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Monday, June 18, 2012

Diversion II

This weekend we traveled north out of corn country, across the Mississippi River and into the driftless region with its old rock bluffs and dales, past dairy and hay farms, and beyond to the paper and timber lands of the North Woods. This is where the legends of Paul Bunyon and Babe, his blue ox, were born.

Our destination was Chippewa Falls, WI. Our purpose was the ninth annual Leinenkugel's Family Reunion, where we met family & friends from Chicagoland and conducted some practical research on brand creation and customer loyalty and retention. It was a very pleasant, low key affair on the grounds of this mid-19th century brewery, with plenty of free beer, food, and music.

I made some new friends, played catch with a couple of my little nephews-in-law, and swam in beautiful Lake Wissota whose clear waters have the merest orange tint from naturally occurring iron in the underlying geology.

We returned yesterday and were grateful to find an inch of rainwater in the gauges, enough to have filled the soil profile to a depth of fifteen inches or so. A lot of the second planting has already emerged: corn and pole beans intercropped, bush snap beans, turnips, mustard, Swiss chard. Today brought high winds and extreme heat. Relative humidity was 70% at dawn, plummeted to 18% by noon. Two hours' work beginning to clean up the big brush pile in the northwest field, and all the junk buried within it, completely sapped me. I gathered more spearmint and it's drying in the garage – strong stuff.

As the sun set and we ate our dinner outside, the bunnies came out to engage in several parties and frolics, most amusing.

The pond is eminently swimmable. Y'all come down now, hear?

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