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Winding Pathways encourages people to create wonderous yards, whether that yard is an expansive acreage, a suburban lot or a condominium balcony.

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Obsidian Gets Around

Today it’s easy to buy just about anything by touching a few keystrokes. In an amazingly short time, a package from Amazon or another company will arrive.  However, it wasn’t always easy to acquire important things. Consider obsidian. Obsidian is a fascinating rock...

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Packing Up Christmas

Two articles from The Gazette have sat on my desk for months waiting. Like Advent. Waiting. And, now, with the Holiday Season wrapping up, Epiphany within, Bowls in full swing, and the New Year upon us, these two articles are more poignant than ever. “Packing Away the...

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The Work of Christmas

"When the song of angels is stilled, When the star in the sky is gone, When the kings and princes are home, When the shepherds are back with their flock, The work of Christmas begins: to find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner,...

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STAYING WARM DURING A WINTER POWER OUTAGE

Don’t be caught in the cold.
People can survive a few cold days in relative comfort by piling on layers of clothes or snuggling under thick quilts at night. But, even the most well insulated house will gradually cool as soon as a power outage shuts down the furnace. Eventually pipes will freeze, causing enormous damage as water squirts on carpet, furniture, books and electronics. In fact everywhere!

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Favorite Stocking Stuffers

As the rush for Holiday gifts gets into full swing, we sometimes wonder how to "fill" those stockings with meaningful, fun and inexpensive stuffers.  Here are some of Winding Pathways favorite items to be prepared for long dark nights and to simply enjoy cozy winter...

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Tree Tales

Carole Teator:  Thank you for inviting my story. And thank you for the column on the catalpa tree. I do enjoy them, particularly when they are in bloom. This is a story of losing a tree.  Carole shares that it "... helped me realize how deeply one can mourn the loss...

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Giving Thanks.

This past year I have again kept a Gratitude Jar and almost daily write on a 2"x2" sticky note the date and a Gratitude.  Periodically, I pour out the notes and look at them.  Since this is the time many in America are expressing on social media their gratitudes, I...

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Mini-Binoculars Will Travel

TRAVELING WITH BINOCULARS Disclosure: Years ago we were asked to serve on the Alpen Optics Birding Pro-Staff and periodically we receive optics to test. Following is a report on using mini-binoculars while traveling. In October we enjoyed a 1600-mile, 12-day clockwise...

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Osage Orange or Hedge Apple

This fall we’ve noticed Osage Orange fruits for sale in grocery stores and roadside stands. They are fascinating and have a delightful fresh citrus scent. These are often called Hedge Apples, and many people call the tree they grow on Hedge. More properly the tree is...

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Ringneck Pheasants Give Lesson to Landowners

This fall thousands of hunters will bring millions of ringneck pheasants home to be converted into delicious meals. Pheasants have been around so long that many people think of them as native birds. They’re not but they provide a lesson on how to structure a modern...

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Keeping Bugs Out of the House

At Winding Pathways, we take joy in fall’s colorful leaves, cool days, and clear air, but we know insects are on the move.

Box Elder Bugs, Asian Beetles, other insects and spiders, and mice all sense that frigid air is on the way and seek shelter from the cold. Houses offer secure nooks and crannies to hide in and central heat to keep them toasty warm.

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Preparing for Winter

Fall is a perfect season to be outdoors. We look forward to the delicate lace of the first frost on our russet oak leaves. When outside be sure to look up. You might catch sight of a raptor, perhaps even an eagle, way up high catching thermals and moving south ahead...

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Efficiency Yields Cost Savings

(This story first appeared in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.) A few months ago, my wife called me to her computer to view our electric bill.  Although the weather had been mild the previous month we were still proud to see a $13.18 bill, or about 45 cents a day. That's a...

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