Our Neck of the Woods: Exploring Minnesota's Wild Places

Overview

What are the odds of finding Minnesota's tiniest orchid? Why take a Breathalyzer test to study frogs? How does ice fishing warm the heart? Who would live in such a cold, lean region? Our Neck of the Woods takes on these and other urgent (and sometimes quirky) questions, showcasing writers' own experiences in the best-loved places in Minnesota, including the North Shore, Lake Bemidji, the western prairies and grasslands, the Boundary Waters, and the Mesabi Iron Range.

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Overview

What are the odds of finding Minnesota's tiniest orchid? Why take a Breathalyzer test to study frogs? How does ice fishing warm the heart? Who would live in such a cold, lean region? Our Neck of the Woods takes on these and other urgent (and sometimes quirky) questions, showcasing writers' own experiences in the best-loved places in Minnesota, including the North Shore, Lake Bemidji, the western prairies and grasslands, the Boundary Waters, and the Mesabi Iron Range.

The outdoor experiences described here range from sweeping natural history observations to adventurous tales of coming-of-age camping and hunting trips. We follow notable writers and conservationists Sigurd F. Olson, Paul Gruchow, Bill Holm, Jan Zita Grover, Greg Breining, Laurie Allmann, and many others as they descend a frozen river toward Lake Superior, explore a crystalline palace at minus 20 degrees, and trace a family's history along the Mississippi River. Writing on such themes as embracing winter, making camp, and finding wildness even amid development, these authors tell of hunting, fishing, birding, canoeing, and other great outdoor activities that help define what it means to be Minnesotan.

Drawn from the pages of Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine-published by the Department of Natural Resources since 1940-these writings evoke a strong sense of place and suggest that the outdoor experiences we share with others come to mean the most to us. With rich observations and spirited tales, Our Neck of the Woods beckons Minnesotans to work, play, and explore in the natural places close to their homes and hearts.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816665914
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 9/11/2009
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 956,985
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel J. Philippon is associate professor of English at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He is the author of Conserving Words: How American Nature Writers Shaped the Environmental Movement. He lives in St. Paul.

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Table of Contents

Foreword, Kathleen Weflen Introduction, Daniel J. Philippon

Making Camp

Trapper’s Cabin, Sigurd F. Olson
        In trappers’ cabins, the wilderness always sings.
My First Trip Up North, John S. Sonnen
        To camp on Mantrap Lake, the "men” in the family must first conquer the "machine.”
Deer Camp, Phil Aarrestad
        A deer camp enriches life and inspires growth.
The Path Between, Holly Atkinson
        raveling the path from girlhood to womanhood between cabins.
Sugar Bush Journal, Anne M. Dunn
        For Ojibwe families, maple sugar camp was a place of intense work and spiritual renewal.
Mother’s Day in Rattlesnake Country, Susan Maas
        Weekend camping trips connect a family to their home state.

Paying Attention

Drawing Life from Nature, Vera Ming Wong
        Drawing becomes a way of seeing deeply, a meditation with open eyes.
Lessons from a Young Explorer, Steve Dibb
        A young girl shows her father how to discover the treasures of the natural world.
Birding with Ben, Mary Kroll
        A road trip for the birds brings together a mother and her son.
Birding in the Fast-Food Lane, D. Scott Shultz
        Watching for hawks in the Twin Cities.
Heart of the Hunt, Terri Sutton
        A vegetarian tries to figure out what hunting means to the hunter.
Why I’m a Bowhunter, Tom Conroy
        Why do thousands of people take bows and arrows and set out for deer each autumn?
The Apple Tree Stand, Marsha L. Kessler
        A bowhunter with a fear of heights inherits an eye-level tree stand.
A Perfect Start, Dan Brown
        A first deer hunt becomes a boy’s rite of passage.

Encountering Wildness

The Road to Wild Places, Don J. Dinndorf
        Sometimes the roads don’t change, and the magic of wild places abides.
The Bog, John Henricksson
        This tiny geological wonder is a wilderness by default.
The Wagon Wheel, Joel M. Vance
        In the sprawl of the Wagon Wheel, woodcock shooting is at its best.
The Strike Tree, Peter M. Leschak
        A tree delivers fire to its fellows.
Adventure Underground, Cary Griffith
        Cave exploring is wet, cold, muddy—and enlightening.
I Flew with Eagles, John K. Grobel
        High over Lake Pepin, the author encounters unexpected company.
The Lurker, Tony Capecchi
        A St. Croix fisherman lands a monstrous sturgeon.

Getting Wet

Heron Lake Legacy, Lacey Rose Horkey
        A girl inherits her great-grandfather’s legacy of waterfowl hunting.
Around the Next Bend, Tim Holschlag
        A river guide never fails to find something new on the Mississippi.
Fishless Waters, Jan Zita Grover
        Learning to see in Minnehaha Creek.
The River, Sheila Deyo
        The Mississippi weaves its way through one family’s history.
Going with the Flow, Jim Dale Huot-Vickery
   &nb

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