Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Weaver Bottoms Map - Mississippi Braided River

I found this map intriguing and the labels of Weaver Dunes and Weaver Bottoms for further exploration. I look forward to hearing from other naturalists who might want to visit this area. Note the channel for navigation and the back waters for other ecological niches!

Weaver Landing on the Mississippi

Here is the landing where one could launch a boat. I noticed the emergent vegetation and that in the distance on the map, their are listed "Weaver Dunes", that I have heard about before. Good to know there is territory to explore within a couple of hour drive from the Twin Cities. I look foward to an adventure. Just south of Lake Pepin, Lake City, Wabasha and other river towns.

Weaver Minnesota - Town Along the Mississippi

Here is the town sign of Weaver Minnesota. I have always wondered about this town. Did not take the time to inquire of its history and I remember as a kid, how the road between Weaver and Elba would regularly be flooded by the Whitewater River in the spring. Worth a trip back to the Whitewater Country, where my Faribault High School senior class picnic happened and I went with Mike Knutson, a neighbor to fish for German Brown Trout, back in the day. Anyway, just north of Weaver is Weaver Bottoms, part of the Mississippi Valley flood plains where I understand there is special ecology. Hope to visit with others soon!

Coon Valley Wisconsin Farm and Town - Slow Drive Home Memorial Day May 25

I left Arlington Heights, IL, Sunday evening after my trip to the Morton Arboretum and drove into WIsconsin and stayed at a family Motel, Crossroads, just out of Elkhorn. Liking the "blue hiways", the small roads, I drove on US 12 then US 14 to LaCrosse and Winona, stopping for coffee and quiche in the Madison area at a WIFI place for lunch. I flashed back to trips taken on these roads before the Freeway-Interstate Era. This photo is from a small town outside of LaCrosse, in the unglaciated part of Wisconsin, with a farm in the hill country. I remember driving these roads with my Glessner Grandparents on the way to Chicago in the 50's and returning from New Haven CT, with my brother Jim, an an old '53 Chevy painted olive, the color of the phone company cars back then, when I drove with him the summer of 1962, just after I got my drivers license. We drove the NY Throughway and the PA Turnpike and the 4 lane ended somewhere in S Wisconsin then and we drove this same area. Relaxing and healing green biways as a alternative to the fast lane! Wichozani.

Bobby's Family Garden - Camden Neighborhood, North Minneapolis

Prior to driving to Chicago for the Autism One Event, I distributed flats of plants for several of the gardens I tilled. The first garden I tilled when rescueing the Troy Bilt Tiller, was this one here. Bobby has been an important person in my life over the past few years. He is taking care of his mom at this family home, much like I did with Peg. Also he has served on the Twin Cities Men's Center Board and currently serves as our executive director. I am pleased I could contribute to the nurturing of his family in some small way through the garden! I look forward to seeing how the heirloom tomatos do...yum!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Donald B Lawrence PhD Field Botany Instruction - 1972-3

Here is a black and white photo, I think taken by Russ Hurt, a student in the field botany class where I was a teaching assistant for Don Lawrence. Here, I think one of the students is Duncan McCutcheon and another Matthew Wood with the bike, who has gone on to be an author and national-international teacher of herbalism. Don is demonstrating the flora along the Mississippi not far from where the green house and room he taught from when the Botany Dept was still on the Minneapolis East Bank campus. When I run into Matt, he does mention I was one of his first botany teachers. I am humbled and grateful for the lessons Don taught me about many things. It was in his class I first read May Theilgaard Watts who was the first naturalist at Morton Arboretum.

Morton Arboretum - Founded by Joy Morton (1855-1934) – Prairie Visit with Curt Clapper of Arlington Heights Illinois – Visit

Hello from Madison WI area, Barrioques Coffee and Wine Bar that I discovered while looking for a Panera. The blond female barristra left my quiche in the warmer a little long and I was tempted to tell a couple of blonde jokes, and I didn't go there! Still I am just having my coffee after a couple of hours on the road from Elkhorn and a nights rest at a motel. So I smothered the dry quiche it with tomato sauce and it softened a bit. I decided to take the slow roads back to Minnesota today, after 3 days at the Autism One Conference in Rosemont, the village conventions built. US 12 and 14 through South Wisconsin, by many dairy farms, rolling country side with lakes, a windy Memorial Day with temp about 70 as I roll along in my green pony. This photo is of Curt on the west side of the Morton Arboretum checking out the shooting stars in bloom. I am grateful for his company and navigator in my first visit to the Morton, after reading about it and reflecting on the values of May Thelgaard Watts in her classics: Reading the Landscape of America, and Reading the Landscape of Europe I read in the 70's while working at the U of Minnesota Botany Dept under the direction of Don Lawrence, PhD>

