Welcome to March

Erik Flesch & Sara Lomasz Flesch

It’s March in the Driftless and we’re straddling two seasons: The promise of thaw suggested by Dustin Roberts’ male Northern cardinal gracing our front cover, and the quiet reality of lingering winter captured by Mitchell Travis and poetically described by Nancy Schmalz on our back cover.

Beyond seasons, we’re also straddling a new before and after in terms of coronatimes. A year ago we were embarking upon a new unknown: life during a pandemic. We’d never done anything like it, and now masks and social distancing and Zoom are, well, they’re not normal or second nature, but they’re familiar. We’ve all been changed by this experience — each of us individually as well as our communities — but think of all we’ve learned in a year, and all of the perspective we bring with us as a new spring begins, one that brings us closer to the life we’ll live in the post-pandemic.

To accompany us toward that future, this month, in addition to our cover artists, we are featuring the voices of Erik Flesch, Mary Friedel-Hunt, Steve Fuller, Doris Green, John Heasley, Jude and Paul Kuenn, Jennifer Moore-Kerr and Kathy Steffen; calendar listings; and more.

If you’re so inspired, we welcome your contributions of poetry and haiku for our April celebration of National Poetry Month. Email info@voiceoftherivervalley.com by March 15, and see Kathy Steffen’s column on p. 4 for inspiration and motivation.

We’re grateful as ever to this month’s advertisers (see p. 3) and subscribers, and to the volunteers who make distribution of the magazine possible to more than 60 locations this month: Joni and Rick Graves, Linda Kelen, Mark McCauley, and Brian Richter. Whether you enjoy this month’s issue in print or online at voiceoftherivervalley.com, we wish you happy reading.

This month’s cover image of an adult male Northern cardinal was taken near Fennimore by Dustin Roberts, a landscape photographer and veteran of the U.S. Army Guard and Reserves who grew up in the Driftless Area. For more of Dustin’s work, follow him on Instagram

Many thanks to Dustin for his contribution to our cover! To share art or photography for a future cover, contact us at info@voiceoftherivervalley.com.