Unheralded

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — This Is Where My Stomach Hurts

My phone buzzes. It is Mom. Again. Third time today. Do I answer? Mom calls when she is distraught, when she has been walking the halls of the nursing home for hours, waiting for somebody to pick her up. Nobody comes. While wandering, Mom forgets she has a room and worries where she will sleep tonight. If I answer her …


ERIC BERGESON: Photo Gallery — Bergeson Gardens

If you’ve never been to Bergeson Nursery during the summer, it’s probably something you should add to your bucket list. Located southeast of Fertile, Minn., the gardens are always open during daylight hours in the summer. They are the most beautiful from late July through early September, and during that time, printed garden guides are available then that allow you to …

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — Chicken Of The Woods

Here is the first chicken-of-the woods mushroom (above) that I have found all year. Big thrill. Once sauteed, or grilled, chickens are meaty and delicious. I am hoping those little ones off to the side grow into big ones. Chickens need to be harvested while still damp and cool to the touch. Once they dry out, they are past their …

ERIC BERGESON: Photo Gallery — Bergeson Gardens

Bergeson Gardens, located southeast of Fertile, Minn., at Bergeson Nursery, is in full bloom and will be through early September. There will be an open house at the nursery Saturday, which will feature free coffee and donuts, food and ice cream for sale, music (11 a.m. and 3 p.m.) and garden tours (10 a.m. and 2 p.m.). All plants will …

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — Prairie Cemetery Tips

The Country Scribe, Eric Bergeson, knows a bit about caring for flowers, trees and shrubs in the Northland, being the third-generation owner of Bergeson Nursery in Fertile, Minn., a business started by his grandfather in 1937. Here, Eric offers some tips about caring for plants that you may have at your family cemetery plot, which is particularly pertinent on this Memorial Day weekend.

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — Successful Gardening

Finally, a gardening book for our area! “Successful Gardening on the Northern Prairie” is on its way from the printer, and features 326 pages of information specifically for us. Learn how our soils are different from most of the rest of the country’s and what you can do about it. Learn about the only two fertilizers (very cheap) you will …

ERIC BERGESON: Photo Gallery — Desert In Bloom

Photographer Eric Bergeson recently made an 800-mile trip from Tucson, Ariz., west into California, with the intent of seeing the “superbloom” of the desert. A superbloom is a colloquial term used to define an explosion of wildflowers that exceeds typical spring blooms. Winter storms brought double the average rainfall to the area, including the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southeastern California. The park, …

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — Sabino Canyon

Sabino Canyon, located north of Tucson, Ariz., in the Santa Catalina Mountains, is a favorite walking, hiking and riding recreation area for residents and visitors to southern Arizona. Just minutes away from the desert, the canyon features large waterfalls along Sabino Creek with minor bridges constructed over them. Wildlife also is abundant in the canyon, including deer, javelina, skunks, tortoises, rattlesnakes and mountain lions. Stonework …

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — ‘Stopping By Woods On Snowy Evening’

Eric Bergeson, The Country Scribe, offers his take on the classic Robert Frost poem, “Stopping By Woods On Snowy Evening.” Imagery, personification and repetition are prominent in the work, written in 1922 and published in 1923, by one of the most celebrated poets in America.

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — The Lefse Song

You don’t have to tell anyone from the Northland what lefse is. For the uninformed, lefse is a traditional soft Norwegian flatbread that is made with potatoes, flour, butter and milk or cream. It is cooked on a large, flat griddle using special tools, including long wooden turning sticks and special rolling pins with deep grooves. Of course, lefse is no stranger to The Country Scribe, …

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — Electoral College Is Here To Stay

The Electoral College is with us forever. Barbara Boxer can introduce bills to abolish it until the cows come home, but ending it requires a constitutional amendment, which would require 37 state legislatures to approve it. At least 12 of those state legislatures would have to volunteer to reduce their impact in the presidential election by more than 50 percent. …

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — A Salute To Veterans

I think of the local combat veterans I know and know of with particular gratitude: Ken Helm, Keith Bolstad (and his buddies I have met), Pumper Christianson, Jon Hovde, Harding Vidden, Bernie Lieder, the late Victor Ness, late neighbor Norris Jacobson, a nursery employee named Gullickson who committed suicide after World War II due to PSTD, neighbor Krogstad whose landing …

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — The Old Man And The Purple One

