Archive - 2006

July 16th

Two days at The Lake

Yesterday was probably the hottest day of the year, although today couldn't have been far behind. It was an opportune weekend to have two invitations to visit lake homes.

So yesterday Lance and I set out to Perham in my Ford Ranger which has 180,000 miles on the odometer but no problems to speak of. Five miles down the road, the air conditioner quit. Undaunted, we rolled down the windows and pressed onward.

Within twenty miles, I noticed the heat guage was going up. Not good. Now we had to turn on the heater to get the engine temperature down.

July 13th

Dog days

It rained for five minutes today, and only very lightly. Wherever machinery has worked, the ground is covered in dust. We need a good soaker. Or two.

The temptation in this hot weather is to stay inside. Instead, I went out and cut wood. I don't notice the heat until I shut off the chainsaw and realize I am drenched. Today's highlight was the felling of a giant dead ash tree right where I wanted it to fall. Of course, it was leaning in the direction to begin with, but it still is satisfying to watch it crash to the ground.

July 12th


Wow, it is stifling today. I go into the air conditioning of the house and never want to come out. Instead, I am reading history, an activity which doesn't raise much of a sweat.

July 11th

Pileated woodpecker

July 10th

Shooting herons

The blue heron was on the pond tonight in front of the house. Unfortunately, I blew it twice--once I didn't have my camera in the house. After I ran out and got it, the heron had moved farther away--but I got a shot of him ingesting a big, flopping salamander. Great shot. No chip in camera.

So, after I put in the chip I got a few shots of the blue and below, a couple of shots of the strange, elusive green heron.

Stone peddler

A sort of offbeat peddler stopped by this morning at opening with an old van. He was wanting to sell some stuff out of his old van--burnt wood tabletops. I wasn't too impressed with the wood burning, but this rock really caught my eye. He said it was for sale, so I bought it. It is fieldstone carved by a friend of his whose name is...Stone. I decided to make the purchase despite the murky provenance of the piece.

July 9th

Summer turns color

It is partly due to the dry weather and partly due to things maturing, but the last week has seen a change from an all-green landscape to one with a more golden hue.

The dust hangs over the gravel roads for a long time on a dry day like today.

With acres of cultivated flowers to photograph, my eye drifted off in the woods to this naturally occurring morning glory.

July 8th


Last night, I sat at the log cabin, the nursery's booth at the fair, from five until about ten. It was steamy hot in there.

The fair turns me into a recluse. I would rather stay home. I sometimes wonder why. I think I have figured it out. You run into people you haven't seen for years and years--and that isn't always pleasant.

For instance, a conversation last night, with somebody I knew from high school: After all the greetings were over with, the inevitable, "so, what are you doing now?"

Screw up

Got a nasty call this morning by somebody infuriated at my column on the lake. That was somewhat confusing, since I wrote the column two years ago. Like any satire, it stirred up reactions both good and bad, and I was sort of glad that the whole thing had settled down.

So, I wondered, why did the Grand Forks paper reprint it this morning? Didn't they like the column I sent them? Why did they pick the lake one out of all of the old columns? Just to make my day?

July 6th


A few months ago, I read that one of my favorite columnists, Art Buchwald, had entered hospice and was refusing dialysis. He was expected to live only days. The article was entitled "Buchwald enters final chapter," or something similar.

However, I never heard that he actually died. Tonight, I typed his name into Google to find out what happened to him and found this article written today.