By Molly Butler

Well, I was going to write something halfway inspiring this week. I had my usual artillery of favorite quotes, and last weekend my grandma actually gifted me this wonderful book that’s also full of great quotes and ideas, and I can’t wait to share them with you. But this morning, I was a little distracted.

Yesterday, there was the sound of wings fluttering in the chimney. Something, a bird or bat, must have got in through the top and was stuck in the chimney on the second floor. We decided to let it wriggle around and hopefully find its way out. After work and all through the night, it didn’t make a sound, so we assumed it had gotten away safely. As Noah left for work this morning, he even made a comment: “It must have gotten out on its own!” Nope. Not five minutes after he’d shut the door, the wings fluttered again. This time, on the main floor.

I went to the sound and found the cats all gazing intently at the chimney. Because the creature was clearly moving downwards instead of up and out, I decided to open the wood stove flue and see if we could get itself into the wood stove. Within minutes there was a flapping of wings in the stove. I put the dog outside and locked the cats in the basement, and prepared for war.

Last fall, my dad sent me home with a giant fishing net and a pair of elbow-length leather gloves to try and catch a bat in our closet (note: we did not catch it). I grabbed the supplies and braced them in front of the stove door. The plan was to cover the entrance with the big net and slowly open the door into the net so the bird would have no choice but to fly right into my trap. Then I’d hold it still with the gloves, march it out the door, and off to freedom! That plan did not work.

The starling straightened its purple and green-tinted wings, gave me a look that said, ‘I’m giving this Airbnb one star!’ and took off.

The bird, a little black starling, shot right through an inch-wide opening and flew directly into a living room window. Hmmm, maybe I should have opened some windows and doors before doing this. As I guarded my face with the net, the bird ran into the window once, twice, three times, gave up, and took a seat on the couch. Make yourself right at home, I guess. After some squawking and a few near misses, I finally managed to scoop the bird into the net and carry it carefully outside. I opened the net. The starling straightened its purple and green-tinted wings, gave me a look that said, “I’m giving this Airbnb one star!” and took off.

So, I’m not sure what advice to give you this week, folks. I guess if anything, remember to always have a big net handy, just in case. Have a great weekend!


It’s National Library Week, and the North Mankato Taylor Library is ready to celebrate! Check their Facebook event page for daily themes and opportunities to enter their prize package. Each day is another opportunity to tag the library and be entered to win. Come celebrate your local library! Then join the Blue Earth County Library as they celebrate National Poetry Month with their weekly readings. This Friday, they’ll be hosting Richard Robbins and Mairead Small Staid for a virtual reading from 6-7 p.m.

Hy-Vee dietitians will be teaching a live class where they will debunk common diabetes food myths and provide the real facts. Diabetes: Myths, Facts, and Snacks will provide education and send you home with quick and easy snack ideas and recipes. Register online.

I’m super excited to check out Areca Roe’s exhibition, Terrestrial Ghosts, at the 410 Project. The previews I’ve seen from the 410 Project make this photography look absolutely stunning. Current hours are 2-6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. Then, Ben Scruggs will be playing original songs on the beautiful new Wine Café patio from 5-8 p.m. I’m very excited to get my first peek at their brand-new wine shop, Wine Cat, which just opened at the beginning of April. It looks beautiful!


River Valley Running is hosting their Easter Egg 5k Run/Walk! No registration is necessary, just put on your running shoes and head down to the parking lot behind their location on Riverfront Drive in Mankato. Come and enjoy the free marked route, treats, prizes, and special in-store deals for participants only.

Cookie Dough Bliss of the Twin Cities will be serving up their sweet treats at the Circle Inn from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. With flavors from Peanut Butter Paradise to Snickerdoodle to Brownie Batter, plus all the usual Circle Inn service, you’ll find something delicious to take home. Pre-order your dough online and receive a FREE pint!

Exciting things are happening in New Ulm. The Wonderful World of Skating Ice Show will be at the Civic Center, bringing you stories like Moana, The Lion King, Aladdin, and more! The show begins at 1 p.m. The Minnesota State University, Mankato advanced art students are taking over the 4 Pillars Gallery at the Grand with a site-specific exhibition. All pieces were designed and installed with the gallery’s specific space in mind. This exhibition will be available to view through May.


The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota will be hosting Sheep Shearing! You can practice shearing in the Ag & Nature Lab, then watch a live shearing of two lucky lambs from the Pehling Bay Farm. This educational experience is a great way to get your little ones out of the house and learning about agriculture as well as textiles.

Atlantis Hobby is hosting a $6 Entry Yu-Gi-Oh! Come play, learn, and win prizes. Their friendly staff is always happy to help. Plus, fish lovers can pick up aquarium supplies at this unique, multi-talented local shop.

Bonus: How to Get a Bird Out of Your House

Don’t do what I did. If there’s a bird in your house, contain the area it’s in. Close off other halls and doorways so that the issue can be tackled in one spot. Remove pets from the area and make sure to turn off any heated appliances and ceiling fans.

Next, create an exit point. You want one door or window to usher the bird towards. Open that and then cover all other exits and turn off the lights so that the main exit is brightest, creating a nice big EXIT HERE sign for the bird.

Now it’s time to make a move. Bed sheets are recommended as you can hold them in both hands and create a wall to drive the bird away. This also protects you better than using something like a broom or, I don’t know, a net?

If these steps don’t work, or you are afraid of birds or prone to falls, skip all of these steps and call a professional (or some lucky family member or friend who can help you). Wildlife experts, animal sanctuaries, or animal control are all experienced and have better equipment to deal with these issues.


Weekend High Notes is a regular feature by Molly Butler. Molly covers weekend events, live music, and culture in the Greater Mankato Area. Suggestions are welcome using the MankatoLIFE contact form.