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Bentleyville Tour of Lights

In their book Grandparents Minnesota Style, Mike Link and Kate Crowley provide opportunities for adults and children to spend more time discovering Minnesota together. The book is designed for today’s grandparent who wants to use the time together with their grandchildren to laugh, have fun, create memories, and grow. For the upcoming holiday season Mike and Kate suggest a visit to the Bentleyville Tour of Lights. The magic of the holiday season can be encapsulated by a festive display of Christmas lights. People get swept up by those simple, colorful lights; after all, that’s why we tour neighborhoods in search of the best sights, and some areas even give prizes to the fan favorites. If you love Christmas lights, head to Bentleyville in Duluth. There, you’ll see over 4 million lights and much more: campfires for staying warm, marshmallow roasting and making cocoa, festive music to sing along with, and above all, an atmosphere filled with...

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Christmas lights

Bentleyville Tour of Lights

In their book Grandparents Minnesota Style, Mike Link and Kate Crowley provide opportunities for adults and children to spend more time discovering Minnesota together. The book is designed for today’s grandparent who wants to use the time together with their grandchildren to laugh, have fun, create memories, and grow. For the upcoming holiday season Mike and Kate suggest a visit to the Bentleyville Tour of Lights. The magic of the holiday season can be encapsulated by a festive display of Christmas lights. People get swept up by those simple, colorful lights; after all, that’s why we tour neighborhoods in search of the best sights, and some areas even give prizes to the fan favorites. If you love Christmas lights, head to Bentleyville in Duluth. There, you’ll see over 4 million lights and much more: campfires for staying warm, marshmallow roasting and making cocoa, festive music to sing along with, and above all, an atmosphere filled...

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Dark Meat or Light Meat

In this week’s column, just in time for Thanksgiving, Stan Tekiela muses about dark meat or light meat. I’m pretty sure that when you and your family gather around the Thanksgiving table this year that you won’t spend all your time talking about birds, migration, and how those relate to the dark and light meat of the Thanksgiving turkey—but we certainly do at my house! Ok, I will admit, it’s all my fault. I can’t help myself when someone makes an offhand comment about liking or disliking dark meat or light meat. Or someone might express an interest in having just the breast meat. When I hear this, I feel obligated to ask everyone gathered one simple question: “Do you ever wonder why turkeys have light meat and dark meat?” The answers I get are just blank stares. Of course, no one else is thinking about this. It’s probably just me who wonders about these ridiculous things. So here is...

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Children reading books

Dark Meat or Light Meat

In this week’s column, just in time for Thanksgiving, Stan Tekiela muses about dark meat or light meat. I’m pretty sure that when you and your family gather around the Thanksgiving table this year that you won’t spend all your time talking about birds, migration, and how those relate to the dark and light meat of the Thanksgiving turkey—but we certainly do at my house! Ok, I will admit, it’s all my fault. I can’t help myself when someone makes an offhand comment about liking or disliking dark meat or light meat. Or someone might express an interest in having just the breast meat. When I hear this, I feel obligated to ask everyone gathered one simple question: “Do you ever wonder why turkeys have light meat and dark meat?” The answers I get are just blank stares. Of course, no one else is thinking about this. It’s probably just me who wonders about these ridiculous things. So here is...

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Children reading books

Books Make Great Gifts for Kids

When it comes to buying gifts for kids, it’s easy to overlook the obvious. We’re distracted by catalogs, commercials, fancy store displays, and the repeated cries of “I want that.” Who can blame us for filling the bottom of the tree with toys? But there’s one gift idea for kids that they will adore and their parents will applaud. It’s fun, it’s interesting, and it’s sure to provide many hours of use. (And don’t tell the young ones, but it’s educational too.) Of course, I’m talking about books. When you’re shopping for gifts, don’t go to a toy store. The bookstore is where it’s at. Presents should say, “I know you, and I know what you like.” That’s why it’s a thrill to find a perfect book for the children in your life. Here are a few of my favorite gifts for kids: For Kids who Love Animals...