Family vacation, Glacier Park, Montana, 1988. Noon. Ham and cheese sandwiches in a jammed restaurant just outside the park. After Dad paid the tab, I put $1 in the juke box, played Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” seven times and headed for the door. Before I got there, Prince started. Loudly. The juke box was set at the previous night’s volume, when …

ERIC BERGESON: Photo Gallery — Botanical Beauty

Eric Bergeson recently visited the Tucson (Ariz.) Botanical Gardens, named by Reader’s Digest as the “BEST Secret Garden in America.” According to the its website, “The Tucson Botanical Gardens promotes responsible and appropriate use of plants and water in a desert environment through education and demonstration and provides a place of beauty and tranquility for Tucson residents and visitors.” The 40-year-old facility offers year-round tours, community events, classes and art exhibits and includes specialty gardens including the Cactus & Succulent Garden, Barrio Garden and Herb Garden, which highlight the diversity of native plants while offering …

ERIC BERGESON: Photo Gallery — Southwestern Sights

From Catalina State Park north of Tuscon to Sabino Canyon in the Santa Catalina Mountains to San Pedro Riparian National Wildlife Refuge east of Sierra Vista to Madera Canyon south of Tucson, photographer Eric Bergeson — aka The Country Scribe — captures many spectacular images of the Southwest. Among them: California poppies, a cactus wren, calliandra shrubs, a group of  women hikers (snowbirds from all over the …

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — Get Ready For Lutefisk Season …

According to the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists have isolated the gene that causes people to eat lutefisk. The news was greeted with jubilation in the lutefisk-eating community, which hopes the discovery that the desire for lutefisk is genetic will lead to greater acceptance of their eating habits. “This study strikes a great blow to the forces …

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — Protecting The Elderly

As I was leaving the nursing home a few years back, I shook hands with an old man who pulled me toward him and pleaded, “Please, please, take me to Rollag!” Since it was Labor Day weekend, and the Steam Thresher’s Reunion was in full swing, I was tempted to load him up and go. But the old man’s son …

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — Göring’s Guard

Today at the Fertile (Minn.) Library, author Jack El-Hai spoke about his recent book, “The Nazi and the Psychiatrist,” which focused on the relationship between psychiatrist Douglas Kelly and Nazi Hermann Göring formed at Nuremberg. In the audience was Art Olson (above right) of McIntosh, Minn., age 90, who was Göring’s guard at the prison in 1946 and spoke often …

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — Golfing With Grandpa

Late each summer while he was able, my grandpa would take me on our annual golf outing. It was always an odd experience. Grandpa considered himself to be exempt from green fees. In lieu of payment, he would bring along his clippers and trim the trees on the fairways as we golfed. This slowed us down quite a bit. It also …

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — Rachmaninoff’s No. 2

The Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 is one of the chestnuts of classical music, so much so that pop musicians have been stealing melodies from it for decades. Eric Carmen, Celine Dion, on and on. The concerto is so popular that many classical music fans tire of its constant repetition in concert halls across the country. Well, it is tiring to hear mediocre …

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — A Slam-Dunk Funeral

When my Grandmother Olga Bergeson passed away in 1995, her funeral was held on a perfect September day at the little country church where she had been comfirmed nearly 80 years before. After the graveside service, neighbor Paul Ofstedal pulled my aunt aside and said, “Now, that was a slam-dunk funeral.” Yesterday came Paul’s turn for a slam-dunk funeral. Paul was a citizen of …

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — Larry Drummer

For many, many years, some of our best customers have been Larry and Bridget Drummer, who live by Maple Lake near Mentor, Minn. Always quiet, kind and cheerful, Larry clearly loved plants and gardening and his wife Bridget. I finally put together that he owned the big diesel repair shop on the East Side. We never had a conversation, but you didn’t …

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — Trump The Vulgarian

Can Donald Trump keep it up? When will he implode? What explains his rise in the polls? How do we stop him? The pundits wring their hands. Josh Marshall thinks Trump is a doofus who uses sophisticated military strategy. Peggy Noonan, who penned the phrase “1000 points of light” for George H. W. Bush, declares Trump to be a sign of molecules …

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — Twins Secret Weapons Are On The Farm

The Minnesota Twins salvaged their season by sweeping the Baltimore Orioles this past weekend. Their offense is still stagnant, but their pitching seems to be gaining steam. On Sept. 1, the rosters expand from 25 to 40 players. In the past, the Twins have been conservative about bringing up prospects for the month of September. This year should be different. …