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For many waterfowl hunters and nature viewers, the wood duck is Missouri’s – and, to a larger extent, North America’s – forgotten conservation success story. Much media attention has been given to the comeback of this region’s deer and turkey populations from near extinction to their present levels of abundance. In non-hunting circles, the population resurgences of eye-catching creatures like bald eagles and bluebirds have garnered many headlines. Granted, this attention has been well-deserved because these events are examples of great conservation successes. The wood duck’s comeback is a lesser-known conservation success story. This bird’s return to prosperity is well-documented, but over the decades, it has gradually slipped into the realm of obscurity. Wood ducks are North America’s most attractive duck species – hands down. The green- headed male mallard may be the most familiar wild duck to most people, but you would get little argument from biologists and nature viewers if you said the male wood duck is the prettiest duck. As with most bird species, males are more colorful than females. The head of a male wood duck in spring courtship colors is iridescent green, blue and purple. Two white lines run parallel to each other from the base of the bill to the back of the head. The male’s strikingly colored head is complemented by a white chin and throat, red eyes, red at the base of the bill, a deep, rust- colored chest, bronze sides and a black back and tail. Some of these colorful body feathers are more
From Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, The Magicians, Arcane, and The Legends of Vox Machina, fantasy has been a part of pop culture for most of our lives. Fantasy lends itself not only to shows and movies but even games. Dungeons and Dragons are but just one of those games. Maybe you’ve thought about getting into D&D but weren’t sure if you feel up to all the dice rolls, sheets, or acting out. Perhaps you might reconsider after checking out this list I have compiled. At the very least, I hope this list will give more appreciation to the idea. This list is in no particular order, but here are five D&D Youtube channels you can check out. more
Artificial intelligence is such a hot topic right now. So, is AI really going to take over and enslave us all, Matrix-style? Or, (gasp! And, spoiler alert.) more
When a bard and barbarian decide to bust out of jail to reclaim their lost treasure, they will find their path filled with new and old allies, betrayal, magic, dragons, and comedy. more
Moveable electric fencing has become an important grazing management tool for cattle producers over the past half-century, or so. more
Before this latest freeze, I thought I felt a touch of spring in the air. The frogs around my pond did, too, and crawled out of the mud to take a look. Woodcocks stopped by to see what was going on. Tulips and jonquils poked their green noses through winter’s mat of dead leaves and grass to check it out, as well. As if those signs weren’t enough, the politicians also started coming out of hibernation. I saw at least a half-dozen of them wandering around town, shaking off the dust of a couple of off-years and getting loosened up for a run. more
People and readers who interact with me may notice that when I end something, I will say, “try to have a good rest of your shift” or “Have a great rest of your shift.” This statement has led to a range of reactions, the most common being “You too,” with a look of confusion or a simple thank you. So I thought about this week’s article and decided to explain the origin of this catchphrase I use finally. more
All of us have times when life seems overwhelming. From time to time, we seem to be forced to go through excruciating experiences. There are so many competing demands. Between caring for our loved ones, all the many chores that come with caring for our homes, car maintenance, and house repairs, things add up. And then there’s also the interpersonal relationships, and soon, more lawn work will be added to the list, thanks to the shifting weather patterns. The lists can go on and on and on, leaving little breathing room if we are to attempt accomplishing it all. more
In response to JT’s complaint on time change last week: I so agree. Boo to time change! Let’s get rid of it. more
Though I've yet to settle on what I want to be when I grow up, I've never wanted to be anyone other than me. more
In my spare time, I like to play video games. I have always enjoyed the different worlds and stories explored in games. One minute I could be a plumber jumping on water chestnuts, a knight climbing a tower, or even a superhero fighting to save the day—all of this from the comfort of my home. more
Bald eagles and an owl named “Woodsy” are birds that have become symbols of ecological recovery. Perhaps a truer avian representative of the post-World War II environmental movement is the bird which played an integral role in starting it – the robin. more
This past weekend almost everyone in the U.S. did the tradition of setting our clocks forward one hour. What I need help understanding is why we are still doing this. From what people who are way smarter than I have found, there is no benefit from everyone moving their clocks back and forth an hour. Before anyone sends me an email or finds me and says it for the farmers, I encourage you to ask a farmer and see if it benefits them. Please look into the concept of daylight savings, you will be surprised as to what the original intent was for, and farmers were not it. more
Dear Marshfield Community Businesses and Members, more
I’ll admit I’m not a Buffalo native. more
I am so very glad to be back for more ramblings. This week we are going to ramble about our dear Mary Lou and her struggle to maintain her faith to keep going under very trying conditions. more
In the wake of the recent bank failures, it’s easy to get sucked into the fear. Uncertainty will always be a thing. It will always be there, present, whether we like it or not. I heard a Paul Harvey quote recently, “In times like these, it’s good to remember that there have always been times like these.” Stuff has been going down for millennia. Peaceful times may ensue for a few years at a time, but change will always be right around the corner, whether globally, nationally, or personally, or any combination thereof. more
If we wish to be divinely aligned, as that will lead to the highest good of all of humanity and creation, and therefore, our own personal happiest state of being, then we have to be willing to follow that fleeting trail that the divine realm lays out for us. more
War is Horrible! To all of my friends and neighbors of Webster County and beyond, this week’s ramblings are not so nice! Let’s pause for a second and remind everyone where we are. more
We are back with another chapter of How did I get here? Last week's chapter ended with me resigning from my job at a call center. It was scary to go from a steady job to nothing, but I knew it was the best decision in the long run. more
What a triple whammy. more
From the time they were big enough to make their own beds, my girls always had rooms of their own. more
As I sat in the elementary art class, on assignment as a substitute at the school, I listened to the teacher’s lesson to the children on concentric circles. The exercise would begin with a dot being drawn. A small circle would be drawn around the dot, then a larger one around that, and then a larger one, and so on, and so on. Each circle shared the same center. In this particular exercise, several series of concentric circles would be drawn on a large sheet of paper, overlapping each other. The different color patterns made quite a cool effect. more
War is horrible! Hi friends and neighbors. It’s been a couple of weeks since we have connected so let me catch you up to where we are at now. Oh, if you are a newcomer we are in an ongoing story about a young couple that grew up together in our community and eventually got married before the civil war started. more
We are back to how I got here. When we left off, I had just got a new boss after the old boss had been promoted and moved away. more
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