For peat’s sake

Today, I share my latest column for the Minnesota Reformer, “Bog is Dead: The waning defense of Minnesota wetlands.”  When most people think about northern Minnesota, they picture forests and lakes. That’s understandable. We have a lot of trees and lakes up here, to be sure. But many overlook the vast peatlands that span the… Read More →

It’s time for Squatch Chat at Effie tavern

The legend of an elusive forest beast, more man than ape, spans cultures around the globe. We call him Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, Yeti or the Abominable Snowman. North American native peoples call him “Big Brother,” and think of him as a resident of another time or dimension, come to check on us. But you can’t… Read More →

Cheers to Craigville, where everybody knew your name

This photograph was taken by Russell Lee for the U.S. Farm Security Administration. If it looks familiar it’s because it’s the picture they show on the opening sequence of “Cheers” as John Ratzenberger’s name appears on the screen. Ratzenberger played the annoying but lovable mailman Cliff Clavin. But what I didn’t know is that Lee… Read More →

Loggers, classic cars and blueberries, oh my!

We now wind into the “flurry of activity before we realize the leaves are already changing” part of our Northern Minnesota summer. It’s hot and time moves fast. On the western Mesabi, Grand Rapids holds its annual Weekend of Wheels car show and swap meet, an event I always find preferable to the county fairs. My… Read More →

‘Rogue’ baby born in family van on Hwy. 38

Most babies are born the typical way, popped out in a hospital surrounded by medical personnel. But sometimes, babies quite literally “go rogue.” Last Saturday, Feb. 13, a Minnesota woman went into labor in the remote northern Itasca County logging town of Bigfork. While Bigfork has a hospital, it does not have an obstetrics unit,… Read More →