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Busse Woods 7.7 mile bike ride

When I dropped off my tire to be repaired and plugged, I notice a preserve at the end of Oakton on the map. I drove west and with some coaching from Curt Clapper, a man I met on line, who shares my interest in biking and gardening who lives in nearby Arlington Heights, I found this place to park and I decided to take the 7.7 mile loop around Busse Lake pictured here at the end of my 45 min adventure. Thanks for the great exercise opportunity here as a welcome repaste from the conference standing and talking all day.

Tire Recovery - Rosemont Illinois

After an uneventful drive in my 1999 Dodge Caravan "green pony" - zito shunka wakan (D/Lakota thought :-) green horse, I parked her in front of the Marriott on River Road near the Des Plaines River, and slept well after a dinner with my colleague Jeff Thurston of Master Supplements. In the freshness of morning, I was greeted with her right back hoof (rear passenger tire) was flat with an obvious screw implanted in the top of the tire. So my thought "what would an adult do?". I have the Premium AAA with free service up to 100 miles. I worked our booth from 7:30 - 5:00 with Jeff at the Westin across the street at the Autism One Conference at which time I called AAA, to get a local O'Hare towing service with a pleasant fellow, native of Puerto Rico with a young son, who was very efficient here, putting on the spare and finding a local resource 3 miles away, Just Tires on Oakton Street, Des Plaines where I drove to leave off the tire, which they fixed while I took a bike ride at Busse Woods nearby.

Celebrating Spring Millie Engler with new plants

Here is Millie Engler at her home in Minnetonka, where my good friend Gary Engler was raised "back in the day". I dropped off a flat of plants including beefsteak and cherry hybrid tomatoes and some heirlooms and other plants for her gardens that I tilled earlier in the week. I enjoy bringing plants that will support friends and relatives in a good way. These were raised in the greenhouse on the Schmidt farm near Winsted, where Gray Schmidt raises thousands of heimloom tomatoes for his truck farming business.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Faribault Cathedral Garden PHW Redbud - Dresden Germany Friends Visit May 17 09

Here is my first photo of the redbud blooming at the Cathedral garden since I planted it two years ago in April to honor PH Weaver and his Ohio roots. Peg was there, with my friends, Byron Aldrich and Jane Newell for the dedication complete with Dean Jim Zotalis' rendition of the gospel and lessons complete with animal puppets. It was the memorable last time Peg was in a church and was offered communion. This sunday, Jerome Hoetzel and Werner Marx, from Dresden in the former East Germany visited and are pictured here with the cathedral spire in the background. We were fortunate to have Bob Nesland, author of the First Cathedral as our personal guide. Steven May, the choir director and organist also helped with our German translation of baumwolle, for "cotton" as we were trying to translate how the Dakota and Chippewa women living in Faribault after the 1862 conflict made lace, with some native symbols that HB Whipple, Bishop of MN took to give Queen Victoria of England.

Bob gave us a spirited tour that included, Whipple portrait here, the 2 colorful windows on the south of the building given by indian children and families, the story of the Odawa man, Enmegahbowh, who was a pipe carrier and ordained in 1867 by Whipple, with an icon, painted by Rev Johnson Loud, American Indian priest at Prairie Island, with the medicine wheel. He also led us to the bell tower to play with Jerome and Werner, the Lutheran tune "A Mighty Fortress" and then soloed the non-sectarian tune "Yankee Doodle" with the strains going out over the city of Faribault at 12:30 or so.! Ah the memories!

Finally here is the historical marker with the view of home across the street. Perhaps the one on the right is where Bob now lives, perhaps funded by Evangaline Whipple, his second wife who had many from her first marriage to support the Bishops endevours. Bob Neslund, resident historican in Faribault would be a good source of further info. Cheers!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ball of Twine Monument Darwin MN - Tom Weaver May 2009

Yesterday, I went on a spontaneous trip to Litchfield with my business associate and friend, Steve Borden. Steve is the owner of Torvac, a company that supports vacuum systems in industry and research, and he introduced me to one of his clients in central Minnesota in Litchfield. On the way back, we stopped at this world famous monument honoring the labors of Francis Johnson, who created this ball of twine from his work as a farmer with hay baling twine most likely. Anyway, for the "rest of the story" check out: - 24k. Enjoy the beauty of spring!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wellik Garden Tilling Golden Valley May 11 2009

