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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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What Was Good About 2021?

What Was Good About 2021?

2021 Retrospective At the end of last year, I regarded 2021 with a jaundiced eye.  Then, I read the little gratitudes I had kept in the jar all year and realized the good that did happen and that we created.  Below is a summary. Labyrinths The year 2020 ended with the...

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EGO-centric!

EGO-centric!

Back in October, we took a gamble. We bought an electric snowblower. Our driveway at Winding Pathways is about 440 feet long, and Iowa gets plenty of snow. It’s too much to shovel, so years ago we bought a gas snow blower. It worked for the first winter but then it...

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Did You Attend a One-Room School?

Did You Attend a One-Room School?

One-Room School Houses Readers’ Reminisce Note: The original article appeared in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Sunday, December 19, 2021.  We invited readers to share their reminiscences and included here some that were in the original feature. We begin this blog with the...

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Why Do Geese Love Lawn Mowers?

Why Do Geese Love Lawn Mowers?

Artful Dodgers Walking one of Cedar Rapids’ trails sometimes is like a skier racing a slalom course.  Instead of weaving between flags, pedestrians must dodge piles of goose poop. It wasn’t always that way. Before the mid-1980s few geese lived in town. Cedar Rapids...

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Save on Energy Bills Right NOW!

We knew natural gas prices were way up but our $80+ November bill both surprised and pleased us. Surprise:   That’s a high bill for us. Pleased:   Our efforts at energy efficiency and wise house management kept the bill from being higher. Nearly everyone can reduce...

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Mysterious Disappearance of 2020 Labyrinths

Mysterious Disappearance of 2020 Labyrinths

Where Did the 2020 Labyrinth Blog Go? I'm curious what happened to the 2020 labyrinths blog! While I mainly walked the Phoenix Harmony Labyrinth in our yard, I know I walked other labyrinths. Edith Starr Chase's lovely one at Wickiup Hill on a magical Winter Solstice...

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November Makes 12

November Makes 12

Meeting a Challenge A few years ago, we received an email from the National Wildlife Federation asking us, and millions of others, to camp in the backyard once during the summer. Upping the Ante We took it to heart and then went further. Over the past twelve months,...

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How Hardy is the Eastern Red Cedar?

How Hardy is the Eastern Red Cedar?

On a windy cold Thanksgiving afternoon, we did something nutty. After tossing buckets and shovels into our pickup we drove north until we spotted greenish foliage popping through the road ditches dry grass. There, we rescued six red cedar trees that are now at home in...

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Deer and COVID-19

Deer and COVID-19

Two years ago, hardly anyone knew what the novel Coronavirus was, but since then this crafty virus and the nasty disease it causes, COVID-19, has hardly been all over the news.  Like most people we thought it was a disease of only humans. We were astonished to learn...

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Why Do Woodpeckers Hammer?

Why Do Woodpeckers Hammer?

“A woodpecker is hammering on my house. It’s damaging my siding and driving me nuts. What can I do?” asked a longtime friend. Woodpeckers often hammer on buildings, and we’ve taken dozens of calls from homeowners seeking relief. There are ways to discourage the plucky...

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Lessons From the Bird Diva

Lessons From the Bird Diva

What is a Bird Diva? We’d only walked a short way when Bridget Butler stopped our small group. “Look at the top of that tree.  See the bird,” she asked. We did, and from long experience knew its species, but Bridget’s coaching helped us become better birders. “Notice...

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How Can You Catch Nature’s Miracles?

How Can You Catch Nature’s Miracles?

A camera is an outstanding tool to see change. Plant a tree or prairie and it grows so glacially slowly that noting change is hard. Photos help by compressing time. In August 2020 a derecho felled 47 of our 53 mature trees. We spent much of last fall converting them...

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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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