Brute's Bleat February 17, 2016

When it’s windy and cold my daily walks with Vanna are usually in the woodsy parts of Ney or Zum Brunnen county parks. Both apparently have a fair number of deer running in them, some randomly but most on established trails that take them out of the park into adjoining fields where they feed. The bird population in Ney Park consists mostly of woodpeckers, a few nuthatches and an occasional cardinal this time of year, at least that’s what I’m seeing! I stopped Saturday to see if there was any activity by the beavers that were working in the creek that flows into the pond from Lake Mary and north out of the park toward Silver Creek last summer. It looked to me like the beavers went south for the winter, but there was a current in the creek which has remained open all winter, apparently because of the lake’s high water. This is the first time I’ve noticed open water in the creek in the dead of winter since I’ve been hiking in the park the past 20 years. The park maintenance people put a temporary bridge on the pond trail earlier last fall to accommodate hikers and skiers. My faithful companion, Vanna, apparently saw something that caught her eye Saturday. She normally doesn’t sit that still!
* * *
I noticed the temperature was -40 degrees at Flag Island at Lake of the Woods last week, something I mentioned when Mike Muller called from Florida Friday. It was 77 there, but a cold snap registered 38 degrees one morning at Lake Okeechobee where he fishes. He said fishing has been terrible. He and Jesse caught only eight keeper crappies that day. That lake is also the site of a huge bass tournament with lots of pre-fishing by the contestants. . . Our local cold snap has kept me off the lakes, but that’s going to change this week with the moderating temperatures. Gene Wadman said the Northerns are starting to decoy on Cedar Lake and he was fortunate to prong an eight-pounder last week along with some smaller fish.
* * *
The neighborhood squirrels seem to be enjoying themselves and it looks like they’re chasing each other with a purpose in mind. One morning eight were scurrying across Linden Ave., seemingly oblivious to my car, and on Monday four were on the run between the porch and garage. I figured it must be mating time for Minnesota’s grey squirrels and a quick look on the internet says their gestation period is from 33 to 46 weeks which I think is a misprint and should be days. Regardless, if you watch squirrels and notice their tails are getting ratty looking it’s because they are using the fur to line their nests in preparation for their families which can number from two to eight. They’re also great at robbing bird feeders and go to great lengths to find ways to out-wit those who feed birds. Just ask Bob Polsfuss!

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here