Hens Do Crow! June 7, 2019

By Deborah Banish

Mother Nature decided to skip Spring it appears as the temperatures have jumped into the 80s this past week. That has provided farmers a chance to try to get the fields planted but the rains and heavy winter snow melt make many fields impossible to reach or to even plant. The predicted rain for the coming weekend will be putting an end to the planting season. There will be many a disgruntled farmer this year so best not to mention this again!

Globe-trotting, or cycling, Cayuga native Randy Kiefer, also known as Singapore Slim, recently informed friends here about his progress on his most recent adventure, a bicycle ride from his Winter roost in Anchorage, Alaska, to his ancestral homeland in North Dakota. Here is Randy’s report, dated June 1, 2019:

Greetings From Cold Lake, Alberta. Not much news since my last transmission. A few bears, foxes, moose, bison, mountain goats, deer, an elk, and even a badger. The latter was just 10 feet in front of me, then stopped in my lane, and gave me a look. YIKES!!! I didn’t know what to do. Wanted to grab the camera, but didn’t want to take my eyes off him (or her). At any rate, before I knew it, Mr., or Ms., Badger was off to the other side of the road, and into a pasture. That was a treat. So a brief by the numbers update: 1) How I got to Cold Lake, Alberta. 2) I rode the AlCan Highway from Tok, Alaska, to Fort St John, British Columbia. There I exited east on Cecil Lake Road, (British Columbia), Highway 64 (Alberta), to Grimshaw, then highways 2 and 55. 3) Some events: a) The winds north of Haines Junction, Yukon, were horrendous. They said up to 60 mph (100 kilometers per hour). Dust across the road was the least of my problems. At times I was riding at 65 degrees(?). Then I didn’t want to become an OCW Gloria. A rider from OC who went down and broke her hip in strong winds. So I walked, more than once. And at times it was all I could do to just stand upright. There is no winning on a bike in the wind. b) Fast forward to the highest pass on the AlCan, Summit Lake. Camped the night of the 19th. The lake was frozen over, a sunny frosty PM/AM in the tent. c) Next is the smoke deviation. Some of you noticed I planned a major loop to Yellowknife, Northwest Territory (NWT). After checking a map more closely, I had scaled my plan to Fort Providence, and maybe hitching in and out of Yellowknife. But the fires near High Level, Alberta, killed all of that. d) I rode north on Highway 7 to within 12 miles (20ks) of Fort Liard, but with all the smoke I hitched back to the AlCan, to Fort Nelson. The Alberta fires had forced the evacuation of High Level, and some roads were closed. The ups were killing my lungs, so I gave the loop a miss. Not likely to have another go at this area, but really had no choice – RATS!!! 4) The only news for me in riding in northern Alberta is the agricultural land. Enormous fields of tilled land. Large equipment, some even red. Also seeing the cow/calf operations was fun for me. 5) Tomorrow (June 2, 2019) I start across Saskatchewan toward Manitoba to meet fellow Apple Dumpling Gang members, Dick Reis and Don Isensee on 19 June. They will escort me to Fargo. That will be the end of my journey. This adventure started last April from Santa Barbara. Then I had a most enjoyable 7 month lay-over in Anchorage. And now will soon end my journey in Fargo. Thank you for travelling along. r/randy”.

Thanks to Randy for the report, and for allowing his more sedentary friends to enjoy the tour with him.

Continue reading “Hens Do Crow! June 7, 2019”

