Local Columns

Eating our way to Glory

The story is told of an elementary school teacher who, while teaching about world religions, asked her students to bring a symbol of their family’s faith to class. The next day, she asked each student to come forward and shared their symbol with the class. The first child, a pretty ...

Tomato leaf curling

Due to our abnormal spring weather conditions, many questions have been received regarding plant health issues. One question in particular is that of tomato leaves which are curling up. Clients worry that the leaf roll may be due to chemical drift, disease or insects. But there can be ...

Why and how to net a fish

For many fisher-people, netting the fish on the end of their line is about the last thing they think of: There are so many other things that we need to do to get to that point. First you've got to find where the fish are. Then you've got to select the proper bait that will get them on the ...

A great day to hug your cat

I bet you didn’t know that this is a national holiday. It’s true, though. June 4 is National Hug Your Cat Day. This is one of those simple, straightforward days, not a Hallmark Holiday frenzy like several other days of the year with which we are all very familiar. Hug Your ...

A form of ‘normative psychopathology’

With the advent of the season of summer camp, Scout camp, church camp and similar away-from-home activities, the malady called “homesickness” is about to intensify. I know ̶ when I was a youngster I was afflicted by this ailment. If I stayed overnight with cousins less than 10 miles ...

Explore the ghost towns of Hamilton County

Ghost towns evoke images of dusty streets, ramshackle buildings and tumbleweed. The definition of a ghost town varies between individuals. Popular debate, is that, should a ghost town have tangible remains of buildings or not? Plus, should a ghost town be completely deserted or contain a ...

Lawnmower musings

The best thing I can say about mowing when it is sunny and 97 degrees is that at least it wasn’t windy enough to blow the grass back on my hot, sweaty body. The other good thing is that I was riding, not walking and pushing a lawnmower. That’s not how it was when I first took charge of ...

Don’t let aging get you down

Everyone seems to be younger these days. I’m not. Not that long ago I was the kid on the block. That has changed. Now when I take a glimpse in the mirror I look like the photo on my Costco card. I’m not worried, though. Age is a number; old is in your head. When I joined Rotary in ...

Trolling for summer catches

One-hundred degree temperatures hit parts of the Midwest much earlier than normal this year. Those temperatures created warmer water, and the warmer water has fish moving, and they’re also hungry. In early summer different species of fish are doing different things, and they can be moving ...

A summer outdoors

Most houseplants enjoy spending a vacation out of doors during the summer. After being inside during the long winter, a bit of sunshine and fresh air can be beneficial. But getting your plants ready for their trip can be a bit tricky. When moving plants outdoors, never transfer abruptly ...

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 ...