Local Columns

Crappies in the summer

Crappies are one of the most popular fish species across North America: Pure and simple, they’re fun to catch, and for the past few weeks, anglers who have been chasing crappies have, for the most part, been successful. The crappies have been in shallow water and have been eating. As we ...

What kind of prize is that?

Walking down the street, a mother cat and her kitten passed two robins basking in the sun. A few seconds later, the kitten said, “Mommy, I’m hungry. What is there to eat?” The mother cat stopped and looked back. “Well, honey, how about some baskin’ robins?” Aha, unless you ...

A reflection of the times

I’m really not much of a saver, which can be good or bad. When it has come to cleaning out living spaces, there have been some things I wished later that I had kept. That’s not so good. But for my own possessions, I think it’s a good thing to at least attempt to keep things winnowed ...

Evergreen browning — To prune or not to prune

This spring, you may have noticed many evergreens with brown needles, brown needle tips or branches. One may assume this damage was due to cold winter temperatures, but most likely the browning was caused by another type of winter injury - desiccation. Desiccation occurs when the leaves ...

Early summer largemouth

It seems like winter has just departed and some anglers are already thinking about catching bass in the early summer months. June is near or here, and some of the best largemouth bass fishing of the year is here or near also. If you’re on the “right lake”, and there are a lot of ...

A graduation gift to be remembered

A couple of deadlines were closing in on me so, hoping to get some work done, I took my laptop to a new coffee shop on the other side of town. I was deep in thought and down to the last paragraph of a “due today” article when from behind I heard a familiar voice say, “Howdy, ...

Worlds apart

I spent a few days in Atlanta last week. It took me just a few hours after I arrived to decide that although the distance between here and there is 950 miles, we are actually worlds apart. That should be no surprise, considering that Iowa has more pigs in our state than people. I ...

Rhubarb time

We know it, most love it, and many are anxiously watching and waiting for their rhubarb to become large enough to enjoy the first harvest of the season. Although best to do so early spring - but with our crazy Iowa weather this year - it's still not too late to give your rhubarb a dose of ...

Walleyes on jigs right now

Walleye Season 2018 has arrived across the Midwest. In fact, it here’s been here for a while for some anglers. But now that the season is open for pretty much everyone in Walleye Country, it’s time to get on the water. When it comes to catching walleyes early in the fishing season, ...

Get out to catch more fish

At the beginning of every fishing season, a good number of anglers promise themselves that they’re going to learn a new tactic this season. There are always new things that we can try, and there are also some established tactics that we just haven’t gotten around to trying yet. If you ...

Don’t guess – do a soil test

Spring is a great time for amending the garden soil, and getting it prepared for the upcoming growing season. Soil test results will provide you with soil nutrient levels and fertilizer recommendations when needed. Soil testing helps avoid unnecessary applications of fertilizer when ...

Looking ahead – white grub control

Spring is finally here! The grass is turning green and you want to keep it that way. If you have experienced white grub damage to your lawn in the past, you probably are thinking of treating for white grub this year. But let's investigate further, so put away the insecticide, step away from ...

New open-water fishing season

It's a new fishing season! After a spring unlike any other in memory, we’re finally getting the lawn mowers ready for action. That’s the down-side: The up-side is that the fish are biting, and the bite is just going to get better. Following are some things that you can do to make your ...

Hear about adventures in the Northwest Passage

Editor’s note: David Thoreson will present a program entitled, “The Northwest Passage in the Era of Climate Change” on Saturday, April 28 at 1 p.m. at Mulberry Center Church, in the Wilson Brewer Park, 220 Ohio St., Webster City. Humanities Iowa presenter David Thoreson’s life has ...

Easter lily rehab

With Easter here and gone, the weather has left us wondering when spring may arrive. Those of you who received a potted Easter lily for the holiday may also be wondering what to do with the plant after the flowers are gone. Take care of your Easter lily plant while patiently awaiting for ...

Early season river walleyes

Pretty much wherever you live in the Midwest, there are walleyes willing to be caught right now. Some states, and some areas of some states have a closed season on ‘eyes, but with just a little travel, you can get to areas that have walleye fishing happening now, and those areas are ...

New stuff

It’s the second week of April and we just got dumped on with snow again. And the lakes are still iced-over. I spoke with a friend yesterday who keeps a journal of his outdoor experiences. On April 4, 2017, he was in a boat fishing for crappies on his home waters in central Minnesota. On ...

The apartment I can’t forget

A 50th anniversary slipped by earlier this year. I didn’t realize until after the anniversary slipped by that it was 50 years ago in February that I conducted an ultimately successful search for my first apartment. I had left home the previous October, moving to a comfortable sleeping ...

Grateful for the time we live in

One feature of coming out of winter at my house is to clean my fireplace really well so it can rest for the next couple of seasons. It’s been an especially long season for the fireplace this year; not often do I carry in wood and get a nice fire going in April, but more than one evening ...

I remember

In my part of the world, North Iowa, there’s still too much ice to go open water fishing, but not enough ice to walk on. So I’m still kind of in that “Looking Back” and “Remember When” mode. I remember back in the day, which would be the mid to late 70’s, we really didn’t ...