It is good to be home again

AFTER MANY SUMMER trips and much exploring of the great North Woods with delightful company, it is good to be home again, under the big pines by the river. It will be hot again again today, the mercury approaching 100 (!!!?) But for now the air is pleasant and cool in the woods. The sky blue, the trees green, the

When you are in love with a place

WHEN YOU ARE IN LOVE with a place, you are in love with all the times and people, creatures and plants and stones, all the history and memories that make it unique and treasured. That make it your place, of all the places in all the world. The place where memories and dreams, laughter and tears and unspoken feelings come

Lake Living

LAKE LIVING is a privilege, and one that is not as accessible to many as it once was in Minnesota. The days of the modest cabin by the lake where the family could summer, or the small mom and pop resorts where everyone could gather for a week or two, are nearly a thing of the past. Each time we


ON THIS BEAUTIFUL DAY on Rainy Lake, we had the joy of spending almost the whole day with Voyageurs National Park Supervising Ranger Mark Miller and his lovely wife,Tammie. On an earlier boat cruise to Kettle Falls with one of my Road Scholar groups, I had the unexpected pleasure of meeting Mark, and we discovered a remarkable collection of similar


EVERY BONSAI, like every person, has its own character and personality. This little boxwood, only nine inches tall, conveys strength and balance; and almost pulls off the illusion of a mighty deciduous tree—an oak perhaps—on a green hilltop.


THE GREAT MUCKY MUCK was down on his luck Besides just being a jerk and a schmuck Besides wearing a poor deceased cat on his head Besides being stupid and mostly brain-dead No, these were all problems of fairly long standing, Part of his schtick and part of his branding, Part of what made him so doggoned adorable To all


ON FAWN ISLAND, we now have a new cabin with running water, shower, and flush toilet. Which is great, and makes Kathy Ann happy. Which makes me happy. But I am still fond of the old outhouse, the Church of Peace, the path through the cedars to the shady bower, a site of solitude and meditation whose charms we have


ON THE CHURCH O THE ISLAND, it is a good Sunday morning, drenched in bird songs. It was the loons along the shore who awakened me, but I was late—far too late to see the sun edge over the horizon. The white-throats and song sparrows had long been lofting their morning arias. The crows were caterwauling, the red squirrels trilling

Silly Saturday on Fawn Island

AND SO, on Fawn Island, it is Silly Saturday, and time to smile at the happy fact of humor in this world. Here you go, from my 9-year-old grandson and me. And you’re welcome! Q: What do you call an elephant that just doesn’t matter? A: An irrelephant. Q: Why can’t you hear a Pterodactyl go to the bathroom? A:

Sunset on Fawn Island

IT IS WONDERFUL to gaze at a sunset, at the palette of colors in the sky. But when we cast our eye away from the setting sun, we sometimes find the world bathed in a glorious golden light. My old friend Sigurd Olson used to call this the Ross Light, named for a Life magazine photographer who first pointed it