Brute’s Bleat: July 22, 2015


There is a lot of color in Ney Park this time of the year with an abundance of brown-eyed susans, clover and a host of other wild flowers. They add color to the open prairie area in the eastern portion of the park where Vanna likes to run. The blossoms are attracting honey bees and I’m seeing some Monarch butterflies on our walks. So far the deer flies, horse flies and wood ticks haven’t been a problem, but that could change any day. I wore my bug hat one day, but could have gotten along without it. While the photo of a Wild Parsnip (above) may add color to the park, it’s not one you want to mess with. The internet says this about the plant: “Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is a tall (six inches – four feet) perennial herbaceous plant. It spends the first year as a small rosette (six inches tall) and can grow up to four feet in its flowering stage. Wild parsnip has broad, flat-topped yellow flowers which bloom throughout the summer months.
This plant is native to Europe and Asia. Because the roots are edible, it was brought to the United States and planted as a food source. It escaped cultivation and is now a wide-spread invasive plant across the United States.” The MNDNR has this warning on their website: “Avoid skin contact with the toxic sap of the plant tissue by wearing gloves, long sleeves and long pants. The juice of wild parsnip in contact with skin in the presence of sunlight can cause a rash and blistering and discoloration of the skin (phytophotodermatitis).” 
A Wright County Park employee was spraying for wild parsnip in the park last week and commented there is a lot of it in the older portion of the park.    .     .    It sounds like it is going to continue to be a problem throughout Minnesota.
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There was a hen turkey with about 5-6 poults on the township road next to Jerry Carlson’s residence last Wednesday. The chicks were small and only about a week old, scurrying behind the hen which couldn’t decide which way to go before deciding the park was a better place. A hen and covey of pheasants flushed in the park Saturday and the chicks were nearly as large as the hen.  A pair of well-matched black riding horses prompted me to ask the owners if they were related Sunday morning. No, one was a quarter horse and the other a Morgan, they commented as they praised the county for providing a great trail riding area.     .      .      I visited with Brian Hedman Sunday at the Lakers-Delano baseball game and he commented he saw two bucks with huge horns, a pheasant hen and about 10 chicks that morning as well as a doe and two fawns on the road near his home on County Road 5. The Lakers nailed down first place in the North Star League with a 9-7 win. The game was tied 7-7 when third baseman Bert Marsnik slammed out a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning. Riley Decker, relieving starting pitcher Mitch Wurm, got the win.      .      .      Chad Raiche’s grand slam last Wednesday won the Dassel-Cokato game 13-3 last Wednesday (7 innings), and with the bases loaded and one out in Friday night’s game with Hutchinson he was hit by the pitcher to give the Lakers an 8-7 win.
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I haven’t been out on the lakes much for a week or so, but a trip to Clearwater Lake didn’t give me anything to put in the frying pan. That was on a Tuesday, a day with high humidity and high temps to boot. I surrendered about 11 a.m. Now I see that lake has zebra mussels which is not good!