A Lesson from 1927

A Lesson from 1927


A Lesson from 1927

It’s that time of year. Most of the the birds at our feeders are house sparrows. They descend upon the feeders in flocks and consume nearly all the food within a day or so in the feeders.  So how can I get rid of them? After all, they are not as colorful as Cardinals, Goldfinches, and Indigo Buntings

More on Chickens

More on Chickens


More on Chickens

In his introduction to Wendell Berry’s recent book, Bringing it to the Table, Michael Pollan observes that one of Berry’s favorite quotes comes from British agronomist, Sir Albert Howard. He urges us to think of “the whole problem of health in soil, plant, animal and man as one great subject” (p

Wetlands in Kansas?

Wetlands in Kansas?


Wetlands in Kansas?

When I think of the great plains, I think of wide open spaces, undulating landscapes like waves of an ocean, corn and wheat. I don’t think of wetlands. Yet on my way back from a workshop in Atwood, KS (where Don and Bonnie White were wonderful hosts), I stopped at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge

Craniac Haven!

Craniac Haven!


Craniac Haven!

I grew up in Wisconsin but never realized all that was there. I didn’t know that it was home to Aldo Leopold (didn’t know who he was at the time either). I didn’t pay much attention to Horicon Marsh or Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. And I didn’t know that Baraboo Wisconsin was home to the International Crane Foundation

Welcomed Guests

Welcomed Guests


Welcomed Guests

Quite a few visitors stopped by to dine in our yard this winter. Most came after a fresh blanket of snow had fallen or when the temperature dropped into the teens.  White-throated sparrows from the boreal forests of Canada joined our local residents of Cardinals, Chickadees, Tit-mice, Carolina Wrens, Hairies, and Downies. Our surprise guest of honor was a tiny Ruby-crested kinglet. His constant flitting made it initially difficult for me to identify him

My first Father’s Day as a father

My first Father’s Day as a father


My first Father’s Day as a father

Giotto’s “Saint Francis preaching to the birds” This is my very first Father’s Day as both a son and a father. Other than the blazing heat that feels more like August than June, it has been a very good day. When we found out we were expecting, a good friend and fellow writer who is also a father urged me to write down thoughts and events as much as possible, as a kind of fatherly discipline