Introducing the Sense Home Energy Monitor

The Sense home energy monitor is possibly the coolest tool ever invented to track home energy usage. I installed one in my own home about a month ago.

Geese engage in wet, wild fight

May 15
Resident gander protects his pond
first-time home buyers

Home inspections for first-time home buyers (video post)

May 14
This is a 13-minute class on the basics of home inspections for first-time home buyers. What's a home inspection? What happens next? Etc.
Home & Garden
May 8

Nabbing gnats

Palm Warbler, early migrant
Home & Garden
May 7

Hazards with aluminum wiring

Buying a home with aluminum wiring? The seller will probably tell you it's perfectly fine, has never been a problem, and there's nothing to worry about.
Home & Garden
April 30

How to replace a hardwired smoke alarm

Replacing a hardwired smoke alarm is a piece of cake. If you purchase a smoke alarm from the same manufacturer, you might be able to use the same wiring.
Home & Garden
April 23

Which smoke alarm to buy

Shopping for a new smoke alarm? Stop. Don't even go to the store until you know exactly which smoke alarm you want.
Home & Garden
April 16

Bird hikes in Brainerd

Thursdays and Saturdays in May
Home & Garden
April 16

Carbon monoxide alarm requirements for Minnesota

Carbon monoxide alarms are required for most dwellings in Minnesota, both by Statute and by Rule. Here are the details about most scenarios I can think of.
Home & Garden
April 12
Water too thick to swim, too thin to walk

Water too thick to swim, too thin to walk

Slushy pond is a problem
Home & Garden
April 10

Motherhood in the snow

She on her nest. Gander is standing by
Beautiful Garden contest winners Jim and Sally Strand tend an Asian-inspired garden complete with 23 distinct planting areas in their Plymouth yard. T
Special Project Beautiful Gardens
updated 15 hours 37 mins. ago
There are some spectacular private gardens around the Twin Cities. We discover several each year in our Beautiful Gardens contest. From October to April, we'll bring you into one Beautiful Garden a month.
Home & Garden
April 2

Trade tip: make your ladder scratch-free

By applying electrical tape to the portion of my ladder that leans against the gutter, it no longer scratches the gutter. The tape lasts for a long time, and it's easy to replace when needed.
Home & Garden
March 27

Bill Thompson III of Bird Watcher's Digest, has died

He was a prolific contributor to the birding world
Home & Garden
March 26

Automatic water leak protection

Water leaks and water backups can occur in many places throughout the home. Here's a way to reduce the potential for water damage.
Home & Garden
March 20

Crane cam is up and running

Sandhill Cranes in Nebraska
Home & Garden
March 19

The million-dollar bird

A pigeon gets some respect
Home & Garden
March 19

Chimney inspections: pass or fail, nothing in-between

According to the CPSC, an estimated 22,300 residential structure fires occur every year as a result of a Fireplace, Chimney, or Chimney Connector fire.
Home & Garden
March 18
Fewer mosquitos, fewer frogs?

Fewer mosquitos, fewer frogs?

We make wild life complicated
Home & Garden
March 12

Snow+rain=extremely heavy snow

It's time for Minnesotans to consider removing snow from their roofs because of the weight.
Home & Garden
March 7

A technical issue with bird names

Proposal: drop the possessive apostrophe now used in some names
Home & Garden
March 5

Bath fan duct: metal or plastic?

Should bath fan ducts be made from metal or plastic? If you live in a cold climate like Minnesota, I recommend plastic.
Home & Garden
February 26

Proposal would eliminate possessives in bird names

It would be Lincoln Sparrow, not Lincoln's Sparrow
Home & Garden
February 26
'How much snow is safe for my roof?' A question that needed to be asked

'How much snow is safe for my roof?' A question that needed to be asked

The record-setting snowfall that we've received here in Minnesota raises concerns about how much snow a roof can hold. Should snow be removed?