Earth Day on Lake Superior

047 Lake Superior is still covered with thick ice, but it is very alive, and it talks and groans. Everything surrounding the lake radiates the hope of spring.  The song sparrow sings his spring song as he sits overlooking and lake, and a juvenile eagle watches for ice-out from his favorite white pine post.

New migrating birds arrive daily. Some stay, but most rest up and journey across the lake.  The ancient sand hill cranes,and purple finch will be nesting in the neighborhood.  Busy flickers and yellow-bellied sap suckers explore new trees before they travel further, and the flitting kinglets and yellow rumps will soon be on their way north.

A hermit thrush is exhausted and rests on a tree branch.

Our fox friend is marking his territory and the wolves/coyotes howl under the clear starry nights.

Bright green ferns are under the snow
Bright green ferns are under the snow

Every day is unique and bring constant challenges to the vegetation and wildlife

Everyday Is Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!                  618482main_earth1600_800-600

The weather is close to perfect, and it is a fabulous time of the year.  Get outside and enjoy our magnificent planet.

Our earth’s water, air, birds, bees and butterflies need better care, and extreme weather has become the norm.  I wish our earth was healthier, and hopefully on this special day we can make a new commitment to do more to help her.

Six easy things you can do to love our earth:

1. Everyday appreciate our beautiful earth.

2. Recycle, recycle, and recycle some more, and remember to recycle those plastic bags–Many stores collect them.  We should recycle 74 % of our trash according to the EPA.

3. Ask when you purchase plants if they have been treated with neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, acetamiprid, dinotefuran) and never apply these chemicals to your yard. Some bird seed is also treated with these poisons-ASK and read labels!

4. Add native trees and plants to your landscape.

5. Purchase quality products, and products that can be reused.  Also, look for products made from recycled materials.  If the entire world lived like the average American, we’d need 5 planets to provide enough resources.

6. Leave your car at home one day a week, and turn off lights when not in use.


30 Days of Earth Day


The following letter was printed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on April 3,

Our planet, Literally Trashed

One of the revelations to come out of the Flight 370 tragedy is the sorry condition of our oceans. One headline noted that the search for the plane was hindered by a “sea of garbage.” On a recent trip to Ohio from our Burnsville home, I was shocked to see the garbage littering the highways after the winter thaw. I saw a car bumper, a vacuum cleaner, tires, mattresses and thousands of plastic bags. Yes, global warming is a threat to this planet and the solutions are complex, but the solution to the trashing of our planet is relatively simple. We need to take responsibility for the waste that we generate. A good start would be the end of plastic-bag use on the part of our retailers. Target, Wal-Mart and others: Spend the extra 3 cents a bag and help in the cleaning up of our planet.

Don Lohrey, Burnsville

My letter in response: Printed on April 4,

To the editor:

I too have been on a road trip through the middle of our country and the plastic bags littering the landscape is disheartening(In response to Our planet, literally trashed 4/2) Personal responsibility is needed to get those plastic bags and all trash recycled. Also, businesses need offer recycling opportunities for individuals away from home.  Hennepin County offers grants to businesses to improve their recycling.  Look on their website.

For the next 30 days I challenge each of you to “Thirty Days of Earth Day.” Please pick up one piece of trash or more for the next 30 days.  Yes, each one of us can make a difference.

For 30 Days of Earth Day, pick up one piece of trash or more everyday for 30 days