The Rooster Crows – February 1, 2019

by Bill Anderson

Mother Nature’s vocabulary of four letter words seems to be limited to3 this past week: cold; snow; and, wind. The coldest weather of the week, the month, the year and the Winter arrived on Tuesday & Wednesday, January 29 & 30, with the daily lows bumping off the -35 mark and the daily highs hovering around -10. According to the weather experts, this week’s weather is the coldest since this time of the year back in 2004, so, if you thought that you were experiencing déjà vu, you were right. The weather system that moved through ahead of the cold brought about 1½” of new snow on Saturday night, and another 4 or 5 inches on Sunday. The snow was hard to measure, because the wind brought it in sideways, piling it up at intersections, around buildings and in the trees. Tuesday’s winds of 20 to 30 mph, combined with the sub-zero air temperatures, produced a “wind-chill” index of 55 to 60 below, according to the weather gurus. Ground Hog’s Day is coming up on Saturday, though, and the TV Weathermen are predicting a high in the upper +20’s to low +30’s, just so Rutland Roscoe, the local ground hog, can wander out to see his shadow. Well, Saturday, February 2, is also the date for the 24th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament in Rutland, so it just might be the aroma of scalloped potatoes with ham that lures him out. Another cool down for the first week in February is predicted, but, with a little bit of luck, the worst cold may be behind us. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, “This is not the end of the winter. It is not even the beginning of the end of the winter; but it may be the end of the beginning of the winter.” That Winston sure had a way with words, didn’t he?

FYI. Paul Anderson’s electronic digital thermometer recorded a low of 36 degrees below zero on the morning of Wednesday, January 30, in his backyard at 309 Gay Street in Rutland, and Jesse Brakke’s electronic digital thermometer recorded a low of 37 below in his Ransom Township farmyard between Rutland and Cayuga that same morning. Mike Anderson stated that he was sure glad that he lives a mile north of Jesse, because his thermometer only got down to 31 below before it froze up.

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The Rooster Crows – June 22, 2018

By Bill Anderson

The skies opened, and the rains came! Accompanied by the ruffles and flourishes fanfare of an impressive thunder and lightning symphony, Rutland received 1.7 inches of rain beginning at about 7:00 on the morning of Saturday, June 16. There were smiles all around as the Assembled Wise Men received precipitation reports during the morning coffee and conversation hour at The Lariat. Two rain gauges that are hardly ever in agreement, those of next door neighbors Norbert Kulzer and Roger Pearson in the 400 Block on Gay Street, both measured 1.7 inches, creating quite a quandary. If they never agree, then one must be right and 1 must be wrong, but if one must be right and one must be wrong and they both agree, what then? Well, who cares? In fact, it was a great rain that will go a long way toward making the wheat crop that is now beginning to shoot heads.  Jesse Brakke’s electronic rain gauge recorded 1.8 inches at his Ransom Township farmstead, Mark Wyum reported 1.5 at his farm shop about 1½ mile northeast of Rutland, and Doug Spieker said that his gauge showed .95 of an inch at his Tewaukon Township farm home on Saturday morning. About .8 was reported at Rick Bosse’s farm near Brampton, and Mark Wyum stated that the gauge on land that he farms near Crete, in the northwestern corner of Sargent County, only showed .1 of an inch. Rutland and vicinity received another .6 of an inch late Saturday night and early Sunday morning along with another healthy dose of thunder and lightning, bringing the 24-hour total up to about 2.3 inches in Rutland. “Rain makes grain,” is the old saying, and as crop prospects go up the price of major farm commodities goes down. Prospects for good farm income have taken a double whammy in the past few weeks, though, with corn and soybean prices being the first casualties in America’s escalating trade war with China and the folks who used to be our allies in Europe. Well, our President has said that trade wars are good, and easy to win. Who wins the war isn’t very important to those who get wiped out in the first battles, though.

When it comes to rain, timing is everything. Richland County Commissioner Nathan Berseth, a frequent Rutland visitor in recent years, reports that one inch of rain fell at his farm a little northeast of Colfax on Saturday morning, giving a much-needed boost to growing crops in that area. However, Nathan had just cut hay the day before, and as always happens when your hay crop is cut but not yet stacked or baled, the rain soaked the windrows leaving Mr. Berseth to be on the lookout for sunny skies and drying winds, at least for a few days.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – June 22, 2018”

