Awe and Concern

Sphinx Moth on bee balm

Standing in that sea of color, watching Lake Superior’s never-ending blue waters meld with the sky, I wanted to stay there for the rest of my days” Melanie Radzicki McManus

Read Melanie’s entire adventure at Superior Hiking Trail 

Yes, this big lake has a spiritual effect on many of us. I love mornings the as the sun rises and noisy birds are busy with their day. The eagles whistle and screech as they fly along the shoreline. I watch two adults and one juvenile land on a white pine, they sit and watch the lake, and chatter among themselves as they fly away. I wonder what the adult eagles are telling their child about life and survival? The hummingbirds are also active in August. They are eating and drinking and squeaking as they prepare for their journey south. What do they tell their young about the journey that lies in front of them? This all typical of August on Lake Superior

Monarch chrysalis under a step

Sphinx moths and many bees are loving my late-blooming pollinator garden. The monarch caterpillars have become chrysalis , and I watch for new monarchs to emerge, and to my excitement they do!

A new monarch dries its wings.

Sadly, August is not like Melanie (above) describes in June. Signs of our warming climate are wearing on this big lake. Canadian wildfire smoke is creating a milky white sky and foggy horizon. Also, blue-green algae has been found along the south shore, probably caused by the yearly hundred year rains in the lake watershed. The watershed streams over-flow into the lake. Heavy rain run-off of lawn and agriculture chemicals causes a nutrient rich brown lake. Along with warm water these nutrients can lead to a blue-green algae problem. After the brown sediment filters out a greener color lake remains that has not been the Lake Superior norm. Read at blue-green algae

More on the changing climate and Lake Superior

Lake Superior is hidden by milky Canadian wildfire smoke, August 2018

It’s A Beautiful World!

Find beauty everyday!

“The world around us,” she says, “we take it for granted. But if we pause a moment and look around, there’s so much beauty right in our own backyard. I want people to see that. I want people to realize this is not an ugly world.” Ellen Lentsch

This is an amazing story of a woman who climbed up the Red Wing, Minnesota bluffs, overlooking the Mississippi River, to take a sunrise picture everyday of 2016.  Read the entire story and see her pictures here 


My tribute to a strong woman who accomplished an amazing goal through a year of Minnesota weather and beauty.

“My vision is to create a world where we can live in harmony with nature” Jane Goodall

Chemical Weapons

We have an administration in this country that has shown it doesn’t care about the health of the American people.  It is working hard to take away health care from our nation’s most vulnerable, allows industry to pollute our precious air and water, and has left the Paris Agreement which is a teamwork agreement with 175 other countries to work on climate change.  But when this administration  speaks out, it speaks out about the Syrian people which they have banned from entering The United States?  All this is impossible to make sense of, but the below letter to the editor had a lot to say:


There are two kinds: Syria’s, and those sprayed on food

The hypocritical attitudes of the current administration in Washington were clearly depicted on Page A4 of Wednesday’s Star Tribune with the juxtaposition of two news stories.

One article notes the White House’s warning that the Syrian regime would “pay a heavy price” if it used chemical weapons against its own people. The next article describes the EPA’s reversal of the ban on spraying chlorpyrifos on food in our country.

The EPA’s own studies have proved that chlorpyrifos harms children’s brains and that pregnant mothers “ingesting even minuscule amounts” can interfere with babies’ brain development. Is there a connection between this chemical and the 78 percent rise in autism in the last decade?

Why would EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt side with Dow Chemical rather than the American Academy of Pediatrics, whose 66,000 members are deeply alarmed with the decision? Could it be that the $13.6 million Dow spent lobbying last year or the $1 million donated to President Donald Trump’s inaugural influenced Pruitt’s decision?

The big question to be answered: Why is the White House outraged by the Syrian children being sprayed with chemicals while allowing chemicals to harm American children? Just whom is the Environmental Protection Agency protecting?

Kathleen Ziegler, Lino Lakes

Information from Earth Justice on chlorpyrifos

Protecting Birds and Building a New Stadium

by Jim Williams
by Jim Williams

 Call the Vikings and tell them to install bird safety glass. 952-828 6500, or  and call Gov. Dayton 651 201 3400.

Our bees, butterflies and birds are in serious decline.  We all should reduce our footprint to protect our wildlife. This also means businesses and the Minnesota Vikings! In Minnesota we are having a debate over whether the Minnesota Vikings should place bird protective glass on the new stadium being built. This stadium is near the Mississippi River, a major migration flyway. And…it is a publicly funded stadium, one-third being paid for by the citizens of Minneapolis. To be a good corporate citizen the Vikings need to follow state laws(safety glass), and positively contribute to the environment where they reside.
The Star Tribune, Minnesota’s largest newspaper editorialized that in the big scheme of things, it was not a big deal to protect these birds…WOW! “Keep Bird Deaths in Perspective” I consider the Vikings actions and the editorial board both hitting a new low! In my perspective 1 million for protective glass is minimal when a billion dollars is being spent and large portion is a public hand-out!!

This is the counter argument from Audubon:

As stewards, we are responsible for our impact on the Earth’s well-being, and it is precisely the logic presented in this editorial that is putting our vital ecosystems in trouble. We know that it is not a single deforestation event, a single oil spill or a single storm that leads to significant decline of bird species, but rather the effect of multiple factors over time. The good news is that the same way our cumulative actions can stress and degrade the environment, our individual actions can lead to its protection and recovery. Take the bald eagle, for example, or bluebirds.

Migratory birds are legally protected because they play a pivotal role, pollinating plants and controlling insect populations. One bird can eat 500 pests per day, reducing the need for toxic pesticides. Disarmingly, their populations are not constant; they are decreasing because of human activities, including glass buildings. Research shows that many once-common species have had a 50 percent reduction in just the last 50 years.

Video,”Change the Glass Now”

What can you do?

1. Call the Vikings and tell them to install bird safety glass. 952-828 6500, or  and call Gov. Dayton 651 201 3400.

2. Reduce the chemicals you use in your yard, and plant bird friendly plants like cone flowers, little blue stem grass, cup plant, and Joe Pye Weed. These are just a few ideas that are easy to grow and birds love these plants.

3. Leave your car at home or carpool at least one day a week to reduce pollution.

4. Reduce plastic consumption and recycle all plastic bags.

Community facebook page:


Cone flowers: Easy to grow, and loved by birds!
Cone flowers: Easy to grow, and loved by birds!