Thanks for visiting. Welcome. I certainly hope it wasn't me, with my persistent "Spring is relentlessly approaching" that triggered this single digit cold with snow forecast for later this week. If it was, I'm sorry (ice anglers or snowmobilers in the crowd excepted). I really shouldn't take for granted that Winter will eventually end here, just because it always has. Nor should I fail to appreciate the everyday wonders that surround me, but I do. The picture of the sandhill cranes dancing in a farm field a few miles from where I live was taken late last Spring. One of the reasons we live where we do is because my wife and I like having sandhill cranes as neighbors, even if only occasional neighbors. Nevertheless, we see them in the neighborhood often enough that I've begun to take such sightings for granted. In contrast, over the weekend, I was reading a page from the blog of a writer/teacher/naturalist in New Mexico. On January 25, 2013, she wrote that "A group of cranes dancing would make me feel special, as though handed a gift I didn’t deserve but had always coveted." If I stop to think about it, I've probably been handed many gifts that I didn't deserve but had coveted. How about you? Of Minnesota's many treasures, are there any that you no longer see as special because you've gotten used to having them? Would Minnesota be Minnesota without the north woods? Without the prairies? (Careful, now, they are almost gone.) Without the Minnesota, Mississippi and St. Croix rivers? Without the bluffs and karst of the southeast, and the groundwater that feeds the trout streams? If you could, would you sell any or all of these treasures? For how much? Would that be enough to pay for something that's irreplaceable? So you could then take the money and move to some other place that's beautiful and has what you just sold? Maybe we should listen more carefully to someone like the poet Gary Snyder, who advises us to “Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there.” Where in our Minnesota are you planning to dig in? Stop by again some time to see what we're digging into in My Minnesota.