By Bill Anderson
The January Thaw, if it was a January thaw, was brief, but welcome. On Sunday, January 15, the mercury clawed its way above the freezing mark for the first time in 2023. Some thermometers even registered temperatures as high as 35 above for a couple of hours. According to Dennis McLaen, a UFO report was about to be made on the bright, shining object that appeared in the sky on Sunday afternoon, before someone figured out that it was the Sun, making its first appearance in several days. Dennis and his grandchildren took advantage of the beautiful sunny day to go sledding in the hills south of Rutland, just west of the Jesse & Bobbi Jo Maly farmstead. The short reprieve from January didn’t last long, though, as the temperature was below freezing all day on Monday, the 16th, and the northwest wind blew in another 4 to 6 inches of new snow. On the bright side, according to the local TV weathermen, there is more snow and cold weather in the forecast for the remainder of January. Just what we wanted.
Chuck Anderson was checking weather reporting web sites on his cell phone during the morning coffee session at the Rutland Seniors’ Center on Wednesday, January 18, and came across the North Dakota Agriculture Weather Network (NDAWN) web site. NDAWN has reporting stations across the upper Great Plains, from Montana to Minnesota. There is a monitoring site at the Kelly Cooper farm, near Brampton. According to NDAWN, the thick snow cover that has blanketed this area since mid-November has insulated the soil, and prevented the frost from going very deep. According to the NDAWN statistics, the frost depth in Sargent County ranges from 0 to 12 inches, not very deep for a winter that has been consistently cold for 2½ months. The good news from this information is that the frost is not likely to prevent the snowmelt from being absorbed by the soil when the snow finally melts in March, April or May. With a little bit of luck there will be enough soil moisture to get a crop started this spring, despite last year’s drought conditions. So, even though shoveling snow is a pain in the neck, in the back, or somewhere else on the anatomy, snow is good for something, once in a while.
The best laid plans of mice, men and fishermen sometimes go awry. That was the experience of Cameron Gulleson and Darren Ptacek when they accompanied two representatives from Peterson Farms Seeds on an ice fishing expedition to Lake Of The Woods during the second weekend in January. Cameron reports that they had no sooner arrived at the resort where their expedition was headquartering than Darren came down with the nasty variety of influenza that has been plaguing this area. Six hours later, Cameron was afflicted with the same ailment, and shortly thereafter the2 seed reps were also laid low. All four were aching, wheezing, sneezing, hacking & coughing in unison. It was not the type of fishing trip they were expecting, Cameron said. After suffering in their cabin for a few days, they finally crawled out and drove home on Tuesday, January 10, still suffering the symptoms of fever, congestion, aches, pains and exhaustion. As of Tuesday, January 17, Cameron reports that he is back in the land of the living, although he still occasionally feels some of the effects of the illness. Once a person has acquired this particular brand of influenza, they can expect that it will take a month, or more, to fully recover from its effects. The Rutland community extends best wishes to Cameron, Darren and their friends for a speedy and complete recovery.Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Jan. 20, 2023”