The Rooster Crows – June 15, 2018

By Bill Anderson

Oh, listen to the rumble, hear the rattle and the roar, as she tears her way ‘cross the prairie, over hills and down the shore. Hear that mighty wind a’whistlin’, this ain’t no railroad train. It’s a monster of a thunderstorm, and it’s bringing in more rain! Accompanied by thunder, lightning and a powerful east wind, between .6 and .75 of an inch of rain blessed the Rutland area early on the morning of Monday, June 11. Roger Pearson reported .6 of an inch in his rain gauge at 409 Gay Street, and 1 block west, at 309 Gay Street, Paul Anderson’s electronic rain gauge recorded .74 of an inch. Harvey Bergstrom reported that his gauge situated 3 miles south of Cayuga showed precisely .63 of an inch on Monday morning, with a few intermittent showers yet to pass through, while Bonnie Anderson reported that the rain gauge at her farm three miles north and 3 miles east of Rutland registered .75 of an inch, and Doug Spieker stated that the rain gauge at his Tewaukon Township farmstead registered .95 of an inch when he headed to town for coffee and conversation on Monday morning. You can’t make it rain, and you can’t make it stop, but you can appreciate it when it arrives. Harvey Bergstrom reports that the flag leaf is beginning to emerge on his wheat fields, and, that with some sunshine and a little more rain, the wheat will soon be shooting heads. Harvey says that he’s not counting his chickens before they’re hatched, but right now there are enough eggs out in those wheat fields to produce a lot of chickens, metaphorically speaking.

The Rutland community has acquired another new citizen, the old-fashioned way. Easton Edward Erickson was born to Jake & Taryn Erickson of this community on Friday, June 1, at Sanford Hospital in Fargo. Easton weighed in at 8 pounds 4 ounces and stood 20½ inches tall in his bare feet on arrival. Easton is residing with his parents at the Erickson farm southeast of Rutland. He is the 6thgeneration of Ericksons to reside on the family farm since it was homesteaded by his great-great-great-grandfather, August Erickson, back in the early 1880’s. Welcome to Rutland, Easton. We will expect to hear some stories and original songs from you in the future. You are Raymond’s great-grandson, after all. Better get to work on Great-Grandpa ray’s coin tricks, too.

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The Rooster Crows – February 19, 2010

By Bill Anderson

Well, it’s still winter out here on the prairie. Highs in the teens and low 20’s accompanied by snow and 25 to 30 mph winds were replaced by clear skies and below zero readings by Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Although it appears that winter has settled in for the long haul, there are glimmers of hope that this, too, shall pass. The seed catalogs, with their tantalizing pictures of rich golden ears of sweet corn, luscious red tomatoes and sinfully sensuous strawberries are out, bringing with them the promise of warm Summer days ahead. It has often been said that, “There are only two things that money can’t buy, true love and home grown tomatoes,” but at least you can purchase the hope of home grown tomatoes from a seed catalog. When it’s 10 below zero on a mid-February morning, it’s hope that keeps us going. A recent national survey revealed that North Dakotans are the happiest people, believe it or not, in the 50 United States. Well, after three months of winter, several blizzards and winter storms, more than four feet of snow and sub-zero temperatures, North Dakotans are happy because they know that it has to get better – it can’t get much worse. It’s only when conditions have been good for a while that hardy North Dakotans become unhappy, because they know that good times can’t last forever, either.

Members of the Rutland Sportsmen’s Club held their February meeting in the dining room of the Lariat Bar on the evening of Thursday, Feb. 11. The first order of business was the election of officers for the coming year, with Wyatt Nelson, Vaughan Rohrbach and Travis Paeper being re-elected as president, vice-president and secretary/treasurer, respectively.  Plans for the Club’s annual Fish Fry to be held on Friday, March 5, at the Rutland Town Hall were discussed and tickets for the event were distributed.  Only 550 tickets for the event are available. They may be obtained from Club members. Get ‘em while they’re hot! Club officers also delivered a report on the Club’s Charitable gaming revenues. After 6 months of operation, the Sportsmen’s Club’s pull-tab machine at the Lariat Bar had generated more than $57,000.00 in gross revenues, approximately $50,000.00 of which had been paid out in cash prizes. A portion of the remainder may be used to defray operating expenses and the rest is available to be distributed for charitable purposes. The Sportsmen’s Club’s Charitable Gaming Board consists of the 3 officers plus Jerry Sapa and Trent Nelson. Rebecca Christensen and Polly Rohrbach run the day-to-day operations of the gaming project for the club.

