Saturday, September 10, 2016

Ellen's 'Migration'

By David Horst

The love of my life and I visited the Green Bay Botanical Garden this summer. As we always do, we went to the domed Stumpf Belevedere gazebo to read the line of Ellen Kort's poetry inscribed there.

Ellen Kort
It was the first time we had been there since Ellen's passing more than a year ago. There was such a powerful feeling of loss that we had to leave the shelter.

We knew Ellen. I had the pleasure of working with her on a couple of small projects and I worked with her late son, Kris. My wife taught her grandson and knows her daughters.

To be honest, hundreds of people were closer to Ellen Kort than I was, yet I felt the loss. It was something about her poet's heart and peaceful presence that made people feel a closer connection than the facts could justify.

My most special interaction with Ellen was having her respond to a column I wrote about taking part in the Midwest Crane Count -- watching the sun come up over a farm field and recording the activities of the sandhill cranes.

She called me and read a poem to me over the phone. I didn't include the full poem at the time because she hadn't published it yet. A recent email asked if I could provide the full text.

Here it is. My wish is that we all see Ellen's shadow on the ground at times that we are in need of calm.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

At Home with Hummers

Each year nature seems to send a special gift to us up on the sandhill we call home. Last year, it was a bounty of monarch caterpillars transforming into butterflies. In recent weeks, we have been surrounded by frolicking hummingbirds.

Six, seven, maybe eight hummingbirds will fly high-speed sorties around our house, chasing each other to get the advantage at each of three feeders.

They will swoop up and down in arcs in front of the house, or scramble around back to catch their tiny breath on a twig. Stand on the back deck and you are certain you are going to have a hummer beak stuck in your ear.

They have been the source of hours of enjoyment, some of which I will share here.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cottonball sky

The sunsets frequently are beautiful up on the Sandhill, but tonight the sky turned alien. Reds, purples, greens. A ridge of cloud containing a cottonball sky.


This explanation from WRFV-TV5 meteorologist Dave Miller:

Those are mammatus clouds. They generally are found behind thunderstorms. They are boiling clouds bubbling down, with a lot of turbulence in them.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Park-to-Park paddlers must portage

NEENAH, Wis. — A strong showing is expected for the Park-to-Park Paddle, launching at 9:20 a.m. July 23 from Neenah’s Shattuck Park and organized by North East Wisconsin Paddlers.

Paddlers received plenty of help when the P2P participants had
to portage around the Menasha Lock in 2014.
Kayakers, canoeists and stand-up paddlers will travel 8.5 miles along the Fox River, out onto Lake Winnebago, through downtown Menasha and on to Lutz Park in Appleton by way of Little Lake Butte des Morts and the Fox River. For the second time in three years, paddlers will have to portage around a closed Menasha Lock.

“In 2014, the lock was closed for mechanical repairs,” Jeff Mazanec, president of NEWP said. “This year the lock has been ordered closed by the DNR in an attempt to prevent the round goby from getting into the Lake Winnebago system.”

The small, highly invasive fish was discovered in Little Lake Butte des Morts by two Neenah High School fishing team members late last summer.