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Winnewissa Falls

Visiting Winnewissa Falls with Lisa Crayford

Join Lisa Crayford, author of Waterfalls of Minnesota, on a journey to Winnewissa Falls Winnewissa Falls is situated amid the pipestone quarries at Pipestone National Monument. The falls, along with the surrounding quarries, are considered sacred by many American Indians. Our journey to Winnewissa Falls began on a rainy Saturday morning in June. With umbrellas in hand, we first headed up to the visitor center, which houses the Upper Midwest Indian Cultural Center. It’s home to a gift shop, museum exhibits, a bookstore, and a 22-minute film. The quarries here have produced pipestone (also known as Catlinite) for thousands of years. The soft, malleable stone is used in ceremonial objects, especially pipes. Quarrying is limited to American Indians, but, during the summer months, American Indians sometimes lead cultural demonstrations where visitors can see pipestone carving in progress. When you are ready to head to the waterfall, grab a trail map. You’ll want to plan on a good hour for the 0.75-mile nature walk, which is known as the circle tour. On...

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Visiting Winnewissa Falls with Lisa Crayford

Join Lisa Crayford, author of Waterfalls of Minnesota, on a journey to Winnewissa Falls Winnewissa Falls is situated amid the pipestone quarries at Pipestone National Monument. The falls, along with the surrounding quarries, are considered sacred by many American Indians. Our journey to Winnewissa Falls began on a rainy Saturday morning in June. With umbrellas in hand, we first headed up to the visitor center, which houses the Upper Midwest Indian Cultural Center. It’s home to a gift shop, museum exhibits, a bookstore, and a 22-minute film. The quarries here have produced pipestone (also known as Catlinite) for thousands of years. The soft, malleable stone is used in ceremonial objects, especially pipes. Quarrying is limited to American Indians, but, during the summer months, American Indians sometimes lead cultural demonstrations where visitors can see pipestone carving in progress. When you are ready to head to the waterfall, grab a trail map. You’ll want to plan on a good hour for the 0.75-mile nature walk, which is known as the circle tour. On...

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Children reading books

Halloween and Scary Bats

We are excited to share Stan Tekiela’s first blog post on our website today. Stan will be contributing regularly for your reading pleasure. So, without further ado, here is his post about scary bats—just in time for Halloween! At the end of October, we tend to contemplate scary animals. Well, I guess I understand. After all, Halloween plays a huge part in our culture. But what do you know about Halloween? Very basically, in ancient days, people believed we were switching over from a season of life to a season of death at this time of year. At the end of summer and fall (warm and prosperous seasons), food would become scarce and people naturally worried about surviving another winter. So it makes sense that in the past this was a frightening time of year. It was only later, in more modern times, that we began to associate scary animals with Halloween. By the way, the name Halloween...

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bats

Halloween and Scary Bats

We are excited to share Stan Tekiela’s first blog post on our website today. Stan will be contributing regularly for your reading pleasure. So, without further ado, here is his post about scary bats—just in time for Halloween! At the end of October, we tend to contemplate scary animals. Well, I guess I understand. After all, Halloween plays a huge part in our culture. But what do you know about Halloween? Very basically, in ancient days, people believed we were switching over from a season of life to a season of death at this time of year. At the end of summer and fall (warm and prosperous seasons), food would become scarce and people naturally worried about surviving another winter. So it makes sense that in the past this was a frightening time of year. It was only later, in more modern times, that we began to associate scary animals with Halloween. By the way, the name Halloween...

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John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument— A Museum and Cenozoic Mammal Fossil Beds Site Jon Kramer, Julie Martinez, and Vernon Morris, authors of the book Dinosaur Destinations, explore the most exciting dinosaur and fossil sites near you. Today we take a look at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon. John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is one of the greatest geological and paleontological preserves on Earth. Consisting of three separate land units, the fossil record here spans an incredible 41 million years, covering most of the Cenozoic Era, aka the “Age of Mammals.” So can you guess what kind of fossils you’ll find here? Well, they aren’t dinosaurs! Over millions of years, the area was home to all kinds of incredible mammals: from primitive rhinos and three-toed horses, to saber-toothed cats and huge short-faced bears. And those are just a start! The Monument is also home to the famous Painted Hills, which are aptly named. Long story short: A...

