In my last column I mentioned it would be nice to have a little snow for Christmas. I got my wish, just enough snow to cover the ground. Unfortunately it seems we got the bonus package and ended up with a few more inches of snow than I had envisioned. In all reality it just wouldn’t be winter in our fair state without a snow storm or two to loosen up the old shoveling arm and keep the back in shape. I did use my trusty “scoop” for most of the snow, but when it starts piling up the scoop almost gets to be too much like work.
I have a snow blower, but for some reason I find that shoveling the first substantial amount of snow just seemed like the thing to do, but now that I have piled the stuff high on both sides of the driveway my snow blower will have to spring into action for the next snowfall.
The temperatures, on the average, are much more winter like and this is good news for those who have been patiently waiting for the lakes to freeze and the ice to get thick enough for hard water fishing. One of the problems I can foresee is the nice blanket of snow that covered the ice when it was actually not safe enough to venture out on. Circumstances like this can cause pockets of thin ice and make it dangerous for much more than foot traffic. With that said, you need to venture out carefully and take safety precautions like claws and maybe even some sort of floatation device; at least until you know the ice is safe.
Another Christmas has passed us by and we have already welcomed in a new year. This is the time of year that can leave a person with a substantial amount of leftovers when, if not consumed in the first couple of days, can lead one to ask questions like: how long do I keep this stuff before throwing it out and how can you tell if lutefisk has gone bad? Those are just a few things to ponder while moving on with winter.
The snowmobilers are happily cruising about the countryside and evidently by the look and sound of it there must be a trail in my area of town. On Thursday, New Year’s Eve day, we were blessed with sunshine and a fresh snow cover which made the countryside look like the cover of a Christmas card. Yes, there always seems to be something magical in a fresh snowfall, at least in my little corner of the world. When I venture outside on a crisp winter morning to start the vehicles I am usually greeted with the sight of fresh critter tracks. We have numerous birds, squirrels and rabbits that hang out in our yard and whenever I see those tracks it takes me back to my youth, at least for a fleeting moment.
As kids, we spent a lot of Saturdays exploring the slough by my childhood home looking for signs of wildlife. This is what I loved to do, and the sight of something as magnificent as a snowy owl perched atop a dead tree on the edge of the slough that we kids called “ours” is forever etched into my memory. We never set out to harm any of those critters because it was much more important to us to just be able to say we saw a critter like a fox or got the bejeebers scared out of us by almost stepping on a pheasant that was hiding in the swamp grass. I did take my trusty Red Ryder BB gun along, but it was only for protection, from what I don’t know. It was fun to try and shoot the heck out of a cattail and it was a challenge to see who could hit it the most from a certain distance. That was fun, harmless fun, enjoyed by a bunch of kids who didn‘t need anything more than an imagination and a desire to see what entertainment nature could provide us.
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MUSKY TALK - Our January meeting of Crossroads Chapter 54, of Muskies Inc. will be Thursday January 7, at Eagles Club in Owatonna at 7 p.m. Our speaker is Noah Binsford, "with get the net guide service." He guides on the Mississippi River between St. Cloud and Brainerd. He is a third generation of river fisherman. He is a multi-species guide, but muskies are his specialty. We will have a chance to learn more how to fish muskies in rivers. There is no “fall turnover” in rivers.
Our meetings include updates, speaker, door prizes, raffle and lots of musky talk. Need not be a member to attend.
Bring a friend and help improve musky fishing in Southern Minnesota.
Until next time, be careful when you do decide the ice is thick enough to venture out because with the weather we have been experiencing ice safety will be nothing but unpredictable.
Please remember to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers, n not only during the holiday season but for the rest of the year. They are the reason that we are able to enjoy all the freedoms that we have today.