‘Limit Less’

Thanks to the Wisconsin Writers Association, I’m grateful to find my poem on p. 41 of the March 2023 Creative Wisconsin Magazine:

Caution appareled, I shudder

to shoulder tasks undone. On city’s

sea, I swim circles on old roads

to keep worry afloat, at bay.

Until a raccoon runs at car:

inscrutable Hari Kiri.

I flee north where Kitchi gami

scatters agates, where copper knives

slipped between strata of northern

lives reveal ancient ways. I sit,

drowse on studded beach. Truth squeaks in,

speaks between layered wake and sleep.

Earlier wisdom reawakes.

Manoomin lured first peoples west,

harvests filled canoes, winter cured.

On rough skerries cormorants called.

Inland, indigenous folk found

spiritual nest with eagles.

Naked in rest, I ride creation’s

crest, slide down a foamy funnel

to dream inside a furling wave.

Lake, land, sky tremble, tumble, mix.

Roar in rhythmic composition.

Shore winds blow genesis. Behold,

unlimited Superior.

What I Learned …

from facilitating a genealogy writing workshop at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, last month: Genealogy often calls out serendipity. The experience of entering a strange cemetery and somehow walking directly to the marker you hoped to find is a not an uncommon occurrence for family historians. Nor is stumbling across one ancestor while looking for another. Or, for no particular, reason picking up a book containing the reference you need … and then immediately turning to the page with the long sought-for information. Search long enough and you may well find what you were seeking — or even a new cave passage if that is you passion.

Christmas Sale

Growing up, a short stack of books would arrive beneath our Christmas stockings–Bobbsey Twins, Hardy Boys, Ginny Gordon and other series titles to join classics on our shelves like Black Beauty, Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates, and many more. These days I’m always eager to receive the latest catalog from Arcadia Books in Spring Green, where I have my eye on several new releases.So, I’m pleased to report that Minnesota Underground: A Guide to Caves & Karst, Mines & Tunnels is on sale at Henschel Haus Books (https://henschelhausbooks.com/…/minnesota-underground…/). Use code CAVES and get $5 off at checkout, only at the Henschel Haus Books website.

Genealogy and Speleology?

Honored this month to be profiled in the UW Retirement Association newsletter, The Sifter. See p. 8: https://uwramadison.org/…/Sifters20…/2021.10%20final.pdf. And the full text:

I retired as a part-time communications specialist with the School of Human Ecology in 2014 and quickly missed so often walking into Nancy Nicholas Hall, with its perfect blend of historic and new design elements. Back then, I could not have predicted the changes to come. Like the recent 116F-degree temperature in the Pacific Northwest, several developments surprised me, though my general direction has remained the same.

Freelance writing and editing projects in the fields of community banking and higher education have become chapters of my past. Yet, I still write. After decades of family history research, Henschel Haus, Milwaukee, (https://henschelhausbooks.com)  published Elsie’s Story: Chasing a Family Mystery as well as new editions of Wisconsin Underground: A Guide to Caves, Mines, and Tunnels; and, most recently, Minnesota Underground: A Guide to Caves & Karst, Mines & Tunnels (co-authored with Greg Brick).

Related to Elsie’s Story, I now write a monthly genealogy/family history column for Voice of the River Valley (www.voiceoftherivervalley.com). The family history interest is engrained: I still can’t throw away childhood artifacts like a Silver Streak sled, a carom board, and a music box-purse my Aunt Elsie gave me. Related to the Underground books, I contributed to a National Speleological Society-spearheaded website recognizing 2021 as the International Year of Caves and Karst—https://driftless.caves.org.

An unexpected role is as a caregiver for my husband, Michael Knight (like me a UW-Madison alum), who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago.  We enjoy cooking together, culling family photos, doing jigsaw puzzles, and playing Scrabble.

As I’ve done most days for 27 years in every season and weather, I walk from our log house in the woods up to our “bunker” overlooking the Wisconsin River, with the Lone Rock bridge visible in the distance. Grounding also comes from working in our woods and gardening, which leads me inevitably back to the kitchen.

Like the vista of the river valley, retirement has led to a broad view and, on particularly windy days, the exhilaration of risk.

Vaccine Trials to Save Bats

Wisconsin’s Natural Heritage Conservation Field Notes reported in December on the first vaccine trials to combat the fungus causing white nose syndrome. At least one of the two vaccines tested were shown to increase survival in males and reduce levels of the fungus. Additional trials are underway this winter.


Doris Green grew up among a large cohort of  Wisconsin cousins, wise-cracking uncles, and laughing aunts who gathered regularly to play cards and swap stories. A family trip to the Cave of the Mounds in the 1950s launched a journey leading to several books.

Elsie’s Story: Chasing a Family Mystery (2018) puts an end to rumors about the mysterious death of a favorite aunt who died in 1960 at a small-town tavern Up North. The author uses the strategies of genealogy and journalism to finally answer the question: suicide, murder, or accident? (It’s available on Amazon and from Henschel Haus Publishing.)

A second edition of Wisconsin Underground: A Guide to Caves, Mines, and Tunnels in and Around the Badger State was published last year by Henschel Haus. A second edition of Minnesota Underground, co-authored with Greg Brick, is now complete. Green also authored Explore Wisconsin Rivers.

Green previously co-published and edited Wisconsin Community Banker magazine for the former Community Bankers of Wisconsin and was a communications specialist with the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She served as publisher at Magna Publications for its former book division and national newsletter  division. Green continues to write for national, regional, and local publications, and present at libraries, conferences, and other gatherings.

She earned her undergraduate degree in English and a master’s in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives with her husband, Michael H. Knight, and three distracting cats in a log house near Spring Green, Wisconsin.