Monday, May 07, 2012

Monday's breakfast links

Here are a few links to other blogs I've found informative, entertaining or inspiring within the last week or so, beginning with John Pearson's "Out and About." Pearson visited Stephens State Forest in search of rare wildflowers during late April, highlighting one of Lucas County's major natural resources. The winding-road sign photo, I swiped from his blog. To see his photos of Yellow Lady's-slipper, Showy Orchis and more and to learn why he was here, take a look..

Check out the rest of the blog while you're there. Pearson roams Iowa frequently and engages in adventurous pursuits like kayaking Lake Red Rock --- stuff that most of us are too lazy (or inept) to engage in.

Stephens State Forest consists of roughly 15,000 acres divided into seven units. The Lucas, Whitebreast and Woodburn units, about 7,000 acres total, begin southwest of Lucas and continue across the county line into Clarke County. The Cedar Crek, Chariton and Thousand Acres units are in northeast Lucas County, with Thousand Acres (actually, 2,367 acres) spilling over into Monroe. The Unionville unit, 2,430 acres, consists of scattered tracts in northeast Appanoose and northwest Davis County. Management headquarters for all the units is in Chariton. Here's the detailed Department of Natural Resources Stephens State Forest site.


And then there's Harlan Ratcliff's "The roused bear" blog. If you enjoy iowa bugs (and butterflies),  nature in general and occasional earth-based philosophizing, you'll like it. I like it all, especially the bugs. Sorry about the elusive blue six-spotted tiger beetle.

According to Ratcliff, "the roused bear" was Meskwaki Chief Poweshiek's translation of his own name. Among other projects, Ratcliff, who lives in central Iowa, operates a Web site dedicated to the Poweshiek skipper, a butterfly "discovered in Grinnell, Iowa, and named by a poet." Look under "Iowa's Biological Diversity" on this site for links to information about an amazing range topics related to the way nature works in Iowa.


I've also enjoyed "The Rush of Spring!" on Larry Stone's "Larry Stone's Iowa" site --- he lives on a farm along the Turkey River near Elkader; and Paul Deaton's "Gravel Roads and TEA Party Towns" on "Walking There." Deaton lives in east central Iowa --- and I envy his gardening skills.


It's not a blog post, but here's a link to a Sunday "Register" story about a move that will change the way I do business a little --- moving a majority of content behind a pay wall. I usually spend about five minutes every morning with the online edition, glancing at obituaries and perhaps pulling one story up to read. I doubt that limited amount of use will justify a paid subscription --- obituaries apparently will continue to be accessible and the Register rarely "breaks" a story these days. Nor does it do an especially good job of covering Iowa beyond city limits. Still, I'll miss unrestricted access.


This is the week voters go to the polls in North Carolina to, most likely, approve Amendment One --- an addition to the state constitution forbiddng all forms of same-sex unions. Similar legislation will be on the ballot in Minnesota this fall and Iowa certainly is prime territory for a similar divisive battle. Real people sometimes get lost in the shouting.

So take a look at Pastor David Eck's "I'm Christian, I'm Gay, Let's Talk" blog. Eck, a Lutheran (ELCA) pastor, and his husband if 19 years, Gary Mitchell, a United Church of Christ commissioned minister of music and arts, live in Asheville, North Carolina. They have two grown children.

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