The Rooster Crows – Jan. 14, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Old Man Winter tightened his grip on Thursday & Friday, January 6 & 7, providing those who love ice with some morning temperatures in the mid-20’s below Zero range, and not getting above Zero all day. Saturday’s high of +24 felt almost tropical, but it was only temporary, as the mercury plunged into sub-Zero territory again on Sunday & Monday. Warmer temps are predicted for mid-week, to be followed by a return of more frigid conditions. Well, it’s January in North Dakota, so what else is new? This information is provided just so those who are reading it while lounging on their patios at their winter residences in Arizona, Texas, Florida or some other warm & sunny location can be satisfied with their decision to head south for the winter. 

A brief “January Thaw” was experienced on Tuesday & Wednesday, January 11 & 12. The mercury soared all the way up to 37 above on Tuesday, with the warmer weather propelled by a 20-mph wind out of the south. Wednesday’s high only made it to +32, but that’s a lot better than -32. January weather is predicted to return by the weekend.

Snow, cold and Ice may be reasons for frowns and complaints from some, but snowmobile fans and ice fishing enthusiasts are grinning from ear to ear. With about 2½ feet of snow on the ground, and more where the wind has done its artistry, the entire countryside appears to be open to snowmobilers. After a couple of winters with little or no snow, though, some are still digging their snow cats out of the back of the shop or garage. The recent spell of sub-zero temperatures has given a great deal of depth and strength to the ice on area lakes, giving ice anglers the confidence to haul their insulated and heated ice castles out on local lakes and sloughs. Two fishermen trying their luck on one of the larger sloughs near Rutland reported that the ice was 18” thick, plenty of ice to hold the weight of a fishing house or a pickup truck. Anglers should still be cautious where the ice is covered by snow, though, as the insulating effect of the snow may have kept the ice a lot thinner. Just remember, even though it’s frozen, it’s still only water.

One ice angler reports that he was planning to relax in his fishing house with a mixed drink while waiting for the fish to bite when he realized that he had forgotten to bring ice cubes. Well, when you’re sitting on top of acres of ice, that’s no problem. So, he chipped out some ice cube sized chunks of ice and prepared to make his drink. Then he thought, “It’s still slough water, even if it’s frozen,” and he decided that the ice should be sterilized before using. He fired up his stove, filled a pot with water and heated it up to boiling temperature to get rid of any offensive germs and viruses. The sub-Zero chunks of ice were then dropped into the bubbling water. He states that the ice was so cold when he started that it was still frozen hard when he removed it from the pot. This fellow is currently looking for a job with a national political organization. For a fisherman, the “Big Lie” is small potatoes.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Jan. 14, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – Feb. 26, 2021

The Sun always shines on Rutland, even when it’s raining, or snowing, too. The weather gods gave up on hard-core winter weather this past week. From Monday, February 15, to Monday, February 22, the mercury climbed more than 70 degrees. The high on the 22nd was still only 47 degrees above, but it felt nearly tropical after the below zero siege of the previous week. The thermometer reading had slid below the freezing mark on Tuesday, January 19, with the below zero stuff clobbering us from Feb. 9th to the 16th, and didn’t get back above freezing until Saturday, February 20. It wasn’t a record, but it was beginning to feel like one. The nice thing about winter is that, like hitting your thumb with a hammer, it feels so good when it stops. Don’t worry, though, it’s not over, yet. Like the 45th President of the United States, until it’s melted down into a puddle in the middle of the street, it’ll be back!

The recent spell of very cold weather thickened the ice on local bodies of water, allowing more anglers to get out on the ice to go fishing. Mark Breker of this community reports that he has been fishing recently, and has caught some fish, but, in adherence to the Fisherman’s Code, he is unable to reveal when he was fishing, where he was fishing and what kind of fish he has been catching. If you want to find out, watch for Mark’s Snowbear out on the ice somewhere within 20 miles of Rutland.

