9780816665914

Our Neck of the Woods : Exploring Minnesota's Wild Places

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780816665914

  • ISBN10:

    0816665915

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-09-11
  • Publisher: Univ of Minnesota Pr
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Summary

What are the odds of finding Minnesota's tiniest orchid? Why take a Breathalyzer test to study frogs? How does ice fishing warm the heart? Who would live in such a cold, lean region?Our Neck of the Woodstakes on these and other urgent (and sometimes quirky) questions, showcasing writers' own experiences in the best-loved places in Minnesota, including the North Shore, Lake Bemidji, the western prairies and grasslands, the Boundary Waters, and the Mesabi Iron Range.The outdoor experiences described here range from sweeping natural history observations to adventurous tales of coming-of-age camping and hunting trips. We follow notable writers and conservationists Sigurd F. Olson, Paul Gruchow, Bill Holm, Jan Zita Grover, Greg Breining, Laurie Allman, and many others as they descend a frozen river toward Lake Superior, explore a crystalline palace at minus 20 degrees, and trace a family's history along the Mississippi River. Writing on such themes as embracing winter, making camp, and finding wildness even amid development, these authors tell of hunting, fishing, birding, canoeing, and other great outdoor activities that help define what it means to be Minnesotan.Drawn from the pages ofMinnesota Conservation Volunteermagazine-published by the Department of Natural Resources since 1940-these writings evoke a strong sense of place and suggest that the outdoor experiences we share with others come to mean the most to us. With rich observations and spirited tales,Our Neck of the Woodsbeckons Minnesotans to work, play, and explore in the natural places close to their homes and hearts.

Author Biography

Daniel J. Philippon is associate professor of English at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He is the author of Conserving Words: How American Nature Writers Shaped the Environmental Movement. He lives in St. Paul.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xiii
Introductionp. xv
Making Camp
Trapper's Cabinp. 3
In trappers'cabins, the wilderness always sings.
My first Trip UP Northp. 7
To camp on Mantrap Lake, the ˘men÷ in the family must first conquer the ˘machine÷.
Deer Campp. 12
A deer camp enriches life and inspires growth.
The Path Betweenp. 16
The author travels the path from girlhood to womanhood between cabins.
Sugar Bush Journalp. 21
For Ojibwe families, maple sugar camp was a place of Intense work and spiritual renewal.
Mother's Day in Rattlesnake Country
Weekend camping trips connect a family to their home state.
Paying Attention
Drawing Life From Naturep. 31
Drawing becomes a way of seeing deeply, a meditation with open eyes.
Lessons From A Young Explorerp. 33
A Young Girl Shows her father how to discover the treasures of the natural world.
Birding With Benp. 36
A Road trip for the birds brings together a mother and her son.
Birding In The Fast-Food Lanep. 39
The author spots hawks in the Twin cities.
Heart Of The Huntp. 44
A Vegetarian tries to figure out what hunting means to the hunter.
Why I'M A Bowhunterp. 52
Why do thousands of people take bows and arroes and set out for deer each autumn?
The Apple Tree Standp. 55
A bowhunter with a fear of heights inherits an eye-level tree stand.
A Perfect Startp. 57
His first deer hunt becomes a boy's rite of passage.
Encountering Wildness
The Road To Wild Placesp. 63
Sometimes the roads don't change, and the magic of wild places abides.
The Bogp. 66
This tiny geological wonder is a wilderness by default.
The Wagon Wheelp. 70
In the sprawl of the Wagon Wheel, woodcock shooting is at its best.
The Strike Treep. 74
A tree delivers fire to its fellows.
Adventure Undergroundp. 79
Cave exploring is wet, cold, muddly-and enlightening.
I Flew With Eaglesp. 82
High over Lake Pepin, the author encounters unexpected company.
The Lurkerp. 84
A St. Croix fisherman lands a monstrous sturgeon.
Getting Wet
Heron Lake Legacyp. 89
A girl inherits her great-grandfather's legacy of waterfowl hunting.
Around The Next Bendp. 92
A river Guide never fails to find something new on the Mississippi.
Fishless Watersp. 98
An urban fisher learns to see in Minnehaha Creek.
The Riverp. 104
The Mississippi weaves its way through one family's history.
Going With The Flowp. 109
A river bears a canoeist on the Currents of his own past.
A Search For Whitewaterp. 115
Desperately seeking rapids to run, a nerwcomer finds them in Minnesota's state parks.
River Passagep. 120
A woman remembers running the rapids.
Kayaking The Wild Shorep. 124
A Kayaker goes in search of wilderness amid development on the North Shore.
Down At Miller Creekp. 132
Progress ignores what a fishing kid understands intuitively.
Embracing Winter
Boundary Waters Wilderness: Januaryp. 137
Who would live in such a cold, lean region?
Brittle Beautyp. 141
A cold-weather trek puts life in perspective.
Lake Superior, Winter Dawnp. 146
Thanks to a friend, a man encounters a crystalline palace, at minus twenty degrees.
Rivering On The Onionp. 150
Skiers descend a frozen river toward Lake Superior.
Me And Joep. 154
Ice fishing can warm the heart.
Fishing The Icep. 158
A father and son learn lessons from a simple pleasure.
A Flash Of Summerp. 162
A northern Minnesotan Waits for ice-out on Lake Bemidji.
Doing Science
Memories Of The Landscapep. 171
Explorations from a boat launch a career as a biologist.
Elusive Orchidsp. 174
What are the odds of finding Minnesota's tiniest orchid?
A Great Small Universep. 178
A lake's green blobs are microcosms worthy of awe.
A Ribbiting Adventurep. 182
Sometimes you have to take a Breathalyzer test to study frogs.
My Night Life With The Boreal Owlp. 188
A biologist's search for the elusive boreal owl often leaves him in the dark.
Count Your Loonsp. 192
With more Than twelve thousand common loons in Minnesota, why try to keep track of them?
Solo Sojournp. 196
One rare bird arrives, while another departs.
Land Use: A Bird's-Eye Viewp. 200
Keeping diverse birds in the twin Cities region will require habitat protection.
Practicing Conservation
One Seed At A Timep. 207
Is rebuilding a bit of presettlement landscape worth the toil?
Giving Thanks On The Prairiep. 213
A hunter expresses gratitude for the protection of grasslands.
The Dropping Duckp. 218
A conservation officer tells the table of the ones who didn't get away.
A Hunter's Journalp. 222
One cabin's old journal tells two connected stories: one of hunters, the other of wildlife managers.
This Old Farmlandp. 228
A farmer witnesses decades of conservation changes wrought by his own hands.
Finding Home
The Grace Of The Wildp. 235
What does it mean to be native to a place?
Battle For The Cotton woodp. 239
Generations of birds convert a dead tree into prime housing.
Iron Red Homep. 247
The author recalls growing up on the Mesabi Iron Range.
Home Is Where The Hearth Isp. 253
A random act of fire turns a space into a place.
Call Me Islandp. 256
A man (whose name in Old Norse means islands) recounts his islands in a sea of grass.
Marking Timep. 260
Expectation and hope are jointly fashioned by nature and humans.
Acknowledgmentsp. 263
publication Historyp. 265
Geographical Indexp. 267
Contributors
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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