Newcomers to the Midwest began asking me in March if they could pack away their winter coats. Oh, how easily they’re fooled by a few days of balmy weather. Spring here in the Midwest is a tease. She entices us with a soft green veil draped with ephemeral pastel buds. Her tender charms lure us […]

Volunteering is an exercise in democracy. Unlike annual elections however, by volunteering, you are casting a vote for the kind of community you want to live in. Last week I voted for a cleaner river. Today, my vote is up for grabs. The Friends of the St. Joe River (FoSJR) missed a recruiting opportunity. At […]

An opportunity is a terrible thing to waste. Yet, I often tune-out its incessant knocking. Be the third caller with the correct answer, the last minute offer of a ticket for the ND basketball game and drinks after work are all lost to an OCD-skewed schedule. But yesterday, I answered the door. Lobbyists finally addressed the […]

Being an outdoor Midwest girl has advantages. On Saturday morning, the forecast compelled me to grab a thicker pair of gloves, not crawl back under the covers. Unfortunately, the 37 degree temperature combined with 25mph winds and the threat of rain kept 75 of the 150 confirmed volunteers from showing up at the Friends of […]

The new EPA requirements for ballast water attempt to solve the problem of invasive species, but we lack the technology to carry them out. (Washington Post, EPA requiring ships to better clean dumped ballast water that’s blamed for invasive species, March 28). Pushed by federal lawsuits brought by environmental groups, the EPA’s new standards go into […]

While many local schools are on Spring Break this week, at IU South Bend we have hit the end-of-the-semester crunch. My stress level peaks this time of year as I finish my research, revise my portfolio and re-edit my postings for (hopefully) the last time. I find taking a break to clear your mind helps.  Add some […]

Fooled by a winter lull, green filaments unfurled from my soggy yard.  A few days of sun had warmed the tiny crocuses from their sleep. But, before the ephemeral purple cups could open, snow and wind slapped them in the bud. There are other signs of over-anticipating Spring — long lines at the car wash, […]

Down the Road

Photographs and stories by Jim Grey

All Things Great Lakes

News and views from the center of the freshwater universe

The Outdoor Journal

News and Views of the Outdoors


"…and take counsel with them in all matters of common concern; then, when you have made a decision (accordingly), place your trust in God." Qur'an (3,159) "قال تعالى :" وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الأَمْرِ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِين

Speaking Freely

as power does what power can do


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Shades of Green

A blog exploring the greener side of life.