Meanwhile, in the Lone Star State, where everything is bigger than life, including winter storms, excuses, lies and cringing politicians, it took a small group of North Dakotans to give Texans an example of how to behave in a disaster. Once the power, heat and water had been restored to the winter home of Rutland native Judie Seavert and her husband, Steve Grohs, they reached out to others who were not so fortunate and provided a warm respite from the ice, snow and cold, complete with Judie’s home cooking, to other Sargent County folks, including: Mike & Cheryl Zirnhelt; Harris & Carol Hoistad; and Bill & Denise Huckell. While the Governor of Texas tried to blame others for his failure to prepare his State’s power grid for the disaster, and one of Texas’ U. S. Senators tried to blame his 2 little daughters for his cowardly decision to skedaddle to Mexico when the lights went out in Texas, North Dakotans in Texas did what North Dakotans do, and shared the comfort of their home, the warmth of their friendship and the products of their kitchen with those who were temporarily not so fortunate. Texas may be bigger and better in a lot of ways, but, when it comes to character, compassion and cookin’, North Dakotans take the prize, hands down. Thanks to Judie & Steve, Mike& Cheryl, Harris & Carol and Bill & Denise for being North Dakota’s ambassadors in Texas.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Feb. 26, 2021”

The Rooster Crows – Feb. 19, 2021

Below zero at dawn; Below zero at dusk; It’s getting old; should all be told; we’re tired of this incessant cold. Burma Shave! It’s not a record, but some communities in eastern North Dakota have just experienced 10, or more, consecutive days during which the thermometer has failed to claw its way above the zero mark. In Rutland, the mercury dropped below zero on the evening of Wednesday, February 10, and did not get into positive territory until the afternoon of Tuesday, February 16, and then not by much. The cold weather is not just local, either. Rutland native Judie (Anderson-Seavert) Grohs reported on Monday, February 15, from her winter haven at Port Aransas TX, that the temperature there was at the 21-degree mark and that the entire Texas Gulf Coast community was without electricity and covered in ice. The only folks moving around, Judie said, were the winter refugees from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota, who were the only people down there with the know how to walk or drive on the ice. Judie also reported that the ice had taken down power lines all over Texas, leaving more than a million Texans without electricity. So, spending the winter in North Dakota, where ice, snow, wind and cold are part of the daily winter routine, isn’t all that bad. The residents here prepare for winter, and, as a result, the plumbing isn’t frozen, the electricity works, and central heat keeps folks comfortable. As the late Clayton McLaen of this community often observed, “There are two seasons in North Dakota: winter; and getting ready for winter.” We’re ready! We’re ready to be done with it for a while, too, now that bragging rights have been established. The TV weather gurus are predicting temperatures in the 30’s and 40’s above zero for the upcoming weekend. Bring it on!

Mr. Alex Marcovich of Madison WI and Mr. Joe Diaz of Chicago IL were visitors at the Jesse Brakke residence in Ransom Township last week. The two have been visitors to the Rutland Community several times in the past, most frequently for community events such as Uff-Da Day and Memorial Day, but this year they wanted to experience something different, ice-fishing on the prairie. They arrived on Wednesday, February 10, as the mercury slid below the zero mark, and headed back east on Saturday, February 13, having caught their limit of ice, as well as some nice perch, walleyes, and northern pike. Their best catch of the trip, though, was on the evening of Friday, February 12, when they stopped at The Lariat Bar and ordered the walleye special. Alex had the pan-fried walleye and Joe ordered the deep-fried walleye. They agreed that both were outstanding. Alex is a commercial pilot flying charter flights for SC Airlines of Madison, and Joe is an IT Specialist employed by the Home Chef division of Kroeger Foods in Chicago. Alex was first introduced to Rutland by Jesse’s daughter, Claire, when they were students at UND in Grand Forks. Alex and Joe have been friends since boyhood days in Chicago. Claire, the real fisherman of the bunch, wasn’t able to take time off from her duties as an Occupational Therapist in the Madison area to show the boys how to catch the big ones. Maybe next time. They are hoping to be back in Rutland for Uff-Da Day on the first Sunday in October, if not sooner.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Feb. 19, 2021”

The Rooster Crows – February 12, 2021

By Bill Anderson

The month of February has brought with it the coldest weather of the year, making January, the usual cold weather champ, seem like a semi-tropical memory by comparison. Starting on Wednesday, February 3, the day after Ground Hog’s Day, the mercury began to drop and has only risen above the zero mark on a couple of occasions since then. But, while frigid temperatures are torture for some, they are opportunity for others. Mr. Sawyer Toepke, an elementary student at Sargent Central, reports that he is organizing a hockey team, and that he already has 20 prospective players lined up, if they can find 20 pairs of skates and 20 hockey sticks. Sawyer should probably be thinking of lining up a team dentist, as well. The optimism of youth sees opportunity where others see only misery and discomfort. Hang in there, Sawyer, and bring the NHL’s Stanley Cup back to Sargent County some cold winter day. That ought to make the sun shine! As the old timers used to say, “Nobody ever succeeded beyond their wildest expectations, unless they had some wild expectations to begin with.”

