Thursday, November 26, 2015

A loud call of thanks

By David Horst 

Here's something I'm thankful for.

It has been nearly a month since we've seen the pair of sandhill cranes that were regular morning visitors all summer. I had contented myself that we would have to deal with the quiet, unremarkable field until spring.

Then last Saturday we heard that prehistoric call from high above Sandhill Lama Farm. A dozen cranes did a noisy fly-by. It happened again Sunday.

They hadn't abandoned us just yet.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Grand marshal gave great sacrifice

Former U.S. Army machine gunner Alan Lewis is a strongly built man, but his outgoing personality is even bigger than his wide shoulders and broad chest.

He was riding up top of the back seat of my dad's 1958 Ford Skyliner as grand marshal of the Milwaukee Veterans Parade Saturday, greeting the onlookers huddled in patches of sunlight along the downtown parade route.

The Skyliner, also known as a "retractable," has a hard top that comes down into the trunk to create a convertible, making us a good candidate for carrying a parade dignitary. My late father made a tradition of volunteering for the parade and I'm driving to honor his memory.

Beside the grand marshal is young Alan Jr. "Wave that flag high, boy," his father would remind him from time to time.

"Are you real happy?" the boy asked, as his dad is awash in attention from the crowds on the sidewalks.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Budget cut brings swan song

By David Horst 
When a nature column reaches the end of a long run, you can really only describe it as a swan song — a tundra swan song in this case, I suppose.
My byline has appeared in the pages of The Post-Crescent for more than 30 years. Nearly 13 of those have come since I left the full-time employment of The Post-Crescent to go to the nonprofit Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region.
Due to budget cuts at the Post-Crescent, my column and other correspondent work have been eliminated.
My intention in these columns has been to take you along on outdoor adventures. If you have ever felt that way, I've succeeded. If you have learned anything, it has come by way of the highly knowledgeable people this column has allowed me to meet.