Brutes Bleat


In case you didn’t see what happened on Feb. 2, the groundhog saw its shadow and we’re in for another six weeks of winter. We can take some consolation that we’ve had a mild winter to date, but this is Minnesota and that can change rapidly in February and March. Fortunately, we were missed by the weekend storm which did a number on the states below us as well as those on the Eastern Seaboard. Those hit by the snowstorm would probably like to see the  a wolf devour the groundhog, which came across on facebook. But be that as it may, the weather people have a warm-up coming by the weekend which will be great for the postponed Maple Lake Ice Fishing Derby on Feb. 7th.  Apparently the large Northerns have started to come to life on that lake and the harpooners had some good days recently with reports of 14- and 12-pounders speared.  Another good tip is that the Walleyes have been biting on Granite Lake. We always seem to hear these reports well after they have happened. We, George Palmer and myself, fished sunnies on Rock Lake last week Tuesday. We didn’t set any records but we each ended up with nice meals of fillets. Palmer, who has the patience of Job, outfished me and my guiding service may be in jeopardy! 
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I was pleasantly surprised last Saturday when Vanna and I took an early morning drive out to Ney Park and we had to slow down for a flock of hen pheasants crossing the road. We got a rough count of seven hens and moments later two roosters flew back across the road  into the cattails just east of the Potter farm. Jerry Carlson remarked about seeing pheasants along that township road and I suspect he may have been seeing the same group, although it would be great if they were separate bunches.     .      .     
I’ve had my eye on this tree trunk in Ney Park hoping to catch the wood- pecker doing his thing, but without success. Their feeding times are different from my walks with Vanna.  Since we took the photo (top right), a second hole has been drilled into the tree trunk.  We walked to the back-side of the tree and were amazed at the number of holes (bottom right) that the woodpecker or woodpeckers had made while going after food.
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   A strange thing happened recently when we were walking the Pond trail and met up with three people with a leashed Beagle. I realized Vanna isn’t a fighting dog when she lay down immediately and watched, then headed off the trail as the trio approached us. I coaxed her, but my coaxing fell on deaf ears and she wouldn’t budge until the small Beagle was well behind us. What a whimp
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