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Winding Pathways encourages you to create a wonderous yard, whether that yard is an expansive acreage, a suburban lot or a condominium balcony. Go outside and play!

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How Can You Get Light at Night?*

How Can You Get Light at Night?*

Like many people with a small flock of backyard chickens, we faced a dilemma. Our birds are housed in a coop built inside a pole barn. There was no electric power in our barn. Fall’s Shortening days signals chickens to slow egg production just as many families need...

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Using the Sad ‘Ole Jack-O-Lantern

Using the Sad ‘Ole Jack-O-Lantern

As we entered our driveway a frustrating sight greeted us. We were looking forward to picking the enormous seed heads of sunflower plants towering over the garden. Not this year. While we were gone, a windstorm toppled them a few weeks before they’d ripen. That’s the...

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How Can You Keep Mice Out of Chicken Coops?*

How Can You Keep Mice Out of Chicken Coops?*

There's a Mouse in the House! Sooner or later anyone who keeps a few chickens is likely to spot a mouse scurrying across the coop floor.  Most sightings are after dark when hens are snoozing on their roosts. That’s when nocturnal mice seek a chicken feed dinner....

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Beware the Siren Call of Poison Ivy’s Beauty

Beware the Siren Call of Poison Ivy’s Beauty

Poison ivy is a universally disliked and feared plant. It seems to grow everywhere.  Encounter it and risk an itchy rash…..or worse. Some people are so sensitive to the oil on the leaf’s surface that they end up hospitalized. Despite the discomfort it causes, poison...

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Coppicing. Why Do Trees Re-sprout?

Coppicing. Why Do Trees Re-sprout?

Coppicing What? Coppicing? That word almost sounds dirty. Well, it's not.  It is a good way to help derecho doomed trees live on! We recently hosted friends to mark the first anniversary of the August 10, 2020, furious derecho that leveled around 70% of trees in the...

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What is Mentoring All About?

What is Mentoring All About?

“It’s a monster!” Payton yelled out! His fishing pole, made for a child to catch tiny fish, bent in a 180-degree arch. Somehow, amazingly, he guided the monster close enough that I could grab its lower jaw. Seconds later it was in the boat. Wow!  It was a monster. 5.1...

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How Do Deer Know When Peaches Are Ripe?

How Do Deer Know When Peaches Are Ripe?

We’ve got a peach problem. Iowa’s frigid winters don’t favor peach trees, but we’ve got a tough one in the front yard that’s withstood temps down to 30 below zero. Each May it graces our yard with pink blossoms that transform into smallish, tasty peaches that ripen...

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Avian Fall Flurry

Avian Fall Flurry

A flurry of movement caught our attention. Just outside the dining room window, a tiny scrap of a bird flitted around. It wasn’t a wren, goldfinch, or sparrow. They’re around all year. Just what was it? For most birders, May is the month to live for. Orioles,...

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How Does Our Prairie Garden Grow?

How Does Our Prairie Garden Grow?

In early July we sat on our front porch watching delightfully splashes of color dance in the breeze.  A restoration triumph stood stoutly in the wind-blooming compass plant. Restoring prairies takes patience. We began ten years ago by converting a former mowed lawn...

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Why Did the Frog Hop to Winding Pathways?

Why Did the Frog Hop to Winding Pathways?

Outside our dining room is a tiny pond crafted by our home’s previous owner.  It’s smaller than a compact car and is the regular home of water lilies, dragonflies, and a few goldfish we stock to eat mosquito larvae. One morning we were astonished to spot a large frog...

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How is Getting a Colonoscopy Like a Woodstove?

How is Getting a Colonoscopy Like a Woodstove?

We’re of an age when every few years our doctor prescribes a colonoscopy. It’s not something to look forward to, but it makes perfect sense. Early detection catches cancer while there’s time to take effective medical action. The same goes for wood stoves. Wood is our...

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Where Were the Worms?

Where Were the Worms?

When we moved to our home in 2010, we immediately began changing the landscaping. The former owner had mowed nearly our entire two acres. It was clipped, manicured, and lacking in diversity. The soil was sand, rock hard, or dense clay. From this sterile, unnatural...

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Have You Noticed the Forest Magic?

Have You Noticed the Forest Magic?

Winding Pathways borders 110-acre Faulkes Heritage Woods, a primeval woodland that changed dramatically in 40 minutes last August 10, 2020, when a derecho roared through Eastern Nebraska, all of Iowa and into Illinois. Prior to the storm, the view from our back deck...

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Where Will You Find Berries?

Where Will You Find Berries?

We take a walk every day, sometimes through urban and industrial areas. Other days find us on prairie or woodland trails. Everywhere we’re spotting an abundance of summer fruit being devoured by birds, woodchucks, chipmunks, and even deer. Last August 10 a terrible...

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What is the Great American Campout?

What is the Great American Campout?

Kids love camping. For a youngster a night of camping, even if it’s in the backyard, is an adventure. This summer the National Wildlife Federation is encouraging people to go camping in national, state, county, or private campgrounds or even in the backyard. They...

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Busy Pandemic Year+ for Winding Pathways

For the past fifteen months Winding Pathways has been busy with writing features for the Cedar Rapids Gazette and blogs for Hoover's Hatchery and FB Live monthly events.  Catch up with our stories in The Cedar Rapids Gazette online. Hoover's Hatchery. Click on Flock...

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