Greg Koelker


One can literally see the earth turn in the early morning from our front porch; the sun is touching the treetops on the ridge to our north, slowly lighting up — or rather lighting down the forest. The mourning doves are crying, crows are cawing, some cardinals are chirping, and the wrens are starting to sing out their morning song.

Earlier, when El and I drove Mark to the La Crosse airport for a 6 a.m. flight back to California, we could see a dark orange planet at about 4 o’clock from the moon, Mars I think. We are back home sipping coffee and enjoying the cool, like 57-degree morning before Old Sol puts the rest of the day on a spit for roasting.

Mountain man Ben and Christine were here for a few days and Mark flew in to join us all this last week. Ben and Chris are road tripping to Upper Michigan to visit her folks. We enjoyed their company, cooking and catching up. We drove to Cassville on Saturday to spend some family time with Grandma and other relatives at El’s sister Kathy’s home. She loves to host, so she really put on the dog with chicken and rice sandwiches, grilled brats, salads, brownies, Rice Krispy bars, and much more. Ben brought his drone along and flew that, taking some great video and stills of the farm and coulee, his dogs Scout and Moose retrieving a tennis ball, and even took an aerial family photo. Anyway, the time flew too.

Until next time, get out — several of our friends said we have to get a new dog as we provide such a great place for a dog to live, so we are beginning a search for a new dog. We could buy a chocolate lab for as little as $700 right now; I have investigated some breeders and ads for labs, with that being the bottom and almost $4K being the top. We don’t have that to spend for a dog that could get run over the next day. Anyway, if you know of someone with a young lab or other dog that needs a home, email us at to discuss it. Thanks and enjoy.



Greg and his wife Ellen Koelker are retired and live on Grouse Hollow Farm near Stoddard. He is chairman of the Vernon County Chapter of Wisconsin Conservation Congress.

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