Archive - 2006

August 7th

Taking advantage of the drought

Today, I ventured out into the swamp in front of the house with the Cat. Most of the swamp has dried up to nothing. The collapse of a beaver dam which kept the water in, plus the drought, has emptied the swamp in all but one area.

So, I can now drive safely in summer where two winters ago I put the skid steer through the ice in three feet of water.

The drought is kind of sad. Weeds are growing up around the edge of the swamp.

August 6th

Joe's bed

Brother Joe usually comes up with a particularly whimsical flower bed each year. I think this is one of his best. It is a simple picture of a tree. Parsley form the tree leaves. Sedum provide the lower background and moneywort the sky. Fibrous begonias form the frame.

The gardens are in good shape right now. We had a good bunch of people visiting today. This next Saturday, August 12, is our Open House.

August 4th

Dog days

Even though the heat has subsided, these are still the dog days of summer. August is sort of the Sunday evening of months. Monday morning--school and a resumption of order--is imminent.

This fall I am going to be teaching history at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, so I will be on a school schedule. No matter what, I think the school schedule sticks with us throughout life. And August is sort of a nostalgic, last gasp of freedom. Summer is tired out, but one hates to leave it behind.

August 2nd


You just have to laugh. The three games Twins games for which I bought tickets were three of the least dramatic, most boring games of the year. With the outcome all but decided in the first two innings, there was little drama and a lot of opportunity to just sit and visit--and activity which wouldn't require $40 seats.

Last night, I heard on the radio that Liriano was being scratched from today's start. So, the main reason I went to see the Twins in the first place had disappeared. So, even though I had tickets for the game, I had bought them to see Liriano, not Boof Bonser.

August 1st


Scientists have discovered that there are between 10 and 100 timesmore types of bacteria in the world's oceans than they previously thought.

I am always interested when it becomes clear either in space or on earth how much we do not know. For instance, it is probable, according to scientists in on such matters, that we have not yet identified one-tenth of the insects which inhabit the earth.

July 31st

Be careful what you wish for... might get it. I wrote below that I was going down to watch Texas because their pitchers were so bad that I would likely see some offense from the Twins. Well, I didn't expect a complete blowout. But that's what we got. The Twins won 15-2. Hunter and Rabe hit three-run homers.

July 30th

Storm update

The cloud pictured below did not strike the nursery. However, hail from the same cloud thrashed the gardens of weblog readers Chuck and Barb. Chuck sent along pictures of their yard. They lost trees, and their vegetables were shredded on the vine. They are huge gardeners, so this is sad for them.

Another hot one

Glad today was a Sunday. One-hundred degrees has almost the same effect on me as thirty below: I stay inside. Every time I stepped out the door, I was greeted by a wall of heat that was unbearable--so I ducked back inside and enjoyed the day.

July 28th


The stately Red Lake County courthouse sits atop a hill in Red Lake Falls, MN.

July 27th


These clouds were swirling with unusual vehemence this evening. A big storm cell passed just north of us. We only got a brief drizzle; I am hoping that they got doused up north.

I found myself hoping a funnel cloud would come down out of this thing so I could photograph it. That's not smart, I know.

LAST NIGHT I performed in Perham, MN for a reunion of former Federal Land Bank employees. They didn't know I was coming--I was a surprise.