Flat Lands

Posted on October 28, 2013. Filed under: Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , |

Travel - North Dakota

So far

in this Dakota land

my eyes can see

this working land

vast

and strong

sugar beets

corn

potatoes

wheat

Ready for

the winter sleep

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The Toasted Frog

Posted on October 27, 2013. Filed under: Restaurants Worth the Visit, Travel | Tags: , , , , , |

Restaurants - Toasted Frog 1         Restaurants - Toasted Frog 2

If you find yourself in Grand Forks, North Dakota, I highly recommend The Toasted Frog for dinner.  This place is comfortable, with a friendly, happy staff, a great wine list, but most impressively for a small town on the prairie – great food.  When you order your food will not be coming out in 5 minutes.  You can tell nothing is reheated in a microwave!  The open kitchen shows you the chefs working diligently to hand-prepare your dinner just for you.

Restaurants - Toasted Frog 3         Restaurants - Toasted Frog 4

I was so hungry this first night in town I took a bite of my mahi-mahi before remembering to take a picture!  That’s grilled mahi-mahi with fresh green beans and their killer sweet potato fries which was one of many great potato options.  Bill tried the walleye fingers with the sweet potato fries.  When we returned last night I found out I could have the same meal without any coating on the fish and the veg was broccolini which was even better.  Yep, I had the same meal with some tweaks.  Bill had the mahi-mahi tacos with such good grilled fish he didn’t even want the tortillas.  He just enjoyed the fish mixed with the mango salsa and lovely homemade coleslaw.  He also got their excellent garlic mashed potatoes on the side.  The waitress saw me hesitating about whether to order the fish tacos and thoughtfully included some of the mango salsa on my plate which was a great condiment with my fish.  When we got to the car another waiter ran out with my favorite gloves I had left behind!

We come to Grand Forks once a year for work and we eagerly anticipate our meal the whole day we are driving across Wisconsin and Minnesota to get here.  And then we return at least once in the trip because we haven’t found any place close to The Frog in the area that is nearly as good.

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Giant Cottonwood

Posted on October 26, 2013. Filed under: Photography, Plants | Tags: , , , , |

Plants - Cottonwood 2               Plants - Cottonwood 3

Out for a lunchtime stroll with Bill on a break from my class, we came upon this enormous tree.  I couldn’t recognize it.  With the shape of an elm, but leaves I didn’t know, we took some pics, grabbed a leaf and wandered on, puzzling over it.  Then we found a ranger’s cabin actually manned by friendly rangers who easily identified it as a cottonwood.  Well that explains the mystery, these trees have been banned from sale for quite awhile in my state because of the mess they make with their cottony seeds in spring, but here, in North Dakota along the Red River that is known to flood it makes perfect sense:

“The cottonwoods are exceptionally tolerant of flooding, erosion, and flood deposits filling around the trunk.”  Wikipedia

I love a little mystery like this – solved.  Such fun and such a beautiful tree!

Plants - Cottonwood 1

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