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Fence Posts

A One-Horse Open Sleigh

Nov 22, 2019 | Dan Needles

In the haymow I found a red sleigh built by the McLaughlin Carriage Company about 1910, and I took it home to my own haymow 30 miles north where it sat forgotten for another 27 years.

Keeping the Mind Free of Reptiles

Sep 16, 2019 | Dan Needles

Science now agrees that changing your mind actually improves brain health.

Retirement Advice for the Self-employed Landowner

Jun 20, 2019 | Dan Needles

Age 65 came and went without a gold watch or a cake, or any of those earnest speeches assuring me how much I would be missed.

Champlain Slept Here

Mar 19, 2019 | Dan Needles

There was something totally manic about Champlain. He crossed the Atlantic some 27 times without losing a shipmate.

Finding Traction on the Backroads

Nov 20, 2018 | Dan Needles

You made up your mind between one or the other when you turned 16 and you drove that make for the rest of your life. If you drove a Toyota into town, as I did, you would be watched …

The View from the Top

Sep 18, 2018 | Dan Needles

People seldom bother you when you are up 20 feet painting an eavestrough, just as they don’t come near you when you are beekeeping or forking steamy piles of manure.

Varmints at the Gate. Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

Varmints at the Gate

Jun 19, 2018 | Dan Needles

Coyotes are like hotel burglars. They won’t force a lock, but if a door is left open, they will slip in and strip the place to the walls.

Retreating from the Retreat

Mar 26, 2018 | Dan Needles

For most of the century before I arrived, this old house hosted a parade of smoker-drinker-carnivores who poured Paris green arsenic on their potato plants and thought cleansing of any kind was weakening.

The Case for Civility

Nov 22, 2017 | Dan Needles

That made me think – grumpy old middle-class white guys who live in the country?

Signs the Bubble May Burst

Sep 16, 2017 | Dan Needles

“Painted barns are a symptom of an overheated economy, just like the whiz kids driving around downtown Toronto in a BMW with two payments made on it.”

A frog is an amphibian. Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

Science Projects

Jun 21, 2017 | Dan Needles

If you’ve ever wondered why they have height, width and weight restrictions on science projects at your school, it’s because of cousin Eddie’s corn dryer.

Real change happens when a group of like-minded people get together on a Saturday morning to pull old tires and bedsprings out of a river. Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

Grounding Exercises

Mar 20, 2017 | Dan Needles

I discovered at an early age that people who work outside with their hands tend to be more grounded than the rest of the population.

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