It has been said the summer is over with the 4th of July, but I don’t think that is the case this year with another week of hot and humid weather predicted. Fortunately this area has received timely rains to keep everything green and the corn crop has begun to tassel out. Another shower this week would be great for that process as the corn begins to set ears. In another month or less sweet corn should be available at roadside stands, Maple Lake’s Farmers Market on Fridays and in the local food markets. . .
I took in the Annandale 4th of July parade, not only as a spectator, but to push some American Legion Cash Raffle tickets for the work that needs to be done to the kitchen. The crowd was receptive to my sales pitch and it was fun to meander down the parade route visiting with those I knew and getting reacquainted with people I didn’t recognize from years ago as well as meeting strangers. Maple Lake High School’s band was a favorite with the crowd when the flag girls went through their “zombie” (I think) routine poking their sticks here and there and everywhere. I didn’t get halfway down the parade route before the ending unit, a Wright County Sheriff’s Deputy’s vehicle, showed up. Walking back up the opposite side of the street I ran into Larry Jude whom I didn’t recognize as being a drummer in the high school band when Joe Thomas was the band leader. Jude had nothing but praise for Thomas who expanded the marching band from small town parades to appear in the Minneapolis Aquatennial parade several times. Hubert H. Humphrey, who was running for President at that time told former Messenger publisher Les Nelson, a dyed in the wool democrat, he wanted the Maple Lake band in the Inaugural Parade should he be elected president. That didn’t happen, but it shows just how popular the MLHS marchers were. Joe’s wife Nancy, who choreographed the flag girls and dance line, was an integral part of that duo who brought a ton of good publicity to ML. . . During their tenure the band also made a trip to Ireland along with a host of chaperones and fans which I suspect was their largest undertaking. * * *
On Sunday I had to make a choice, go to the Waverly parade, again to push tickets, or take in the Maple Lake vs. Dassel-Cokato baseball game. As you may recall Sunday was another 90 degree plus day and I opted for the D/C ballpark. I canvased the spectators for about five innings with Cash Raffle tickets and then sat down with a cold beer to enjoy the rest of the game. It looked like a seven inning game (10 runs ahead) after ML had a commanding lead going into the seventh, but the Chargers scored a run to cut the ML lead to 9. The Lakers scored two runs in the top of the eighth and held the host team scoreless in the bottom of the eighth inning to end the game 18-7 upping their league record to 14-0. Hutchinson defeated Howard Lake Sunday 5-4 in an apparent nailbiter. While ML is leading the league, Hutchinson is only 4 games back. Buffalo and Loretto are five games back; Delano 7, Howard Lake, Dassel/ Cokato, and Maple Plain 8; Cokato 10, Litchfield and Montrose/Wavery 11. The Lakers have four games this week, Monday against Buffalo here; Wednesday at Delano; Friday Loretto, here; and Sunday Howard Lake here in a 6 p.m. game. * * *
I don’t have much of a fishing report, but I did get out Friday morning in the company of Michael and Mary Miller to fish sunfish. I don’t understand it, but I’m not putting the boat on enough fish for a sustained catch which is disappointing. We tried just about every spot that has produced fish in previous years, but not on Friday. Usually sunfish aren’t very particular about bait, but we found out Friday that power bait worked better than pieces of leeches. Mary had a Northern on her line, but without a wire leader, the fish was able to bite the monofilament line in two. I’m not giving up and hope things turn around soon! I visited briefly with Superintendent Mark Redemske Sunday as we were watching the Laker game. He commented about fishing Walleyes on Mille Lacs recently with his family and guests. It sounded like they didn’t have any problem catching Walleye in the evening on that catch and release lake. We agreed the DNR should consider allowing only barbless hooks on that lake to cut the mortality rate of the Walleyes that are released. That might not sit too well with the Small and Large Mouthed Bass anglers, but if the DNR really wants to increase the number of Walleyes and decrease the mortality rate it’s something that could make a difference and get the catch and release rule abolished. * * *
The DNR has scheduled a confiscated equipment auction on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018. The auction will be open to the public. All types of confiscated hunting and fishing equipment will be offered for sale, including firearms and archery equipment. Anyone purchasing a firearm will be required to pass a background check. The auction is being held at Hiller Auction Service. 10785 261st Avenue, Zimmerman, MN http://www.hillerauction.com A list of firearms and bows being offered for sale will be available approximately one month in advance by visiting the auction website. * * *
Black bear sightings seem to be more common this summer than in past years. The city of Ottertail had one meandering down one of it’s streets and a photo was printed in the Henning Citizens Advocate newspaper recently. Unlike the bear which was destroyed near Lake Minnetonka last week as a threat to the people in that area, the Ottertail bear was allowed to find its own way out of town. I suspect that Lord Fletchers, a watering hole on Lake Minnetonka, near where the bear was seen, is making the most out of the sighting as the stories get exaggerated as they are retold. Their drink menu could include a Bear Martini; an Old Fashioned Bear on the Rocks, or some other drink like a Black Bear Manhattan or anything else that might be connected with bears!