Friday, September 13, 2013

A matter of priorities

Well I was off this morning to Fargo to take care of several items on my list.  First up was the Breadsmith store where I purchased three loaves as planned.  This time I got the French Peasant Bread (cracked wheat), the regular Rustic Rye (as opposed to the sweeter and darker molasses rye), and another loaf of Patriotic Bread (white bread with blueberries and cranberries).  Making use of my nice big freezer, I’m set in the bread department for about six weeks.  I cut each of the loaves in half, wrap, and freeze.  These loaves are so hearty that a half a loaf generally lasts me a week.

Then it was on to Carol Widman’s Candy Co.  You know I was there to get one pound of sponge candy.  As they box up each order by hand, they make the offer to you to try any other of their candies in the case while you wait.  So, I decided to try their dark chocolate “Chippers”.  I guess they’re kind of famous for their chocolate covered Red River Valley potato chips.  Now I know why.  Couldn’t leave without a half pound of those either.  I’m just doing my part in supporting locally grown and made products!  Winking smile

I made a couple of other stops, and then headed for home.  Along the way, I made a couple of slight detours.  One was to:


I stopped here sometime in July, and it was jam packed with campers and picnickers for the weekend that were enjoying the trails and swimming available.  It was a lot quieter today.  I stopped at the office to ask about the prairie chicken picture on their entrance sign.  I’ve never seen a greater prairie chicken, and I was wondering if I might have a chance of seeing one next spring when I return.  Prairie chickens establish leks in the spring where the males puff up and display their stuff for the females.  A lot of ‘booming’ by the males goes along with the display.  I’d love to see that!

IMG_9449The prairie within the park and the adjoining state scientific and natural area is judged to be one of the finest and largest remaining tall grass prairie tracts in Minnesota.  I was able to get the phone number for the Bluestem Prairie Scientific and Natural Area that is owned by the Nature Conservancy.  They have blinds that you can reserve a spot at in the spring to observe the prairie chicken leks, or booming grounds.  Sounds like a good possibility for me next spring.


These prairie/plains areas in Minnesota and the Dakotas are known as the pothole region.  Small pothole lakes provide nesting areas for waterfowl.  I stopped at an example of one of these potholes on my way home.


The pictures really don’t do justice to the beauty of the colors in this landscape.  Before the white man came along, these potholes would have been surrounded by a sea of tall grass prairie.  Now it’s a sea of soy beans, but the September colors were spectacular none the less.

I also stopped for a chocolate malt on the way home.  This time, I asked them to skip the maraschino (sp?) cherry on top, and give me an extra scoop of malt instead.  Yummy!  I also stopped at a local vegetable stand and purchased a spaghetti squash.  I’ve heard they’re very tasty, but I really am not sure what to do with it.  Guess I’ll have to look up some recipes.

As I was pulling back into my site, I got a phone call from a staff member asking if I was available this weekend.  It seems a whole lot of sod was installed at the renovated visitors center today, and would need to be sprinkled this weekend.  I said, “Sure.”  Well, it turned out to be more involved than they first thought.  It will take me several hours each day to accomplish this, and another huge load of sod will be put down on Monday.  It will need to be heavily watered for the next week so it doesn’t die in this dry weather.

So, priorities have changed.  After painting 200 posts, that chore has been put on a back burner.  I’m not exactly sad about that. Thinking smile  I think I’ll take Emma with me tomorrow for my watering duties.  New things to sniff and all that, and no one else will be around since it’s a weekend.  On an even more positive note, I’ll have more time off next week, and a new addition to my resume will be “watching the grass grow!”

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

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