Jake Pfeifer is a reporter and outdoors editor for RiverTown Multimedia. Previously, he worked at Detroit Lakes Newspapers.
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If you are looking for a way to kick off the holidays and get in the spirit, look no further than SimpleGifts. Chilling three-part female harmonies and solos — including the Lutheran favorite "Beautiful Savior," sung in Norwegian. Modern arrangements of traditional — and original — Christmas treasures on Celtic bagpipes, concertina and stringed instruments, including tin whistle, piano, guitar, fiddle, bass and percussion played by some of the most accomplished musicians and singers Minnesota has to offer.
An undeserving reputation has surrounded Midwestern bats thanks to their tropical cousins that feed on the blood of livestock and wildlife. Of course, the bats of Minnesota and Wisconsin don't share that trait, but that doesn't mean the average person enjoys their company.
Minnesota's state bird, the common loon, is considered a symbol of wilderness. Its unique call, heard day or night, signals the return of summer to the north woods and one of the region's most iconic birds. More at home in the water than on land, loons swim underwater in search of prey. At 8 to 12 pounds, the loon is larger than a duck but smaller than a goose. The bird can be easily identified with its thick neck, long black bill, red eyes, and spotty black and white summer coat. Its legs are set far back on its body, making walking on land an awkward experience.
Walking down your front steps is an uneventful activity, but when a rattlesnake impedes the path, that quickly changes. That was the case for one Red Wing family when members discovered a timber rattlesnake coiled up on their front steps June 22. It took a call to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Brittany Hauser to send the snake on its way. "It was located right in the middle of town," Hauser said. "Obviously not a common place for a rattlesnake." She speculated that the snake hitched a ride with a harvest or grain truck.