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A brown thrasher perches on the side of a tub, enjoying a nice, warm, sunny day.
AL BATT/BLUFF COUNTRY READER A brown thrasher perches on the side of a tub, enjoying a nice, warm, sunny day.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016 9:44 AM
A brown thrasher moved across the lawn like a tiny velociraptor.
  • School yourself to see a ‘new’ outdoors
    With summer around the corner (at least I figure we’re all pretty much thinking that right here and now – and impatiently drumming our fingers), maybe this is the year you’d like to learn a new skill or try a new activity. One of the easiest ways to do that is with the “I Can!” program offered by the Minnesota DNR (Department of Natural Resources).
  • Summer sports ending, high school athletics set to begin
    Sounds like all the fall sports teams in the area have all gotten off to a good start. I’ve taken a few team pictures and those coaches I’ve talked to are all really fired up.
  • Stridulation produces unique kind of music
    A brown thrasher moved across the lawn like a tiny velociraptor.
  • Olympic stories, events create emotional evenings
    It seems to be a common theme with me. I don’t know where time goes! Wasn’t it just last week that NBC was running ads that the Olympics were only 100 days away? Now, there is only a week left of the festivities and the past week has been filled with record-breaking events, outstanding athletic performances and emotional stories.
  • Pepper, green bean crops are prolific this year
    This is the year of peppers and green beans. 
  • Take a look back as fall sports get ready to start
    After a week off, it’s time to get back to work. Soon the fall schedule is going to be playing out and we’ll have plenty of football, volleyball and cross-country. Some of the area schools will also be playing soccer, but I don’t think any of our Reader-area schools have soccer, so I get to concentrate on just the three sports.
  • Blessings realized during visit to ‘the home’
    “How are you doing?” I asked.
    That’s what we often ask. It’s a default question usually asked as a politeness. I asked because I wanted to know.
  • Candidates popular at political conventions 108 years ago
    Have you tuned in for the political conventions recently in Cleveland and Philadelphia?  Most interesting.  From the files of the Spring Valley Historical Society, it has been fun to read the 1908 Political Manual published by the Franklin Co. of Chicago for the National Dairy Mch. Co., makers of a cream separator.  
  • So, this is summer, is it?
    It’s funny, I saw this “leftover” headline on my computer screen and it gave me some inspiration for this week’s column. I am returning after a few weeks away from this space, with apologies and not too many excuses. 
  • Bees are not always as ‘bumble’ as they appear to be
    I petted a bumblebee. Then I petted a carpenter bee. It was a big day for me and a minor annoyance to them. They were busy working on flowers.
  • Bat somewhere in the house leads to mostly sleepless night
    Although bats flying about outdoors create a somewhat eerie atmosphere, I realize they really want to avoid humans plus they also provide many benefits, including controlling mosquitoes and other insects. So, I’m OK being in the same vicinity as bats in the wide open spaces — or even a cave when they are hibernating.
  • Sesquicentennial in 2005 had many activities
    The sesquicentennial edition of the Tribune in 2005 had this story: Three years before Minnesota Territory became a state, the little village of Spring Valley established its first post office in 1855.  Location?  In western Fillmore County on a small valley along a creek that furnished water power for a sawmill and grist mill. 
  • Many small towns with a population of more than 1,000 have revolving loan funds through an economic development authority (EDA) to aid small businesses in town with gap financing. This aid helps entrepreneurs start or expand their operations that may not qualify for enough conventional financing to achieve their dreams.
  • Shopping outings create all kinds of challenges
    I went into a store that I figured would carry what I needed. I told the manager what I wanted. It was something that I’d used for years with good success. He told me he didn’t offer it because he had something better. With that, he began to run down the thing I wanted to buy. He made it sound as if anyone who wanted to buy such a thing was stupid. I’d told him that I’d purchased that very thing before. He was telling me that I was dumb. He didn’t need to. I may not know much, but I knew that. I don’t need to be reminded. I shopped elsewhere.
  • Clan’s swimming hole not for the faint of heart
    After the scorcher we had this past week, all I’ve been able to think about is swimming. It’s one of the Clan’s favorite things to do during the summer, but of course our luck always has us going on the coolest, breeziest weekends of July and August, so naturally we never made it when it was hot this weekend. We toughed it out and survived though — thank goodness for air conditioning!
State Fair

Are you going to attend the Minnesota State Fair this year?


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