Today has been another of those winter days that make me glad I live in My Minnesota. Reasonable temperatures, even a little melting. No breeze or wind to speak of. Late afternoon sun through the woods throwing shadows like nets cast over the landscape. Although getting old and worn, the snow cover is full of tracks of deer, rabbits, squirrels. They've moved through without being noticed, leaving behind only faint traces of their passing. Sometimes that can be said of most of us. Today's warmth and melting had me (prematurely) thinking about fly fishing and open water. Maybe later this week I'll check out the St. Croix and see if the water's open there. If I do and if it is, I'll bring back a photo of flowing water for those of you tired of staring through 6" holes in the ice. Dennis Anderson's column today wrote about the need for Minnesota DNR to have better marketing. I'm not convinced that's the issue. When I was learning to knock about in the outdoors, conservation was considered the wise (and sustainable) use of natural resources and the difference between conservation and preservation was understood. Many of the most ardent conservationists were Republicans. When I take a look at Minnesota's and the nation's capitols, I wonder if either a Democrat or a Republican understands conservation or the need for it. Let's all pray to our higher powers that we learn how to start electing conservationist conservatives (or is that conservative conservationists?).