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As evinced by my absence from posting, it has been a busy semester. I finally found time this morning to go for a rather long walk into the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is a far cry from the silence of the Badlands or the grandeur of Yellowstone. Nonetheless, its presence demonstrates that natural beauty can readily be found within a metropolitan area of three million people. Just a short hike down the hill from a busy freeway, these trumpeter swans gave me the opportunity of temporarily leaving the city for a place a little more remote.

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