Valley Journal
Valley Journal

Columns

Get off my banana Get off my banana

They nearly literally come from nothing – or so it seems. And then they multiply. You might start the week with just a few and end it with a proverbial swarm. They’re officially called drosophila melanogaster; it’s a big name for an itty-bitty fruit fly. I’ve always thought of them as nuisances that fetch a free ride home on my bananas, but it turns out, they have serious scientific significance. That’s because drosophila melanogaster and humans have many of the same genes – a whopping 60 percent. Shocking, I know. This considerable similarity with humans paired with an extremely abbreviated life cycle makes the little buggers perfect specimens for ...


Too many fish, not enough time

Fishermen:  During the fall there are too many options and not enough time. With the fish working on building a nutritional surplus for winter, they become exceptionally active. The smallmouth bass are responsive to almost anything you throw at them, and the lake trout (mackinaw) have begun their pre...


A happy place defined A happy place defined

We all need a happy place, or at the very least can benefit from one – or a dozen, take your pick. You don’t have to limit yourself to just one happy place. Go ahead; grab a few. They’re free! A happy place doesn’t have to be a place, per se, but it can be. It is a state of mind so...


Anyone relate? Didn’t think so Anyone relate? Didn’t think so

Humans are united by common bonds. We might be tempted or maybe better put inclined to focus on differences, but we are all united in the human condition and we share more common experiences than we might realize (or even want to admit). I’ve written about these scenarios in the past, but my list wa...


Finding the Roots of Peace

These are hard times, and though we are not subject to the violence of overt warfare in our little valley, a different kind of war is happening here. In Syria, Yemen, Palestine and so many other parts of the world, men, women, and children are being thrust into poverty, physically and emotionally maimed, and...


Say what you mean, mean what you say Say what you mean, mean what you say

How are you? What’s up? What’s new? How about this crazy hot (cold, rainy, dry) weather we’ve been having? Have a great day! Small talk. We’ve all participated in the chatter, often not even thinking about what we’re saying. It’s rote communication. Blah, blah, blah. ...


Library hosts several events, changes hours

What a summer here at the Library. We had a very successful Family Summer Reading Program this year. A big thank you to all of our sponsors. Now that school is back in session, we are gearing toward fall and some exciting programs. Youth Services Librarian, Kendra, will begin fall programming on Monday, S...


Heroes amongst us Heroes amongst us

You might find them wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. They can be dressed in Sunday’s best. Others are outfitted in a baseball cap and sports jersey. They may be in pajamas or in shorts and a wide-brimmed hat to ward off the sun. Some wear yesterday’s t-shirt paired with barely combed hair and wear...


Late Night TV Guy pays no heed to bedtimes Late Night TV Guy pays no heed to bedtimes

For the most part, my husband is a rational and logical human being. There is an orderly and predictable pattern to his days. He showers in the morning; brushes his teeth after meals. He rises early and goes to bed at a reasonable hour. He is a reasonable man – for the most part. On occasion, howeve...


Razzle-dazzle berries Razzle-dazzle berries

You never know the lessons you might learn from something as small and unassuming as a raspberry. The plants were a gift from a friend. A few clumps of leafy twigs, roots and the attached soil. You could hardly tell if they were alive, but I had faith in those little brown and green clumps. I plopped them...


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