Bill Walters of West Bend, Wisconsin, and a band of hardy Wisconsinites have been at work making improvements to the house at 222 Bagley Street which Bill purchased last Fall from Shawna McKinney. Working through a period of extremely cold and inclement weather, Bill and crew have torn the old porch off the east side of the dwelling; commenced the construction of a new, slightly larger, front porch; torn off the old shingles and installed new metal roofing on the residence; commenced construction of an addition to the porch on the northwest corner of the house; and, installed several new windows. The improvements will improve both the appearance and utility of the structure. The community congratulates Mr. Walters for his investment in Rutland, and commends him and his crew for their hardy industry and endurance. This dwelling, located on the northwest corner of Anthony and Bagley Streets, was formerly owned by: Eddie & Ida McLaen; Edith & Otto Malpert; Rudy & Gladyce Malpert; Bryon Malpert; Tommy & Rosalie Jones; and, Shawna McKinney.  Mr. Walters and his family own and operate construction, property management, commercial fishing and sport fishing businesses in Wisconsin.

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The Rooster Crows – February 22, 2008

By Bill Anderson

Well, the weather roller coaster ride continues. Thirty-five above on Saturday, February 16 was only a teaser, as the mercury then commenced a slide that hit 25 below zero by Wednesday morning. On the bright side, a brisk breeze accompanied the falling temperatures, bringing in a continuous supply of crisp, fresh air. The record cold temperature for February 20 of 30 below zero was set back in 1889, the year of North Dakota’s Statehood.

Was it romance, or was it just the aroma of delicious food, that was in the air in Rutland on the evening of February 14, St. Valentines Day? According to Gretchen Vann, 53 diners enjoyed a special St. Valentines Day 5 course steak and lobster dinner at the Rutland General Store, and more than 100 enjoyed steak and torsk at the Lariat Bar. The dinner at the General Store featured a crab cake appetizer; potato Parmesan soup; Caesar salad; the entrée of grilled steak, lobster tail and baked potato; and, lemon dessert. The Store’s regular once-a-month Sunday brunch will be served this Sunday, February 24, at the Store. A special Easter Sunday Brunch will be served by the Rutland General Store and the Rutland-Cayuga Volunteer Firemen on Sunday, March 23, in the Rutland Town Hall, and advance tickets for that event are available from local firemen and at the Store. Ms. Vann also states that another special gourmet dinner with an “April In Paris” theme is being planned for the month of April.

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The Rooster Crows – February 15, 2008

By Bill Anderson

Brother, it’s cold outside. Twenty below zero on Sunday, February 10, and the weatherman says we ain’t seen nothing yet. Despite the frigid temps, signs of Spring can be seen, however. Hope springs eternal, so they say, and there are none more optimistic than those who sell seed when it’s 20 below in preparation for the golden harvest to come next Summer and Fall. Wenzman Seed has been making deliveries of corn and soybean seed to Sargent County’s foremost seed dealer, Kulzer Feed & Seed of Rutland. Mike Kulzer reports that most local farmers have ordered their seed for the 2008 crop, but some seed, particularly wheat seed, is a hard to get item this season. Call Mike at 724-3345 for top quality seed for a top quality crop. On the livestock side of the ledger, Jordan Wyum has been busy with calving duties for his herd of 150 black angus heifers. So far the calving season is progressing well, despite the cold weather. The next time you purchase a roast beef at the local grocery store, or order a prime steak at a local cafe, pause for a moment to remember the labor of the cattlemen who worked all night in below zero cold to make sure that prime beef made it to your plate.

Dennis Prindiville, Pat Prindiville and Michael Prindiville were in Rutland on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week, in residence at the Prindiville family farmhouse on the south side of town. They had been in Bismarck on Monday, where they attended the funeral of their brother and uncle, Roger Prindiville. Although retired, Pat is still employed, part-time, measuring grain in storage for the auditors at grain elevators. At 72, Pat still climbs up the grain bins to check things out, although he says that he leaves some of the taller bins to his business partner, a much younger man, only 71 years of age. Pat’s son, Michael, assists them on some of the bigger jobs. On Wednesday Pat was measuring up the grain in storage at the Fullerton Elevator.

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