Tag Archives: University of Minnesota

My bur oak branch at the summer solstice

I’m sending out this post on the summer solstice. This is the sun’s day to shine! Well, maybe not much in southeast Minneapolis, but still, this is the day of the year with the most daylight hours and the fewest … Continue reading

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My bur oak branch in the spring

Is it really spring if you still pull the long johns out every morning and give them serious thought? Almost six weeks after my calendar declared spring sprung, my bur oak branch on the University of Minnesota campus has finally … Continue reading

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Signs, signs, and more signs

One way to judge the character of a neighborhood is to look at its signs and murals. Southeast Minneapolis must be an eclectic place — our signs range from homemade cardboard to painted brick to pulsing electronic. This is a … Continue reading

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A delta not so far away

Up here near the Mississippi River’s source, I don’t necessarily feel connected to the river’s mouth, a weird and exotic place about 850 river miles away. But Dr. Chris Paola, a University of Minnesota geologist, feels the connection every day. … Continue reading

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My bur oak branch in the winter

I’m a Minnesota native, but I lived for a while in Seattle. One of the reasons I wanted to move back here was to be near oak trees again. True fact, just ask my husband. I missed the humble oak … Continue reading

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Rickety Chimney Contest

From my front window, I can see a charming, red brick chimney. This slightly rickety chimney often reminds me of an illustration from one of my favorite books, “The Sailor Dog,” by Margaret Wise Brown. In the story, Scuppers (“born … Continue reading

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Did she have to wear a scarlet letter?

There’s nothing like a (one-hundred-and-fifty-year-old) neighborhood scandal. A young woman named Kate Noonan lived and worked as a domestic servant in various homes in the pioneer town of St. Anthony Falls. One of those homes is a few blocks from … Continue reading

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Tale of two riverfronts

Trains are an endangered species in my neighborhood. I’ve seen track pulled up, signs removed, and far fewer rail cars biding their time on the tracks that parallel the Mississippi River. It’s not surprising. What’s happening here has happened all … Continue reading

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Oat hulls in my life

I never gave oat hulls a moment’s thought until I moved to southeast Minneapolis. But I live very close to the Southeast Steam Plant, an old power plant on the Mississippi River that used to produce electricity for the streetcars, … Continue reading

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