Brute’s Bleat December 23, 2015

Back in the olden days publishers appreciated the Christmas holiday falling on one of the later days of the week (after Wednesday) because that meant the Messenger would be in the hands of most subscribers before the holiday, thanks to the Post Office. Friday, Dec. 25, is ideal because it gives businesses one last shot at advertising their Holiday-ware for those last-minute shoppers who have been procrastinating for the past year. And in some cases, the Friday holiday is the beginning of a three-day weekend for employees and employers. So, with that said, we wish each of our readers the Merriest of Christmases as we have in the past 45 years or so. This one has all the earmarks of being a brown Christmas (less than an inch of snow), which is unusual, but not unheard of. Brown holidays will make it nice for people travelling on the bottom half of Minnesota’s highways, but that’s not necessarily true up north where they have had some snow. Those who have been waiting for the lakes to freeze up will have to be patient (it’s a virtue) for another couple of weeks for good ice if the weather people are guessing correctly. The recent rescue on Upper Red Lake is a good example of giving our Minnesota lakes a lot of respect any time, but especially this year. Russ Paumen commented Rock Lake has frozen up three times already only to thaw out! One of Clearwater Lake’s more ardent Northern spearers checked a bay on that lake Saturday mostly for water clarity, commenting the main part was open Friday. Friday night was calm and clear and the temperature dropped to about 7-9 degrees, putting a skin of ice on most lakes, but not enough to make them safe of foot travel.
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Local banker, Andy Wahlquist, provided these cell phone photos of goose hunting in western Minnesota Nov. 29th. As a bonus he and his 12-year-old son, Myles, enjoyed watching the three otters play on the ice in front of their blind with the geese behind them on the ice and in the open water. At one point he said the geese parted and gave the otters a path to swim in the open water. As for his hunt that day, he said the geese went out to feed before sunset and swung over them. They harvested three of the Canada Honkers, went out on the ice, picked them up and called it a day, their last hunt for the 2015 season.
Wahlquist termed the waterfowl season as good, noting the migration of duck and geese was more of a trickle this year than a heavy stream because of the mild fall weather.
He commented there was one fish house on Pleasant Lake Monday morning when he was driving to Maple Lake.

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