If not us, then who?
No matter one’s politics, we must all stand against the current administration’s proposals regarding land use and preservation. Opening drilling on a wildlife refuge, proposing the sale of public lands and reducing protection to over 300 endangered species are but three in a long list of environmental changes brewing. At the very least, we must open our eyes to the land around us and protect the plants and animals that use the land.
Our house in Asbury has a property that slopes down to a city-owned flood plain. There will never be houses down in that valley because water typically flows through it after heavy rains. I’ve planted a large number of shrubs and flowers on this city property in an effort to both enhance the area and to attract wildlife. With my grandson Jacob’s effort, we have also nurtured milkweed stands to help the Monarch butterflies. In a decade of effort, I’ve been successful and the area is a gentle respite to the hectic life above the plain.
In similar fashion, there are other areas in Dubuque offering calm respites from the noise of the city. The Bee Branch Project is an excellent example of creating an inviting area to walk or bike through and one can see native plants taking hold in a number of places. One of those is on 32nd Street near Central where native plants abound and surround a retention basin for storm water run-off. There are paved walks and benches so visitors can linger and watch the wildlife that has taken up residency.
Another area that amazed me on a recent visit is a remnant prairie situated right in the city of Dubuque. Unlike the prairie associated with the Mines of Spain or E.B. Lyons, this remnant of a prairie that was present 5,000 years ago is situated right in the middle of developed land. When I visited, I looked through a window of time back to what the settlers who came to the area walked through as they searched for areas to homestead. Herein lies our problem.
On this patch of prairie are rare plants like the Prairie Shooting Star along with Leadplant and a variety of short native grasses. Ironically, what keeps this prairie “alive” are the frequent fires that occur because of teens smoking or small bonfires that get out of control inadvertently setting the prairie afire. Sadly, there are also a number of invasive plants like the Buckthorn and efforts to keep it in check by the Iowa Conservancy group’s work with removal of the shrubs are having some success. This small bit of untouched prairie could be in jeopardy because pieces of it are privately owned and those owners could build houses and wipe out this remnant.
On the other hand, a prairie worth a visit is the Pohlman Prairie Preserve located adjacent to Highway 3 & 52 just south of Durango. Once parked near the highway, it’s a bit of a steep trail that leads up to a limestone bluff. Switchbacks make the climb manageable and worth the effort. This “goat prairie” remains because it was reachable only by grazing animals and unable to be plowed. This prairie blooms throughout the summer and soon the fall blooms will come on which include the beautiful lavender colored Cylindrical Blazing Stars.
We must appreciate these prairie lands and other pockets of natural beauty in our area. Development need not encroach upon the remnants of prairies simply because the view is beautiful. I urge owners of these bits of land to consider giving (or selling at a reasonable cost) the land to the Conservancy for protection. Once these lands are developed they’re gone forever. It is up to all of us to care about the land and to realize we are inextricably connected to our earth and that we must make every effort to maintain the delicate balance we have with the web of life of which we are a part.
Keeping Small Pets Safe From Coyotes
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I really would like to color my dog’s hair. “Sheera” is an all-white poodle mix, and when she’s groomed and coiffed she looks better than purebred poodles. (She’s beautiful to me even when her coat is all grown out and she needs a bath, of course!) However, I’ve seen news reports that dyeing a dog’s coat could be dangerous. Can you tell me if it’s safe? — Jenna H. in San Diego
DEAR JENNA: Using hair dye made for humans is very dangerous for all pets. Chemicals in hair dye can be life threatening, as a Florida pet owner found out earlier this year. Not only can the pets’ skin react to the chemicals, but dogs and cats tend to lick at any area that irritates them, and then they ingest the dye.
It may be possible to dye Sheera’s hair using food coloring. Also, special semi-permanent hair dyes and sprays for pets are available at many pet stores, as are special chalks that can be rubbed onto their fur. These wash off in one or two shampoos.
Like any topical treatment, however, your dog could have a reaction to any of these products, even though they’re listed as nontoxic.
