Coyotes made the headlines this fall when they were spotted making themselves at home in Edina. They obviously see the advantages as most humans do; great neighborhoods, restaurants and schools, well, yeah, all kidding aside, it is a beautiful place to settle.
Fast forward to my winter getaway and the headlines read the same. Twenty minutes outside of Savannah, the popular tourist destination Tybee Island, is having a bit of a coyote problem too, although it seems it is just one coyote causing the ruckus. He's been dubbed Wile E Coyote and I hear he has his own facebook page.
As happens all over, residents are divided, with some seeing the coyotes as having the right to exist where they want, others enjoying a little nature in the city and then the last group that fears for their small dogs and toddlers. They've all got a point.
I keep thinking back to this article I read a few months ago that suggested we should all get used to these carnivores in the city and make way for the thought of even larger ones living amongst us urban dwellers. Mountain lions and bears are becoming more prevalent on the outskirts of major cities finding the city life tasty and convenient.
As we encroach upon their territories they are adapting. And while there are more dangerous things in the city waiting to harm and kill us, like cars and crime, the thought of meeting up with a mountain lion while taking out the garbage is unnerving to say the least.
Is there anything you can do? Well, with the coyotes, there a few commonsense things we have under our control. Don't feed pets outdoors. Secure trash cans and bring them in promptly. Keep coyotes wary of you by being downright unfriendly, the DNR will tell you to wave your arms and shout to appear threatening. Becoming accustomed to and unafraid of humans is presumably one of the problems behind this issue.
There's talk of trapping the coyote on Tybee and relocating him. Will he just become another community's problem?
And what about Edina, have they found a way to co-exist with these crafty creatures?
Just like with food, the best gardening advice is local and homegrown. And now Northern Gardener magazine has made that even better with a new digital edition of the popular gardening magazine.
That also means you'll be able to read my column "Pushing the Zone" online. In this column I discuss the changing climate and what it means for northern gardeners; plants and people going beyond the usual boundaries of the USDA Hardiness Zone map.
It's exciting to see the magazine in digital format without forgoing the print version so many love.
Here's the announcement:
"MSHS is pleased to announce the publication of the first Digital Edition of Northern Gardener, January/February 2013. It can be viewed on both a regular computer and on tablet/iPad devices. The digital magazine will be an added benefit for MSHS members and subscribers to Northern Gardener, but for the first three issues of the year, access will be open to everyone".
Check out the digital edition at http://digital.northerngardener.org
Last year I wrote that even five years into living in Minnesota I hadn't found Minnesota, or to be more exact, Minnesotans all that nice. They weren't not nice. They were more a pronounced neutral.
Then there was that warning about the myth of Minnesota Nice and all those passive aggressive nuances involved.
And it didn't help that I was now spending part of the winters "down south", where I was routinely called sugar, darlin' and honey-pie by total strangers who seem genuinely interested in how I was doing, at least for time we interacted in social or commercial situations.
But then something changed, actually we changed something, our location. Then suddenly there it was, niceness. Do I dare even say it's more like Minneapolis Nice? How do I share or compare this newfound nice without dissing the old place a mere fourteen miles away? Yet the difference was so stark.
Is it the physical closeness of the homes? Is it the lack of cul-de-sacs? Is it the parking arrangement, more detached or sometimes nonexistent garages leaving your comings and goings exposed to a possible neighborly greeting? Is there a more complicated explanation for this spirit and pride?
Here I hear my name from a neighbor often. Here I see the same folks out and about, we smile, pet dogs, exchange tips, attend block parties. Were we just in a tiny, nice-less space and time warp before while everyone else was nice-ing about, even in the burbs? Or are the burbs just too busy because they're driving all the time?
Now a study claims that Minnesota Nice truly does exist. There appears to be a "we're all in this together" attitude, no doubt partly due to the cold weather. It seems that Minnesotans definitely believe in banking good karma.
I found out first hand the other day. My husband was out of town during the big snow. I got all bundled up to go shovel snow, as good as a California-born gal can shovel, but the neighbor and his snow blower had beat me to it. Maybe nothing new to many of you, but for us it was a first since moving here.
Magazines, I love them. I even write for a couple of them, my daughter does too.
There piled high on the coffee table are the fat glossies; Vanity Fair, Vogue, Wired, Rolling Stone, Bon Appetit, Martha, every gardening magazine you can imagine and quite a few food issues. Then there are the lesser knowns; Hortus, Garden and Gun (not what you think),Oxford American(also not what you think), Wilder and so on.
Don't forget People, my guilty pleasure at the hair salon.
But I also remember the glory days of Life, Look, and long-form journalism.
Magazines, bless their hearts, they're having a hard time. When the changing world of publishing intersected with the tanked economy, many beloved names disappeared from the newsstand. Those left have been practically giving them away for awhile, anything to keep up circulation. Twelve issues for $7, heck yeah, I'll have some of that. Anything for the cause.
I still like to hold the magazine in my hands, thumb and thumb through the pages, tear out recipes, save inspiring images, read the shorter and getting even shorter articles. I didn't give them up to go digital, now I just do both.
But the magazines, darn them, they're driving me batty. The subscription notices that is. No, not the little cards inserted at just the right spot to keep the pages from flipping open to the features. It's the renewal notices that have me going all curmudgeonly, ranting like the late Andy Rooney.
It's the little envelopes that warn me with words like "final notice", "second notice", "last chance". Time flies and I think, wait a minute, time to renew that already? Only to find a "three-for-one, two-for-one, free gift, etc" subscription offer. You're good, but why not renew again? I think I'm current until 2030 at this point.
And let's not leave out those "subscription service centers" that aren't really connected with the magazine they're offering to sell you.
Yes, I could go back and check, but who has the time for that? I could switch to online renewal, but that would entail logins and passwords and setting up accounts and passwords and logins and agreeing to terms, and declining special offers......ARGHHHHH.
And the one time I toss those notices? Yep, that's the one that's legit.
In the scheme of things, just a minor annoyance, but thanks for letting me vent.
The informal lost and found system around the city lakes is leaning heavy towards winter accessories. And always makes me feel a little warmer on these increasingly cold mornings. What's the most unusual lost object you've seen displayed?