Brute’s Bleat August 24, 2016

This usually is the time of year when the lawns turn brown, waiting for a rainstorm to bring them back to life. Not so this year when I cranked up the lawnmower Sunday afternoon. This passel of mushrooms popped up after Saturday’s rain in one of the many shady spots, offering a stark contrast to their surroundings on a perfect sunny afternoon. They looked like small puff-ball mushrooms which look to be edible, but I’m not that knowledgeable about fungi so I’m passing on these!
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Saturday’s rains nearly put a damper on the Class C State Baseball tournament at Dassel and we, Ken and Daryl Hennen and myself, waited out a quick thunderstorm in a parking lot until it had blown by. The storm also produced a full-blown rainbow that was much lower in the eastern sky than normal. It attracted some camera buffs and I was wishing I had been one of them. The three of us were fans in the stands Friday night and watched Raymond defeat Delano 9-6 in a game that Delano may have won except for two costly errors that gave Raymond four runs early in the ball game. After the rain subsided on Saturday, we watched St. Martin and Montgomery pitchers duel it out for nine innings with St. Martin winning 4-3. It was a great game to watch and could have gone either way. . . Maple Lake’s game with St. Peter followed and featured Laker ace Jeremy Schmidt who was nearly untouchable, allowing only two hits in a late inning. He rose to the occasion, striking out the next three batters and preserving his shut-out and a 6-0 win. It was a classic game and a team victory for the Lakers who used the three ingredients, pitching, hitting (11 hits) and a great defense, to move on to their next game which will be with Waseca Sunday, Aug. 28, at 5 p.m. Schmidt got two tremendous plays from shortstop Luke Fobbe and scoops by first baseman Chad Raiche to keep Saints runners off the base paths late in the game. The three of us agreed we’d seen two excellent ball games Saturday even though we weren’t dressed for the cool weather which had us shivering. You’d think we were old enough to have worn heavier coats! There was no shortage of Maple Lake fans, but there’s still room for more!
Loretto defeated Hanska 3-2 and will play Prior Lake in an 11 a.m. game next Sunday at Hutchinson while Hutch (#1 seed) will play its first game of the tournament against Fort Ripley 7:30 p.m., also at Hutch.
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Sunfish angling on Maple Lake cost me an achor and about 15 feet of anchor rope last week when I anchored on the rock pile and couldn’t budge my bell-shaped anchor when I wanted to move. I tried every trick I knew to jerk it free, make runs in the opposite direction, circling it, but nothing worked. After a good hour I finally cut the rope and used my river anchor. I caught some sunnies, but only about eight keepers before it was time to leave; and rather than fillet only eight, I released them. Later in the week, Thursday, I gave Sugar Lake a try and while it took a lot of sorting I came home with 13 keepers that I fried up the next day. The large mouth bass seemed to like the worms I was using for bait and I must have caught six that were sharing the weeds with the sunfish. While Maple Lake has some of the best tasting sunfish, those from Sugar Lake are second to none also. They have great coloring and don’t have the black specks some of those from Maple have. It takes more bait on Sugar, but they seemed to like worms, minnow heads and most anything you’d put down there. I had Vanna with me and we fished in 17 feet of water, with fish biting from 14 ft. to the bottom. Usually the larger sunfish are on the bottom, but that wasn’t always the case Thursday.