Ice fishing! The cold weather now has the ice on local water holes thick enough for reasonably sane anglers to get out there and go after the ever elusive walleye. Some reports have been received of a few fishermen having some success on a local body of water that bears the name of three former Sargent County Commissioners. If you know your county’s history, you might be able to figure out where that hot spot might be, but by then the fish will have quit biting. Have faith.

Rutland native Mavis (Hoflen) Wold called friends here on Friday, Feb. 5, reporting that she is still in the hospital recovering from the broken leg she suffered a month ago. Mavis said that she had been working in the kitchen of her Minneapolis home when she lost her footing, fell and sustained the broken leg. She is currently undergoing therapy, and hopes to be back in her home in the near future. Mavis is the eldest daughter of the late Oscar & Alma (Anderson) Hoflen of this community. She is a member of the RHS Class of ’47. Her many friends here wish her a speedy recovery and return home.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – February 12, 2021”

The Rooster Crows – December 7, 2018

By Bill Anderson

The cold weather of the past several weeks has thickened the ice on local lakes to 7 inches or more, enough to support the weight of ice fishermen and ice fishing houses. Norbert Kulzer reported that there were three ice fishing houses on Buffalo Lake on Tuesday, December 4, and one on Consolidated Lake, along with a couple of fishermen out on the ice in cold weather fishing gear. Several houses were on the ice at Silver Lake last week, but they had picked up and moved to some other location by Tuesday afternoon. No reports of fishing success have been received, and when fishermen aren’t talking it usually means that they are catching fish and don’t want anyone else to find out about it. Of course, it could mean that there just aren’t many fish being caught, but that’s not as interesting.

Rutland native Dan Narum, Presiding Judge of North Dakota’s Southeast Judicial District for the past several years, was preparing to deliver jury instructions at the conclusion of a trial in the Dickey County Courthouse in Ellendale last Tuesday, November 27, when he stood up from his desk and discovered that his right leg was numb. A terrible pain in his back put him to the floor. Ever the professional, the Judge got himself back to his desk, called the 2 attorneys in the case into his office, explained the situation to them, then delivered the jury instructions to the waiting jurors in written form, and had himself taken to the hospital. He was first taken to Aberdeen, the closest hospital, where a serious back problem was diagnosed. Immediate surgery was necessary, but a surgeon capable of performing it was not available, so Dan made a trip to Sanford Hospital in Fargo where the surgery was performed on Tuesday night. Tests indicated that the surgery had been successful, and, “…when I moved my toes about ¼ of an inch, they really got excited,” Dan reported. On Friday, November 30, he moved to Sanford’s Physical Therapy Unit on South University Drive for what was expected to be 2 weeks of intensive physical therapy, but his recovery and progress was so rapid that he was scheduled to be released from the hospital to return to his home in Lamoure on Wednesday, December 5. Dan states that he has an elk hunt booked in northeastern New Mexico beginning on January 1, and is still planning, and hoping, to be able to make it happen. Well, Dan is a tough and determined guy. If he can’t make it to New Mexico, maybe he can issue a judicial order, and have the elk brought to him. In the meantime, he is recuperating at home, in the care of his wife, Caroline, and their 2 children. Dan’s many friends in Rutland wish him a speedy and complete recovery, and a good hunt, too.

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The Rooster Crows – November 16, 2018

By Bill Anderson

Mother Nature has been supplying all of the cold, snow, wind and ice we ever wanted, and more. Tuesday, November 13, registered the lowest temperature of the season, so far, at -1, but that won’t even register on the discomfort scale in a few weeks. Right now, here in Sargent County, we have a bin-busting soybean crop and the most bountiful corn crop in history in the process of being harvested. From cold to corn, we have everything in abundance in North Dakota. You sure can’t beat that!

Roger Pearson and Mac Pherson report that the siege of cold weather has put ice on all of the local lakes and sloughs which had been producing fish a few weeks ago, putting an end to both fishing from a boat and fishing from shore. Mac estimated that the ice on Sprague Lake could be as thick as 4 inches on Tuesday, November 13, which some ice fishing enthusiasts claim is thick enough to walk on. Mac, however, is a little more cautious, preferring at least 6 inches of ice before he ventures out. Roger has no illusions at all about his ability to walk on water, even if it is frozen, and prefers to wait for warm weather and open water, so he can catch his fish while both feet are firmly planted on dry land.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – November 16, 2018”