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Dinosaur Destinations

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

A Museum and Cenozoic Mammal Fossil Beds Site Jon Kramer, Julie Martinez, and Vernon Morris, authors of the book Dinosaur Destinations, explore the most exciting dinosaur and fossil sites near you. Today we take a look at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon. John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is one of the greatest geological and paleontological preserves on Earth. Consisting of three separate land units, the fossil record here spans an incredible 41 million years, covering most of the Cenozoic Era, aka the “Age of Mammals.” So can you guess what kind of fossils you’ll find here? Well, they aren’t dinosaurs! Over millions of years, the area was home to all kinds of incredible mammals: from primitive rhinos and three-toed horses, to saber-toothed cats and huge short-faced bears. And those are just a start! The Monument is also home to the famous Painted Hills, which are aptly named. Long story short: A visit is well worth the trip,...

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Tall Ships

Tall Ships on the Great Lakes

Whether you witness a tall ship breaking over the horizon or see one up close at a festival, there’s nothing quite like being in the presence of a full-fledged sailing ship. These majestic vessels are often thought of as ocean-going vessels, but many tall ships ply the waters of the Great Lakes. Some have homeports on the Great Lakes, whereas others are based abroad and only visit the region occasionally. Kaitlin Morrison, author of Tall Ships: History Comes to Life on the Great Lakes, shares with us the sea story of the Friends Good Will. A Tall Ship Sails Great Lakes as a Memorial to the Original that Served in the War of 1812 Friends Good Will is a replica of the famous warship of the same name that served in the War of 1812. The original ship was constructed in 1810 and participated in the Battle of Lake Erie. She was built as a merchant ship and was transporting fresh supplies to...

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The Parks of the Southwest Adult Coloring Book

Tall Ships on the Great Lakes

Whether you witness a tall ship breaking over the horizon or see one up close at a festival, there’s nothing quite like being in the presence of a full-fledged sailing ship. These majestic vessels are often thought of as ocean-going vessels, but many tall ships ply the waters of the Great Lakes. Some have homeports on the Great Lakes, whereas others are based abroad and only visit the region occasionally. Kaitlin Morrison, author of Tall Ships: History Comes to Life on the Great Lakes, shares with us the sea story of the Friends Good Will. A Tall Ship Sails Great Lakes as a Memorial to the Original that Served in the War of 1812 Friends Good Will is a replica of the famous warship of the same name that served in the War of 1812. The original ship was constructed in 1810 and participated in the Battle of Lake Erie. She was built as a merchant ship and was transporting fresh supplies to...

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Monsters of the Midwest

Mushrooms of the Northeast

Discovering the Wonderful World of Mushrooms With mushrooms, the sheer number of possibilities makes them a challenging but fascinating subject. Within the large number of different mushroom species, there is an amazing variety of characteristics. Additionally, some of the features are tactile or even sensory elements, like smell or taste. Identifying mushrooms from a book is a good way to begin learning about them, but when edibility is your goal you must be extremely careful. It is recommended to obtain a first-hand, positive ID from an expert before eating any mushroom, as many of the toxic varieties look similar to the edible ones and could make you very ill, or even kill you! It is tempting to look for a simple rule or test that tells you whether an unknown mushroom is edible; unfortunately, no such rule exists. Taking the time to learn how to identify each species by its unique characteristics (even though some may be hard to see) is the only appropriate...

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Yellow Morel Mushrooms

Mushrooms of the Northeast

Discovering the Wonderful World of Mushrooms With mushrooms, the sheer number of possibilities makes them a challenging but fascinating subject. Within the large number of different mushroom species, there is an amazing variety of characteristics. Additionally, some of the features are tactile or even sensory elements, like smell or taste. Identifying mushrooms from a book is a good way to begin learning about them, but when edibility is your goal you must be extremely careful. It is recommended to obtain a first-hand, positive ID from an expert before eating any mushroom, as many of the toxic varieties look similar to the edible ones and could make you very ill, or even kill you! It is tempting to look for a simple rule or test that tells you whether an unknown mushroom is edible; unfortunately, no such rule exists. Taking the time to learn how to identify each species by its unique characteristics (even though some may be hard to see) is the only appropriate...

Read More