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Books Make Great Gifts for Kids

When it comes to buying gifts for kids, it’s easy to overlook the obvious. We’re distracted by catalogs, commercials, fancy store displays, and the repeated cries of “I want that.” Who can blame us for filling the bottom of the tree with toys? But there’s one gift idea for kids that they will adore and their parents will applaud. It’s fun, it’s interesting, and it’s sure to provide many hours of use. (And don’t tell the young ones, but it’s educational too.) Of course, I’m talking about books. When you’re shopping for gifts, don’t go to a toy store. The bookstore is where it’s at. Presents should say, “I know you, and I know what you like.” That’s why it’s a thrill to find a perfect book for the children in your life. Here are a few of my favorite gifts for kids: For Kids who Love Animals...

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Children reading books

A Look at Yellow-Bellied Marmots

In this week’s NatureSmart column, Stan Tekiela talks about yellow-bellied marmots. Yes, I admit it, I am a nut about nature. Not just the big amazing birds and animals, such as eagles and bears, but the small critters too. I realized this (again) on my recent trip to Colorado. I had stopped along a steep mountain road and just below me were several Yellow-bellied Marmots (Marmota flaviventris). You might be more familiar with their eastern cousin, the Woodchuck. Both are a type of ground squirrel that eats plants for a living and hibernates all winter. Well, anyway, there I was filming these chubby, rock-scampering squirrels; I was thrilled to spend many hours just watching and capturing their behaviors, despite the cold, biting wind roaring up from the valley below. The marmots didn’t seem to mind the wind at all. I was feeling lucky to find these guys because it’s estimated that they...

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Yellow-bellied Marmot

A Look at Yellow-Bellied Marmots

In this week’s NatureSmart column, Stan Tekiela talks about yellow-bellied marmots. Yes, I admit it, I am a nut about nature. Not just the big amazing birds and animals, such as eagles and bears, but the small critters too. I realized this (again) on my recent trip to Colorado. I had stopped along a steep mountain road and just below me were several Yellow-bellied Marmots (Marmota flaviventris). You might be more familiar with their eastern cousin, the Woodchuck. Both are a type of ground squirrel that eats plants for a living and hibernates all winter. Well, anyway, there I was filming these chubby, rock-scampering squirrels; I was thrilled to spend many hours just watching and capturing their behaviors, despite the cold, biting wind roaring up from the valley below. The marmots didn’t seem to mind the wind at all. I was feeling lucky to find these guys because it’s estimated that they...

Read More
elk

The Start of the Elk Rut

In today’s NatureSmart column, Stan Tekiela shares with us his encounter with a large bull elk. Sounding determined and confident, a large bull elk, most likely weighing 1,200 pounds or more, bellowed and bugled right in front of me. His back was arched, his head was held upward, his mouth was pursed in a funnel shape, and his antlers flanked his strong shoulders. The sound of his bugling echoed off the mountain valley walls and came around for a second time, amplifying his clear message of strength and dominance. He was keeping a watchful eye over 20 or more cow elk in his harem. From over my shoulder I suddenly heard another bull elk respond with his own impressive bugle call, followed by some deep belly grunts. By the sound of it, he was very close. Neither I, nor the bull elk I was photographing, could see this other bull, so it came as a...

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Children reading books

The Start of the Elk Rut

In today’s NatureSmart column, Stan Tekiela shares with us his encounter with a large bull elk. Sounding determined and confident, a large bull elk, most likely weighing 1,200 pounds or more, bellowed and bugled right in front of me. His back was arched, his head was held upward, his mouth was pursed in a funnel shape, and his antlers flanked his strong shoulders. The sound of his bugling echoed off the mountain valley walls and came around for a second time, amplifying his clear message of strength and dominance. He was keeping a watchful eye over 20 or more cow elk in his harem. From over my shoulder I suddenly heard another bull elk respond with his own impressive bugle call, followed by some deep belly grunts. By the sound of it, he was very close. Neither I, nor the bull elk I was photographing, could see this other bull, so it came as a...

Read More