Brute's Bleat: May 28, 2014


After our long and cold winter, seeing a family of hatched-out Canada geese on Varner Lake off Highway 55 last Wednesday was like a breath of spring. The downy goslings couldn’t have been much more than a day old and followed one another in a straight line with one parent in the lead and one bringing up the rear. Ironically that was the only day I’ve seen them even though I make a trip to Buffalo fairly often. Vanna and I were both startled last Thursday in Ney Park when we were about to cross the ditch in the eastern part of the park when a turkey thundered out of the grass.  Another day, two hen pheasants caught our eye as they were flying along the low land in  the former Vic Jude property north of town. Later a rooster flushed out of some willows in Ney Park and two deer. who apparently didn’t like being disturbed, ran out of some brush only to stop on a hillside and give us the once-over.  My effort to find Morel mushrooms has only been an effort so far, but it’s time to get serious about that sport, especially after the thunderstorms Monday night and Tuesday morning. I checked on a couple of asparagus spots Sunday, but came up with only one tasty stalk about four inches long which was delicious. It doesn’t take much to please me.    .     .     My thoughts the past two weeks have been more on my annual Lake of the Woods fishing trip and the food preparation which George Palmer, Mike Muller and I are in charge of.  My younger brother, Charles, has been handling the fresh food portions for the past several years, but won’t be making the trip this year. His 44-year-old son, Bill, underwent an operation for a malignant brain tumor and is fighting to get his health back at a facility in Spring Lake Park. He also had a stroke which paralized his right side. On the bright side he’s starting to eat solid food and is trying his best to talk, although he doesn’t have much volume in his voice. Saying a prayer on his behalf would please his family and me.   .   .   Back to the fishing trip, my older brother, Lloyd, Elk River, will be making the trip along with his son, John, who lives in Dallas, and Lloyd’s buddy, Mark, Elk River. Dallas may seem like a long way to come for a week of fishing, but John has been there before and fishing one of Minnesota’s best-kept secrets apparently has had a positive effect on him. I talked with our hosts at Prothero’s Resort and Grace said the ice has been out of the inlet since May 8, but there were still some ice floes on the big part of the lake about 10 days ago. Despite the late spring I’m still optimistic about the great fishing we will have. One thing for sure, we won’t be bothered with May flies bothering the walleye bite.    .     .      Angling out of my boat is still on hold while I’m waiting for the street work on Linden Avenue to reach a point where I can pull the boat out to Division Street without  jarring everything loose in the Suburban, the boat and trailer.  The way it sounds some pan fish anglers have been catching some nice-sized sunnies in shallow water on Maple Lake, but it hasn’t been me.  I put on the waders Sunday about 5:30 p.m. and tried fly-fishing on Maple Lake.  I caught sunfish on the first two casts, but that was all she wrote. Neither were worth keeping, but this week’s warm weather should make a difference as the lakes warm up to the 65-degree mark.  Your Messenger editor, Gabe, fished with his wife, Sarah, on Ten Mile Lake up by Dalton and Fergus Falls over the weekend where they came up with a mixed bag, including Sarah’s walleye, Gabe’s northern, and a large crappie and some bass.    .     .    If we were in a contest, the Iowan would be out-fishing me!
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A TV news flash on the proper care of women’s jeans last week, or it might have been the filming of ladies walking away in their tight-fitting jeans, caught my eye. Anyway, washing jeans apparently is not the thing to do if they are to retain their original shape. The TV announcers were having a good time discussing the dilemma and the photography was top-notch. Airing them out periodically was suggested as a stop-gap method, but when push came to shove washing them seemed to be the only answer.  Anyway, I hope they don’t get as baggy as men’s and boys’ wear.
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I was impressed with the new format for Legion Post 131 Memorial Day program and equally impressed with the speaker, Bruce Bartels, a retired Annandale High School wrestling coach. He talked about how he became involved in the American Legion and the patriotism that was part of his upbringing.  His father was a WWII vet and Bruce served in Vietnam.  He said one of the proudest days was when his dad asked him to march with him in one of Brownton’s Memorial Day parades.  It was one of the more personal Memorial Day speeches I’ve heard over the years. 
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