke Ellington orchestras float through the warm evening air. Even before entering the theatre, you know you are about to be ..... 
[Read the Rest]

A Walk in the Woods

Mon, Jun 5th, 2000
Posted in

Monday, May 8, 2000

Can two actors hold an audience's undivided attention for nearly two hours, with nothing more than a script and a sparse stage? In the case of Commonweal Theatre Company's A Walk in the Woods, which opened at the St. Mane T ..... 
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No-cook Strawberry Jam

Mon, Jun 5th, 2000
Posted in

2 cups crushed strawberries*
4 cups sugar
l cup water
1 box Sure-Jell

•Mix strawberries and sugar, then let stand for 10 minutes.
Bring water and Sure-Jell to a boil, and let boil for 1 minute. Stir this into the fruit and stir f ..... 
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Monday, June 5, 2000

Mon, Jun 5th, 2000
Posted in

To the Editor,
Yesterday my wife and I attended the Memorial Day Services in Peterson, as we have for a number of years, and in our opinion it was one of the best. The music by the middle school band, the excellent address stressing the mea ..... 
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Mon, Jun 5th, 2000
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