An Index to the Website
may be found by clicking here.

New WordPress Blog!

I've set up a new WordPress blog (with the help of my web-wrangler) because it gives me more options than the blog on this website, including the ability to post more photos, the ability to link with social media across the web, and a subscription service that sends a dandy version of the blog directly to your email inbox. Try it out.

Notes from a Western Life at

You can continue to read the blogs here, however a few of the very long blogs under the category of "Writing: Where I've Been" will only appear on the WordPress blog.

An Index of Blog Topics
may be found lower down in this left-hand column so, for example, you can search for all blogs with "Writing Suggestions."

A dated archive of blogs is also available below the index.

Click here to jump to the index, or scroll down to see a selection of photos related to the blog posts.

Blacksmith or Wordsmith

Iron legs from yesteryear.

Smaller iron items inside.

The scrap-iron table.

Dust, Grass, and Writing

Like the native grasses, the roots of writing go deep and reach out in many directions.

Tough prairie grass roots splitting open a rock.

Green life may be found under dry debris.

Fringed Jacket Foofaraw

Turtle carved from bone.

Turtle made of silver.

Warrior Woman pin.

George's grizzly bear claw earring.

Powwow jingle cones made of tin.

Brass bell.

A tiny dream catcher.

Harley Owners' Group pin in honor of Jerry.

Wally McRae's cufflink and tooth.

South Dakota Poet Laureate? Not Right Now, Thanks.

"An older writer, conscious of his or her limited life span, may have specific projects in mind to complete. Thus, requiring that the Poet Laureate travel and teach extensively may exclude older writers regardless of their worthiness to hold the position."

Don't just click "like" about some political story you read.

Pick up the phone or write a letter and make a difference.

Ah! The Bathtub.

A brass hook on a nearby wall to hold my robe or a towel.

A removable wire basket stretches across the tub to hold my soap and sponges.

Windbreak House
Now on Facebook.

If you Like me on this Facebook page you'll get notifications of my newly-posted blogs as well as announcements about my books, writing retreats, and other events to do with Windbreak House.​WindbreakHouse

No kitten videos, but I post Tuesday Writing Tips, Wednesday Word Posts, and various other writing-related stories, announcements, book reviews, photos and the occasional joke.

More Stories and Essays by Linda
may be found on this website.

* Home Page Message archives
Many of these essays have writing advice. All have photos, some have recipes, a few have poems.

* Poetry Page essays
Read suggestions for writing and performing poetry and the stories behind some of Linda's poems.

* Critter Stories
Brief stories and photos of birds and wildlife seen on Linda's ranch may be found on this page.

* Gallimaufry Page
Stories and photos that don't fit anywhere else.

Linda on YouTube

Nancy Curtis, publisher and owner of High Plains Press, recorded a couple of videos of Linda reading her poetry and posted them on YouTube.

To see Linda read "Where the Stories Come From"
click here.

To see Linda read her poem "Make a Hand"
click here

Or go to and search for Linda Hasselstrom.

You may also want to visit the High Plains Press facebook page where you will find these two poetry videos and much more about the many great western books-- poetry and non-fiction-- published by High Plains Press.

Thanks, Nancy!

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Notes from a Western Life
Ranging Far and Wide on the High Plains and Beyond
Linda M. Hasselstrom's Blog

The Importance of Grasslands

January 15, 2010

Tags: Northern Prairies Land Trust, Grass, Birds

. . .
The best articles I've read about the importance of grasslands is written by John H. Davidson, president of Northern Prairies Land Trust, and appears in the Winter 2010 issue of Saving Land, the publication of the Land Trust Alliance. I urge everyone to read the complete article.

Davidson notes that "Land conservation priorities have favored visually dramatic resources-- mountains, lakes, forests and shores," but neglected the "more visually humble but no less vital resource" of grasslands of the North American prairie.

The complex prairie ecosystem, says Davidson, are repositories of an "ocean of carbon." "We must ask whether it makes sense to spend fortunes on attempts to control releases of carbon from coal-based energy plants and cutting of tropical forests while simultaneously releasing an immeasurable ocean of carbon by plowing up our prairie," says Davidson. "In Nebraska and South Dakota, less than 2% of tallgrass prairie remains," and the mixed and shortgrass prairies that lie to the west are being plowed at an "alarming pace;" an estimated 80% of shortgrass prairie has been converted to crops. The federal system of encouraging plowing native grasses by offering financial payments to corn and grain farmers, says Davidson, is partly responsible for this loss, as is industrial farming, with its resultant increase in grain prices which encourages livestock growers to plow prairie and turn to confinement meat production and genetically modified seeds.

Prairie birds are declining more swiftly than any other birds in North America (, and inland floods are increasing, all due to the loss of prairie. The World Wildlife Fund describes the Northern Great Plains as "one of the least protected places on earth."

Northern Prairies Land Trust is working with private ranchers and other landowners in eastern Nebraska and South Dakota to protect native grasses, with more than 100 active projects covering nearly 20,000 acres of unbroken tallgrass prairie. Northern Prairies is working to protect riverside wildlife habitat, wetlands, farms, ranches, and open spaces near cities and towns. Visit to learn more about this important organization.

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For more information:

Northern Prairies Land Trust website

State of the Birds website

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