Brute’s Bleat by Harold Brutlag-

It seems like this fall’s weather is not materializing the way it should be. Basically the temperatures seem to be cooler and the atmosphere full of rain. Hopefully it will change to something I’m more used to and then I can proceed with the lawn work that needs to be done before freeze-up. I’m guessing the farmers would like to see a lot of sunshine which would help their crops dry out so the can proceed with the soybean and corn harvest. It doesn’t help that the commodity prices are down; and while the crops look great, it’s doubtful that a bumper crop would compensate for the low corn and bean prices. I guess that’s why they call farming one of the bigger gambles! * * * A couple of weeks ago there was a buck deer in town which gave some residents a thrill and a chance to photograph the deer. Last week a bull moose was nosing around the city south of the railroad tracks and on Wednesday it was seen near the Mike Couette residence south of town. Those two and a bear northwest of Maple Lake and cougar tracks southeast should tell us to be on the lookout for most any wild animal to say nothing about the turkeys which seem to be in different spots most every day. I saw a rooster pheasant which gave out his signature cackle in Ney Park last Thursday. That season begins on Oct. 13 lasting through Dec. 31. There’s way too much crop still standing for good pheasant hunting so I’ll put that one on hold except for an initial walk in one of the WMAs in the Maple Lake area. . . * * * It must have been an excellent season for raising pumpkins because they seem to be for sale everywhere, big and small, and just in time for Halloween which falls on a Wednesday this year. The number of tricks and treaters seems to be down in recent years which might be caused by the local businesses who have been participating in an after school event inviting the tricks and treaters to a free handout. My dad used to enjoy the tricks and treaters so much that he’s put on a mask and tried to give them a scare before handing out the goodies. Hopefully this fall weather, of which we’ve had very little, will change for the better before then. I’m getting to the point where I’m looking for a freezing frost and then hopefully for some Indian summer days. I thought I had a date nailed down for a day or two of ruffed grouse hunting, but the early part of the week was extremely wet and then it’s supposed to turn cold. Neither forecast makes for good grouse hunting, maybe next week! * * * Last Saturday was a honey-do day for me when Janis and Anna wanted to take in the half-priced book sale at the state’s fairgrounds. It’s an annual event and they both can spend hours looking for books, everything from cookbooks to novels. We had to make a stop in St. Louis Park before heading for the fairgrounds and I, being the driver, gave them the option of either taking the freeway or Lake Street. Neither Anna nor Janis like the freeway traffic and they opted for Lake Street. It’s been a while since I’ve used Lake Street which is kind of narrow in spots and is filled with stop and go lights until we reached our turnoff, Hwy 51, or Snelling Ave. Once at the fairgrounds we found the half-prices book sale was again under the grandstand where they began their hunt for books. Because we had our dog, Vanna, along it was up to me to see about her well-being and I took her on a long walk which both of us enjoyed. We came across another book sale, but this time it was strictly comic books, and put on by the Midwest Comic Book Association. There were quite a few kids in costume for the occasion. I didn’t seen any spidermen, but some of them look like they were from the “walking dead”. They were asking for a $15 admission and Vanna would have been free, but I didn’t bite being I’m not a collector. The same organization has a spring show May 18-19, this time under the grandstand. They seem to attract a ton of people and are calling the spring event “Comic Book Mayhem”. Comic books were big while I was in grade school and great stocking stuffers come Christmas as the four brothers exchanged gifts. That also gave us an opportunity to read them before wrapping them up! Thinking back, we probably burned up a fortune in comic books that could fit the collector class now. Anyway the half-priced book sale closed for the day at 6 p.m. and we headed back to ML with several boxes of books in the back of the Subaru. That may have been why we’d get a high beam signal from several of the cars we met while on a two lane highway. * * * Viking football fans saw an exciting game Sunday when they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 23-21 to get back on track. Walk-on Viking Adam Thielen played a great game and has been the Vikings most reliable pass catcher this season. He has recorded six or more receptions in every game and finished play Sunday with three touchdowns. He did some quick scampering to control the Eagles on-side kick in the closing minutes.

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