Grits and Purls

Spinning yarns about the grit of life

My daughter and I took full advantage of the first mild weekend of the spring season. We traveled west to Magnolia Bluff County Park for an early morning hike. Magnolia Bluff is the second highest point in Rock County, and if you hike to the west lookout of this sandstone/limestone bluff around sunset, apparently you …

Continue reading

For quite some time biologists have debated whether or not any natural selective forces could act on modern humans to influence the makeup of the human genome. The argument against modern humans, at least those in developed countries, being subject to natural selection says that because of the technologies and medicines that we have developed …

Continue reading

The cicadas buzz in the closing Queen Anne’s Lace, much of it brown and curled at the edges, aged with a summer almost spent. The sedges are burgundy-brown, decorated atop by the occasional Monarch, and showy goldenrod shoots skyward in clumps of blazing yellow. The prairie has entered its burgundy and gold period. Only a …

Continue reading

On Friday evening, when the thunder bumpers were booming outside, I used my computer to check the local radar. My husband looked over my shoulder and asked, “Well?” “Well, there’s some red stuff just east of the Iowa border, but it will probably pitter before it gets here.” “Pitter?” “Yes, pitter. An official meteorological term. …

Continue reading

“I can see you right now: tromping through the grasses at sunset in your mud boots with your flashlight, thermometer on a string and clipboard. You find a frog and start your survey. ‘So, Mr. Green Frog, just how long have you lived in this pond?’ ”