Located in Sauk Centre, The Palmer Hotel was once voted as the nation’s most haunted hotel.
(Photo courtesy of MN Historical Society)
As some people may have already assumed, I am filling in for Harold this week due to him heading north to Lake Of The Woods to try his hand at fishing. Hopefully he comes back with some large tales and even larger fish. Good luck, Harold, and have fun! This week has been a rainy one, but good to see, especially for farmers just starting up their crops. The rain is welcomed. We have now moved into summer, and it feels great! I have been keeping an eye on the Stanley Cup playoffs, and since my two first choices have been knocked out (the Wild and the Capitals), I am rooting for the San Jose Sharks to take it all. The bearded Brent Burns, formerly from the Wild, has been one to watch this year. Either way, playoff hockey is some of the best hockey to watch! This week will be a continuation of talking about a selection of Minnesota towns I have spent time in and have a rich history that some may not know.
Vanna usually makes our walks exciting, especially in the spring when everything seems to come alive after a long winter. In the instance above, her nose, like most dogs, is a thousand times more sensitive than humans, when she sniffed out a small mud turtle that was making its way through the grass in Ney Park. She was content to smell the turtle before we went on our way. I thought it might have been a June bug which has happened before, apparently turtles are new to her. Janis commented that each dog’s, (besides having outstanding noses) is unique, much like the fingerprints of humans, with none having identical nose prints. So much for dog lore!
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These three boat trailers were parked in the Maple Lake public acccess off Hwy. 55 at about 7 a.m. and the anglers were toughing it out on the lake for what I think was the most foul weather fishing opener in my lifetime. I’ve put up with cold weather before, but nothing that matched the conditions Saturday morning when the wind howled all Friday night and most of Saturday. I haven’t a clue if any of the anglers on Maple Lake caught anything Saturday, but if they did they certainly paid the price. One boat was tied up to the dock and the anglers were out shopping for a fuel line according to the boat checker at the access who was inspecting boats for aquatic invasive species. The DNR hires a crew of seasonal watercraft inspectors each year to inspect watercraft for aquatic invasive species and
watercraft when necessary, identifying potential invasive species, predicting their spread, and developing and implementing solutions.
After a couple of comments about seeing families of Canada geese with newly-hatched goslings, I paid special attention to a pair in the pond just west of Varner Lake Sunday and spotted their offsprings following them. There are numerous species, both domestic and wild, and I gave the internet a quick look and learned they are more than numerous. I also learned that “Geese are bred mainly for their meat, which is particularly popular in Germanic language countries around Christmas. Of lesser commercial importance is goose breeding for eggs, schmaltz, or for the fattened liver (foie gras). A few specialized breeds have been created for the main purpose of weed control (e.g. the Cotton Patch Goose), or as guard animals and (in former times) for goose fights (e.g., the Steinbach Fighting Goose and Tula Fighting Goose).” Both of my parents came from German backgrounds and a goose dinner on Christmas seemed to be a tradition with them.
About 10 a.m. Tuesday I was on the street in front of the VA Clinic in Minneapolis when I couldn’t help but see 8 to 10 turkeys. Safe from the turkey hunters, they were opposite the light rail line and scrounging for something to eat and didn’t seem to mind the vehicles zipping by. From my quick glimpse they looked fat and sassy, so apparently someone is putting out some food for them. . .
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Illegal commercial fishing was costly for an Ontario man, Albert Fortier, Thunder Bay, who was fined $1,000 for fishing without a license and another $1,000 for unlawfully possessing a commercial fish net. In addition, he is prohibited from obtaining or possessing a fishing license of any kind and from engaging in any fish-related activities for a period of ten years. Conservation officers on a routine marine patrol of Chipman Lake observed a boat with four men from a distance and saw Fortier set and retrieve several gill nets. He had three sturgeons in the boat which were seized and forfeited to the Crown. Fortier pled guilty in an Ontario Court at Thunder Bay Feb. 3, 2016. From that I’ll assume Ontario thinks quite highly of the sturgeons they have in their lakes and rivers. So now is as good a time as any to remind anglers in Minnesota to make sure they have a current fishing license for this spring and summer.
Our congratulations to Todd Fuller, a Maple Lake High School graduate and an outstanding wrestler at North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND. Todd was one of twelve athletes named to the 2016 NCAA II Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame on March 10 at Sioux Falls, SD. His parents are David and Kay Fuller, both MLHS graduates and local residents. Dave gave me a copy of Todd’s wrestling bio which was part of the Hall of Fame banquet’s program. It reads as follows:
“Todd Fuller was recruited to wrestle for North Dakota State University by coach Buck Maughan. He was a four-time state qualifier for Maple Lake High School in Minnesota. His high school record was 186-39, placing third twice, and winning a State Championship as a senior (1998). He was also a four-time letter winner in football and baseball and was a four-time, all-conference baseball player.
We’re in the fickle month of April when the golfers want to get out on the nice warm days only to have their hopes dashed by a wicked north wind and some snow flurries or a icy rain. It’s the unpredictable weather April is well-known for at a time when Minnesotans want to get in their gardens or the farmers are itching to start field work that puts a damper on spring fever! I did notice a lawn had been mowed in Clearwater Saturday, but on second thought, it probably was more of a vacuuming effort than mowing. There were a pair of wood ducks in my neighbor, Wally’s, tree last Friday, apparently scouting the neighborhood for a wood duck nest. There are several in the neighborhood so they can pick whichever one fits their fancy. I’m hoping they can see the one I put up in our back yard a year ago. I summerized the snow blower last week and any snow we get from here on out will have to wait until the sun shines.
I’m getting on the anxious side of pulling my boat out of the backyard and re-installing the depth finder, batteries, and in general, making sure it is ready for another season of angling. Greasing the bearings on the boat trailer is also on the to-do list as well as plugging in the lights to see if the turn signals work. Turn signals are really a necessity for safety, especially if you’re using the Maple Lake access off busy Hwy. 55 where there aren’t any turning lanes. Checking over the rods, oiling the reels, testing the line strength, and reviewing the inventory in your tackle box or boxes are other things that I should have already been doing, but I’ll blame it on the Sweet Sixteen basketball games. I had picked Kansas, but now that they’re out I haven’t any excuses! I haven’t mentioned fly fishing, but that’s just around the corner, too.
Hey, folks, we finally had a meal of delicious panfish at our house last week after a “fishing winter of discontent”. When commenting about having gone fishing last Tuesday most people gave me kind of a quizzical look like I might be losing it, considering the lakes in Wright County were, for all practical purposes, void of ice. What happened was I got a hot tip from a friend where the sunnies were biting on one of Ottertail County’s 1,000 lakes. So, with jiggle sticks in hand, Daryl Hennen and I left that Tuesday morning planning to meet my brother, Charles, en-route to this secret spot. Hennen was a bit apprehensive about us finding safe ice considering the warm weather, commenting he wasn’t going out on any ice that wasn’t white looking. Black ice, being a no-no, for both of us, I was pleased to see anglers and a couple of ATVs out on the ice when we got to the access.