Further, some animal advocates feel that dyeing a pet’s fur can be stressful for them. If Sheera isn’t used to the process, she certainly could get upset and stressed out. If she has a tough time at the groomer’s, she probably won’t like the dyeing process either.
Remember, Sheera is a beautiful dog even without that funky color. If she isn’t bothered at all by the process or the look of her newly colored fur, that’s great. But give it a lot of thought.
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© 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.
This is a bookshelf and cabinet made for a house furnished in Adirondack or Rustic style. It is 86 inches high and 46 inches wide. The chest is signed “DZ JR”
in the wood. Its price is $6,150.
The Adirondack style started with a chair in 1903. Many wealthy folks from the East Coast wanted a cool place to live for the summer, so they started building homes in the Adirondack mountain area. Thomas Lee was vacationing in Adirondack town of Westport, New York, and he wanted comfortable outdoor chairs for his house. He made the chair from 11 pieces of wood and finally decided on the reclining chair with wide armrests now known as the Adirondack or Westport chair. Lee had a local carpenter friend named Harry Bunnell, who made the chairs to sell. Bunnell patented the design in 1905. Lee never received any of the profits.
The houses in the Adirondacks led to other pieces of furniture that were made of local wood, twigs and carving as decoration. The style was very much like Western or Rustic style today. It originally was all handmade of local wood by nearby carpenters. Sometimes there was added paint, or cut-out and applied figures like stars or animal profiles. Pieces are heavy-looking and since they are made of logs, they are heavy to move.
An Adirondack bookcase on chest was in a Skinner auction and sold for $6,150. It had carved diagonal lines on the trim around the two lower cabinet doors, two upper glass doors, plus a decorated center on each cabinet door and some applied burl decoration. Inside are three drawers and two shelves. It’s definitely homemade and one of a kind.
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Can these be sold? I have a pair of Royal Purple nylons, with back seam, in their original box. It reads “10 1/2 style 704/4 nutria 1/4” on the end of the box. Are they of value, or should I just give them away?
Collectors of vintage clothing are interested in vintage stockings. Royal Purple was a trademark of Sears & Roebuck. Silk stockings were fashionable until nylon was invented. Nylon stockings were introduced at the 1939 New York World’s Fair and were first sold in 1940. Stockings went out of fashion when pantyhose became popular in the 1960s. Royal Purple stockings have sold online for $6 to $35 a pair. The empty box has sold for $4.50.
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Sugar bowl, turquoise-blue milk glass, relief grapevines with bunches of grapes, footed, dome lid, grape cluster finial, 1920s, 6 inches, $60.
Bronze bookends, big rig truck, molded, protruding from arched plaque, flaired rounded base, hammered, 1930s, 6 x 6 inches, $405.
Sand pail, Kewpie Beach, Kewpie Castle, Scootles Tourist, tin lithograph, Rose O’Neill, 1937, 3 x 3 inches, $800.
Friendship Quilt, red and white pinwheels, 450 embroidered names, made by women of a church in Iowa, c. 1910, 76 x 92 inches, $2,550.
TIP: Acorn by Georg Jensen, Audubon by Tiffany & Co. and Francis I by Reed & Barton still are very popular sterling-silver flatware patterns wanted by new brides.
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© 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.
Brined Grill-Roasted Pork Loin
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup kosher salt
2 cups water
1 (4 to 5 pound) boneless pork loin roast
Extra-virgin olive oil
Cremer’s Rub Me Tender Seasoning
In a bowl mix the sugar and salt with 2 cups of water until dissolved. Put the pork roast into a deep bowl or a large plastic bag. Pour in the sugar and salt water. Add more water until the meat is covered. Let it sit in the brine in the refrigerator for 2 to 6 hours.
Remove the pork roast from the brine about 1/2 hour before you will be ready to cook it to allow it to come up to room temperature. When ready to cook, heat a grill to high heat. Dry the pork, rub it with olive oil, and season it with Rub Me Tender Seasoning. Sear the pork on all sides to get grill marks. Move the roast to an upper rack (or over indirect heat) and put a drip pan underneath it. Cook the pork until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F, about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
Before carving, add any accumulated juices to the drippings in the pan. Spoon these over the sliced pork.