"I'm not short, I'm fun-size!"
-a 9-year-old girl
Summer is officially over. The temperature got down to 38 early Sunday morning and the asters have begun blooming. A staccato of walnuts and acorns bouncing on the ground has begun to replace the sound of chirping birds. The birds are still here, they are just not so obvious. The rose hips are beginning to redden. Monarch butterflies are grouping up and beginning their journey south. Streaks of yellow sunflowers and goldenrod still color the prairie, thought it's hard to enjoy them through tear-filled eyes.
Ragweed, the most foul, useless, and insidious plant in North America has made its annual appearance, sending its zillions of grains of pollen directly into my nose and eyeballs, causing endless itchiness, drippiness, sneezing, puffiness, and suffering. Allergy meds don't do much for the feeling, but they do keep me from sneezing and my nose from running like a faucet constantly.
Ragweed is a native plant. Some of it in front of the visitor center at Pipestone is as high as my chest and grows bush-like. However, if it became an endangered species, I would go and stomp on it to finish it off. Learn more about ragweed in Minnesota.
So with ragweed making the outdoors miserable, why not stay inside? This week, Pipestone National Monument premiered its new film, Pipestone: An Unbroken Legacy. The 20-minute film is a vast improvement over the old 8-minute slide show, and demonstrates the quarrying and explains the importance of the tradition in the quarriers' own words.
My dad came to visit and I think he had a good time checking things out at Pipestone and in Luverne. He said he probably didn't appreciate the site as much in 1982 as he did on this visit. He was inspired enough to buy a pipe. Will he try it out?