Midwest Living

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A good eye. A sense of adventure. And tons of patience. That’s what it takes for 28-year-old Benjamin Olson of Burnsville, Minnesota, to capture his incredible wildlife photos. Ben grew up in the ‘burbs, but his parents often took him fishing, hunting and camping when he was younger. He credits them—along with his grandfather who gave him his first camera—for his passion... More
Rocks in shades of rose, gray, slate and cement stack like optical illusions on the scenic beaches of Minnesota’s North Shore. Think this image is Photoshopped? Think again. These creations (and photos) are the handiwork of Twin Cities resident Peter Juhl, an avid rock stacker. Peter describes rock stacking as the opposite of a magic trick. While magicians... More
At Detroit-based Leadhead Glass, urban renewal comes in the form of a home for your ficus. Entrepreneurs and owners Chad Ackley and Derek Smiertka handcraft terrariums out of materials salvaged from abandoned Motor City homes. Midwest Living chatted with Ackley to discuss the new company and how it's helping reclaim Detroit. Derek Smiertka (left) and Chad... More
There's no question about what our Instagram fans loved in October—fall color! Photos from Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa made our five most-liked pictures of the month. 1) @saurand captured this autumn scene in Granger, Indiana (https://instagram.com/p/9ULYW-mzRZ/). "This time of year certainly brings out an amazing show of color," she writes.... More
Growing up, northwestern Ohio salesman Andy Weills came to admire his dad’s Volkswagen bus and the era it symbolized. “My father was a child of the sixties, a hippie in every sense of the word,” he says. “I’m a Gen-Xer, so I missed that era. But if you watch Instagram, there’s a whole movement of vans and people who live in their buses... More
Autumn’s the obvious time to go looking for big old buildings with some kind of mystery waiting inside. Not haunted places, exactly. Just structures with a past and with high potential for letting your imagination feast on the secrets stacked behind the door. My curiosity for these places never cooled off after childhood, when books left me wishing for an afternoon in the house that held... More
The golden hues of late summer—and a hint of fall—captivated our Instagram followers in September. The five most popular photos of the month: 1) "The Sunflower State showing off” at Grinter Farms near Lawrence, Kansas, by @kim_horgan (https://instagram.com/p/70DN18mzRz/).  2) A sneak preview of what’s to come: the peak of fall colors at Matthiessen... More
Native Minnesotan J. Ryan Stradal’s new book Kitchens of the Great Midwest is hotter than a chocolate habanero pepper (which is hot enough to send certain characters in the book to the hospital). Kitchens, a novel about "one girl's farm-to-table success story, mothers and daughters, how food becomes the common language of our lives, and the bittersweet... More
Here in Indiana, we've officially hit that in-between season, where the temps dip in the evenings and the tempo of life slows a bit. There's something beautiful about the rhythm of the seasons in the Midwest, and I love finding ways to bring that rhythm indoors. I used to think this meant buying something new (hello, throw pillows!) but it doesn't... More
This time of year, the blooms of the Great Plains of North Dakota fade as harvesttime approaches. Canola, sunflowers and golden grains blanket the landscape. In the heart of the state, many of us honor the season's beauty—and bounty—with Banquet in a Field, a dinner hosted by CommonGround farm volunteers and other... More