Local Columns

All the news from Cornfield, Iowa

(In observance of National Newspaper Month, I have asked Buford P. Inkster, publisher/editor of the Cornfield Weekly Sheller, to write a guest column. Mr. Inkster is reputed to be Iowa's oldest active newspaper publisher.) What a year 2018 has been, folks! Why, I can’t remember a harvest ...

On the road to adventure

“I’m not in Iowa anymore,” I thought last week as I sat on the middle deck of a ship enjoying a leisurely afternoon cruise on Lake George, the longest inland lake in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. We motored along at a steady pace that allowed plenty of time to see ...

Going green

Around the country last week, 4-H club members and volunteers celebrated National 4-H Week. Beginning more than 100 years ago, 4-H has become one of the nation's largest youth development organization. The 4‑H idea is simple: help young people and their families gain the skills needed to ...

Fall memories

I’m very fortunate to have been able to fish in a lot of different places during the past several decades. I’ve got lots of memories of outstanding fishing trips with wonderful people. Many of those memorable fishing trips occurred in the autumn. The fall months are a great time to be ...

Panic or procrastinate?

With the deluge of rainfall we have received, many gardeners are feeling pressured and worry about getting fall garden work completed. But don't panic, some garden chores can wait until drier weather. Working wet garden soils can compact the soil, so don't play in the mud. Delay until ...

Cold water fishing gear

It seems like it’s getting colder earlier this year. While we’ll probably get some warmer weather before ice covers the lakes and ponds, the cold weather is a good reminder of what’s coming. Temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s can encourage the fish to go on the bite, and the ...

Walleyes at night

Fishing after the sun goes down is a foreign concept to a lot of anglers, and there’s good reason for that. An angler certainly can’t see as well as night as they can during the day, so simple tasks like tying on a new lure gets a little more complicated. There are lots of reasons why an ...

Pour another cup of coffee

It’s National Coffee Day today! Time to celebrate! With a cup of coffee, of course. I am always amazed at how good that first cup of morning coffee tastes every single day. Somehow, I think that after so many of those mornings a cup of coffee would lose its appeal, but for me it ...

If we don’t laugh, we’ll cry

While listening to the radio recently I heard a commentator observe that we are living in a “highly charged political environment.” Wow! Talk about understatement. Now, I can’t say too much because I am an opinionated guy myself and have probably ignited as many political firestorms as ...

Jig ideas for fall walleyes

In walleye country, it’s apparent that autumn is not far away. The days are still warm, but not as warm as they were 2 weeks ago, and, most noticeably, the nights are cooling down. Autumn means different things to different people, but for walleye chasers, it’s maybe our favorite time ...

Celebrate Fall with books that relate to autumn theme

Fall is almost here! Does anyone else love autumn as much as I do? Just give me sweatshirt weather, a pretty spot to sit outside in the nice weather, a cat on my lap or a dog at my feet, a good book, and a cup of tea and I am set. I look forward to this time of year every single year, even ...

Planting bulbs for spring color

With cooler weather, fall is the time of year for planting spring blooming bulbs to add spring color to your garden. For best results, plant spring-flowering bulbs in clusters or groups to achieve the greatest visual impact in the garden. When planting daffodils and tulips, plant 10 or more ...

Fall for river fish

A good number of very successful anglers commit a lot of their fall fishing time to rivers, and for good reason. Most rivers are home to a wide variety of fish species. Those different species of fish will gather in the fall and they'll be hungry. If you can find the fish in the fall, you ...

What are Iowans like?

Some 35 years ago I was asked a difficult question: “What are Iowans like?” The question came during a newspaper management training session in Rochester, New York. I was the westernmost participant among a group of some 50 folks, mostly from New England and the Mid-Atlantic ...

Remembering Sept. 11, 2001

So it’s been almost twenty years now since the infamous Sept. 11 attack on the Twin Towers in New York City, as hard as that is to believe. That morning changed our country forever, in subtle ways stealing some of our trust that life would continue as it had always been. What happened that ...

All Cultures Equal: A not-for-profit in my town needs your financial help

Often when I’m watching television it seems like there are ads for organizations needing money from every part of the world.  Children from faraway places needing food and medical supplies, pet charities in big cities, food programs from the US and abroad, and a ton of assorted other ...

Bring plants in — leave pests out

Now is the time to begin planning to bring houseplants that spent the summer out of doors for their safe return into your home. When night time temperatures fall below 45 degrees, plants will begin to stress. Begin their journey back inside before this by bringing them in at night, and ...

Catch more fish this fall

Labor Day 2018 has come and gone. When it comes to people who like to go fishing, for many of them, there are 2 switches that could get flipped at this time of the year. For some anglers, Labor Day flips that switch that says fishing season is over. For other anglers, the Labor Day switch ...

Spread out for perch

In-line planer boards are a very effective tool for catching walleyes and trout. In recent years some anglers have been employing boards to catch a variety of other species of fish. On a recent trip to Big Stone Lake on the Minnesota/South Dakota border we caught a bunch of perch in a short ...

Do something else

Recently Mike Frisch and I got together for an afternoon of fishing. Our plan was to chase largemouth bass on a lake that is very similar to lots of other lakes across the Midwest. What Mike and I re-learned that afternoon always helps us catch more fish at any time of the year. The lake ...