Spring in Iowa means...
April snow on forsythia bloom
Snowy mornings, butterfly afternoons, heat, cold, wind, flowers to photograph, favorite birds back from winter journeys, our prairie needs burning, garden demands planting, grandkids’ ball games, too much to do, too little time!
Still, I have squeezed in time to sit in the pre-dawn woods to watch the waning moon set, hear the first pheasant crow his wake-up call, and shiver less from the chill than from the rattling gobble of the tom turkey laying claim to the ridge above the river.
Jakes are wannabe gobblers
Soon the once-quiet woodlands are silent no longer. The chirrupping robin, monotone field sparrow, plaintive whistle of the bluebird, and kuk-kuk-kuking of the brassy pileated woodpecker join the chorus.
When the sun peeks over the bluff, the time has come to check on the emerging asparagus, sniff the wild plum blossoms, search in vain for a morel mushroom, and admire the beauty of the dandelions dotting our “no-mow May” lawn. And to kneel down to watch the tiny native pollinators burrow into those yellow blooms with gratitude
Anemonella (Rue anemone)
So how did I get here, given my overflowing “to-do” list? Well, the Iowa Writers’ Collaborative has reconnected me with several old friends from my 25 years as outdoor water/photographer with the Des Moines Register from 1972 to 1997. Plus the group has helped me discover the talents and insights of a new (to me) set of writers. I‘m looking forward to sharing my Iowa roots, memories, observations, frustrations, and joys with those folks - and with readers.
I come at this endeavor as an Iowa farm kid who has never outgrown playing in the “crick.” I believe that every kid should have that same opportunity to go outside and get muddy. And I can easily wax nostalgic about the wild places we have lost in my seven-plus decades on this planet. For more about where those times, people, and adventures have led me, here’s a link to my website.
Larry Stone is an author, lecturer, photographer and now Substack columnist. His books are available on his website: www.larrystonesiowa.com
Iowa Writers’ Collaborative members offer a slice of life in Iowa not found elsewhere. If you can pay to subscribe to any of them individually, great.
And, please tell your friends.
Laura Belin: Iowa Politics with Laura Belin, Windsor Heights
Doug Burns: The Iowa Mercury, Carroll
Dave Busiek: Dave Busiek on Media, Des Moines
Art Cullen: Art Cullen’s Notebook, Storm Lake
Suzanna de Baca Dispatches from the Heartland, Huxley
Debra Engle: A Whole New World, Madison County
Julie Gammack: Julie Gammack’s Iowa Potluck, Des Moines and Okoboji
Joe Geha: Fern and Joe, Ames
Jody Gifford: Benign Inspiration, West Des Moines
Nik Heftman, The Seven Times, Los Angeles and Iowa
Beth Hoffman: In the Dirt, Lovilla
Dana James: New Black Iowa, Des Moines
Pat Kinney: View from Cedar Valley, Waterloo
Fern Kupfer: Fern and Joe, Ames
Robert Leonard: Deep Midwest: Politics and Culture, Bussey
Tar Macias: Hola Iowa, Iowa
Kurt Meyer, Showing Up, St. Ansgar
Kyle Munson, Kyle Munson’s Main Street, Des Moines
Jane Nguyen, The Asian Iowan, West Des Moines
John Naughton: My Life, in Color, Des Moines
Chuck Offenburger: Iowa Boy Chuck Offenburger, Jefferson and Des Moines
Barry Piatt: Piatt on Politics: Behind the Curtains, Washington, D.C.
Macey Spensley, The Midwest Creative, Davenport and Des Moines
Larry Stone, Listening to the Land, Elkader
Mary Swander: Mary Swander’s Buggy Land, Kalona
Mary Swander: Mary Swander’s Emerging Voices, Kalona
Ed Tibbetts: Along the Mississippi, Davenport
Teresa Zilk: Talking Good, Des Moines
The Iowa Writers Collaborative is also proud to ally with Iowa Capital Dispatch.
Robert Leonard has created the Iowa Podcasters’ Collaborative. If you know of a podcast that might be a fit for this endeavor, please contact him.