Here is my Troy Bilt red horse "ta shunka duta" next to the garden plot we just created for Jamie Wellik and his family in Golden Valley yesterday, just a mile or so from my apartment here in St Louis Park. Jamie, leaning on the shovel, is also a Carleton Grad and interestingly studied at Cambridge University in England receiving a Masters of Philosophy there. We met through Mankind Project Minnesota, the men's organization I joined back in 1990 when I participated in the first NWTA - Training Weekend at Methodist Camp Koinonia near Allendale MN. We staffed a recent weekend at Eagle Lake Camp earlier in May. I am grateful to have celebrated a find spring day with Jamie and his family on his 44th birthday and learn about the families involvment in Waldorf Education.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Virginia Magee Weaver, Paul H Weaver, William H Eicher, Marjorie Root Eicher 1961

Here is a photo taken by Noah Elwood Weaver of his second wife, Virginia, my dad, Paul H Weaver and his cousin Bill Eicher and his wife Marjorie in 1961. When Bill Eicher passed over in Florida March 23, 2006 I was in touch with his wife, Joan and arranged to be at his memorial service at Woodland Cemetery, Dayton OH on Tuesday May 2, 2006 when I met Bill's son Billy Eicher for the first time. Billy's father had been an important connection for me to my Ohio relatives around West Carrollton and Miamisburg and shared stories that I never heard from my father. I learned a lot about Betty Eicher, Bill's sister, whom my father only talked of briefly, even through they were cousins three years apart in age. When we talked in 1984, on my way to work in Vermont, on a trip with son Nathan and his mom, I instantly felt a deep connection with Bill Eicher and the Eicher ancestors that we shared. Bill led me to connect with a Brandt cousin, Jeanette Weaver of Troy Ohio, who shares many of the ancestors who are remembered at the Ellerton Ohio Cemetery and who also shares the love of genealogy. .

Pelican Nature Cabin Spring Opening Raking and Wood Splitting 2009

Here on the shores of Big Pelican Lake, Crow Wing County MN, the Weaver Family has had a presence since the 1940's on the southest shore, Paul "Pete" and Margaret "Peg" on Sunset Beach from 1946- 2003, and Jim, Jack and Tom Weaver Families beginning in 1967 when they purchase the Alden C Palmer Property. Over Mother's Day Weekend 2009, Jesse M Weaver is trying his hand at splitting some red oak that had been cut after the tree fell during the winter. Kerry Johnston, the caretaker of the property from Brainerd, directed us in how to clean up the leaves and change the storm windows. Supporting us over the weekend, were Amy Brown, Paul Mote, Jane Newell and Sue Weaver.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Vezelay Basilica St Marie Madeleine Pilgrimage Aug 08

Walking the country paths and roads from a village to the east, where my friend and Carleton Classmate Harry rented a chateau (Gide) for his family reunion. There is a special energy in this land of Burgundy where I felt very alive. Up on the hill I can image in ancient times finding a place to be in prayer with Creation and Creator. My latest grand neice was named Madeleine with the French Spelling and it was fun to visit her and her parents, Val Weaver Grosso and Chris Grosso in NYC recently in 2009. Following the scallop shell symbols, Coquille St Jacques, the food and the Chemin de St-Jacques. Here is the photo I took of the Basilica on the hill. For info check out: and

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bringing more earth to gardening production May 2009

Here is how the Troy Bilt Horse is opening up more lawn for a larger vegie garden in North Minneapolis. A few years back, a large shady maple lived here, was damaged in a storm and had to be removed. Yesterday, I used a shovel to dig out old roots and then turn over the soil for Denny and Carols garden. Denny says he is looking forward to more fresh tomatos and peppers from his back yard. May all our gardens produce roots and fruits in a good way in this year. Blessings

Wopida Landscaping Van and Trailer May Gardening Celebration

This is my green pony, 1999 Dodge Caravan, in front of Denny and Carols home along Victory Memorial Drive, North Minneapolis. It has been an honor to be part of the succession and evolution of this yard over the past several years. Yesterday, between visits by the wakinyan, thunder beings with rain showers, my reconditioned Troy Bilt Horse, seen here on the utility trailer, hauled by my van, created more garden space from the lawn where a large maple stood before it had storm damage and needed to be remove a couple of years back. I feel so alive and connected with the earth and the cycles of nature and Mother Earth when I do this work in a good way. Wichonzani "may we walk in the center of our lives". Peace with the juices and flowing energy of the spring. Fun to have a couple walk by with their dogs, and the woman commented " I have rototiller envy!"