August 19, 2008

MN is in good hands

Thanks to everyone involved for a great trip to Minnesota!

It was so great to see friends and family. Highlights of the trip:

1. Seeing my nephew Brett's week-old daughter Elanor Zeforah* Dregge

2. Seeing what wonderful young adults my neices Kristina, Amy and Cathy and nephew Brett have become.

3. Minnesota wildlife turned out in force. Well done! Highlights:
Bald Eagles on the Mississippi, Lake Chisago and Rice Lake State Park
Wild Turkeys in the hills of SE MN
Red Squirrels at Owatonna's Central Park and grey squirrels at Lincoln School
Pileated Woodpeckers, racoon, 13-lined ground squirrels, humming birds at the River Bend Nature Center near Faribault
Deer every evening just north of Owatonna
Buffalo, otter, wolves and bear at Oxbow Park in Olmsted County
Walking stick and huge wasp at Rice Lake

*Zeforah (Zipporah) was a wife to Moses. From the King James Version, Exodus 2,
And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.
And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.
And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.


At August 22, 2008 3:42 AM , Blogger Papa Twister said...

Okay, the badger? Is that a real wild badger or is that Buckey, the University of Wisconsin's mascot?

At August 22, 2008 3:43 AM , Blogger Papa Twister said...

Actually, Buckey might be something to do with Ohio State, but the question stands.

At August 22, 2008 9:01 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Bucky Badger is the mascot of U. Wisc. Madison. My older brother took me to a Madison football game once to see the Badgers play, in the late 70s, when he was working on his PhD in math. It rained. After the game the marching band played the beer barrel polka and students danced on the field.

The badger in the picture is a real live Minnesota badger, fiercer and foxier than its Wisconsin cousins. We saw her in the zoo at Oxbow Park. You have to take your kids there next time you are in Rochester-- just go 15 minutes west on Hwy 14 and hang a right when you get to Byron.

Ohioans are buckeyes, named for the tree. My grandpa Johanson ended up in the Buckeye signal corps in Belgium in WWI, and when he got back to MN he planted a buckeye tree in front of the house. In 30 years of MN winters it never died, but it never grew more than waist high.

At August 22, 2008 11:20 PM , Blogger Papa Twister said...

You know, I've been with a Rochesterian for 20 years now. I was married in Rochester. I've visited that depressing town countless times, and Laura has never mentioned Oxbow Park. When I saw your picture of the badger, I asked Laura, 'have you ever been to Oxbow Park?' She said she used to go there all the time when she was little. Now, I feel robbed of 20 years of potential visits to Oxbow Park to see that cool agitated badger... all those wasted walks on the Zumbro River...

At August 23, 2008 10:16 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Papa, I feel your pain. They have done a lot with the place since Laura and I were kids. The animal exhibits are really well done, outdoors, dedicated to MN animals. Its worth the trip just to see the buffaloes in their wallow surrounded by prarie grass. Plus the river makes a nice scenic cut there, making a landscape not typical of SE MN.

At August 23, 2008 10:21 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Plus they gave Anders a feather from a wild turkey, it's his favorite souvenir.


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