Brute’s Bleat: July 16, 2014


“Records are made to be broken”, an old phrase dating back from I don’t know when, applies to the Lakers’ Maple Lake-Delano baseball game last Wednesday when the 21-0 Laker record was broken. It was a game when the Lakers had enough men on base to win, but they couldn’t get them home and the game ended 5-4. It would have been nice to keep their unblemished record in tact, but now that pressure is off and we suspect they will be stronger because of the loss. On Sunday they defeated Maple Plain 8-5 for an impressive 22-1 record and look forward to meeting Dassel-Cokato, another tough North Star League team, July 16. On Friday they play Hutchinson there in a 7:30 p.m. game.    .     .
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The sunfish were cooperating this past week, but not as aggressively as the previous week. The up-side is a person gets to fish longer, especially if you’re kind of picky. I kept 19 off Maple Lake Wednesday fishing with my faithful companion Vanna, my dog, not TV’s Vanna White! On Thursday George Palmer and I fished the same lake and found some nice sized sunnies in a couple of different spots.  We ran into Steve Mooney later in the morning when the sunfish bite had slowed up. Palmer caught a couple more and we had 22 keepers in the livewell.  A DNR representative was at the access off Hwy. 55 inspecting boats for weeds, etc. He gave us a thumbs-up on weeds and he commented we’d have to drain the water off of leeches.  He suggested bringing a frozen bottle of water along the next time and using that on the leeches when we were leaving the access. We visited with him and found out most of the anglers are cooperating well. He hasn’t found any zebra mussels on the units he has checked in this area which was good news to us. He commented one boat he inspected, which had been on Lake Minnetonka, need to be thoroughly washed before it could be launched on a local lake. Again, he didn’t get any flak from the operator when he suggested it be cleaned off at J & J Marine.  I’m hoping anglers will take these preventive measures seriously and help keep our lakes relatively clean    .    .    .    
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Maple Lake city has a few isolated incidences of Wood Ducks nesting in trees in the residential areas.  Shortly after they hatch out, within 24 hours, which was last week on Maple Ave. South, they need to get to water.  My meager knowledge of the process is for the mother duck to call from the ground to her ducklings who take turns leaving the nest and fluttering to the ground. This is what happened at the Brad Hennen residence, but instead of heading for a slough or lake this flock of 11 found water in a backyard wading pool, part of a waterfall decoration. Apparently their Springer, Bella, was excited about seeing the ducks from her kennel and gave off enough of a sound that imitated the mother wood duck’s call that a couple of the ducklings headed her way and needed to be shooed back to the rest of the flock.  The Hennens noticed two of the ducklings weren’t able to get out of the wading pond on their own so they opened up the water faucet, raising the water level to give them an assist.  Mother duck took over and the ducklings followed her one by one as they left Hennen’s backyard heading southwest.    .     .     Dick Wurm is another resident who has witnessed a wood duck march when he caught sight of them a number of years ago as they left the city park.    .     .     I’ve noticed the wood ducks during the spring migration when they are looking for nesting sites in the large trees along Linden Avenue. They like to build their nests in a cavity in a tree, but I’ve yet to see one nesting. Kip Blizil has also seen them in his backyard from time to time.  From what I understand leaving the nest is an early-morning ritual and is prolonged only when predators are a threat. 
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It didn’t do my disposition any good when I noticed a road-kill hen pheasant on County Road 8 as Vanna and I were headed toward Ney Park on a walk Sunday morning.  I know that road-kills can’t be avoided sometimes and I hope motorists do their best in keeping the numbers down.      .        .       Vanna and I came across a lot of frogs in the park in a low spot where there is some standing water.  It’s the most I’ve seen for a long time and they would have been good bait for bass anglers. Jerry Carlson suggested I should have filled my pockets! There were literally hundreds of them hopping around.