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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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Boxelder Bugs

Lots of boxelder bugs are traipsing through homes this winter to the consternation of human occupants. We reluctantly share our home with a few during cold months. This amazingly common and crafty insect is a true bug named for common boxelder tree. You don't have to...

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Three Critical Emergency Items

Note: Our comments are personal observations. We have not been paid by any company to review their products. Wildfires in California. Hurricanes along the coast. Blizzards and tornadoes everywhere.  In this era of climate change every household should prepare for long...

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Mice! Keeping them Out of the House

After a balmy fall, the television weather report promised near record cold and snow in three or four days. Mice don’t have televisions but somehow, they knew this because several of the tiny mammals successfully entered our house just before cold arrived. One...

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Glacier Advances to Winding Pathways

A modern glacier visited Winding Pathways in October. Our area of Iowa doesn’t have much rock. There’s limestone bedrock in some places. Over the top is a thick layer of subsoil and topsoil with one exception. Glacial erratics. Thousands of years ago the Upper Midwest...

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Monarchs On Their Way South

This past summer we enjoyed watching many monarch butterflies flutter over our prairie labyrinth. Numbers were way up from last year. These intrepid insects are now en route to wintering grounds in Mexico. We look forward to their return next year. Monarchs suffered...

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Hearing Aids Help Enjoy Wildlife

A tiny migrating warbler changed my life.  As I sat on my back deck a few springs ago a tiny bird landed on a twig about ten feet in front of me. I could see it singing but couldn’t hear a thing. Military Training and Hearing Loss My hearing loss probably started as...

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FIREFLIES RETURN TO DELIGHT FAMILY

“It was amazing! Gorgeous!  Fireflies danced over our prairie most of the summer, and they weren’t here when it was a mowed lawn,” said Katie Hill with much enthusiasm She and her husband Tim are restoring an island of ecological health just three miles from downtown...

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Alaska: Connections and Tips

Connections It’s amazing how many connections you will find when you travel to Alaska. My winter journey started with a fine chat with a Coe College student headed to the Twin Cities for a physics presentation.  As a Coe grad, I was excited to hear about his work and...

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Iowa’s Oceanfront Property

Oceanfront property in Iowa! Well not really, but the state constantly interacts with our planet’s vast oceans. Over six inches of rain fell on Winding Pathways in September 2018. Way above average. Not long ago those zillions of raindrops were swirling around in the...

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Labyrinths: Walking Meditations

Worship outside of a church comes in many forms.  For the service, several members shared their ways of being mindful and growing spiritually. These included listening to music, engaging in specific meditation times, and singing. My contribution was this short talk on...

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Getting Rid of Yellow Jackets

We were recently concerned to find a Yellow Jacket nest close to our front door.   Normally we appreciate their ambitious work catching insect prey. If they had made their nest in an out of the way place, we would have left them alone. But, their nest location invited...

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Equinox

It’s turning time for wildlife, chickens, and people As the Northern Hemisphere of the earth continues its ageless slow wobble away from the sun, days gradually shorten until a wondrous event happens. The Autumnal Equinox happens around September 21st each year. It’s...

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Alaska Winter Adventures

Why I Wanted to Visit Alaska In the Winter Guest Blogger, Jane Suiter Potos by Jane Suiter I have the privilege of having two friends who call Alaska home.  My first visit was in the summer of 1998 when I turned 50.  Because I had always wanted to visit Alaska, I went...

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Swallowtail Soiree

Guest Blogger, Sheryl Ochs On a jaunt to the garden to retrieve some herbs for my freshly cooked carrots, I paused in surprise to see 12 small black caterpillars, each with a tiny white stripe in the middle, chomping away on my only parsley plant. I knew that parsley...

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