Friday, May 3, 2013

Ground Hog Day, May 2nd?

May 3rd snow accumulating

OK, I know that Ground Hog Day is on February 2nd and not May 2nd, my dad's birthday was on February 2nd so I know the story well.  As the folklore goes, the ground hog (we call them wood chucks around here) comes out of its burrow each year on February 2nd to see if he can see his shadow.  If the sun is shining, it's shadow will appear causing it to go back into the burrow for winter will be here for another 6 weeks.  If it's cloudy and there is no shadow, spring will come early.  The most famous ground hog of them all is Punxsutawney Phil and for 2013 it was cloudy and spring was to come early, well so much for that prediction.  Having spent the last 3 days in Chicago it was reported that just east of Minneapolis near Ellsworth, Wisconsin the total snowfall for Wednesday's storm was 14 inches.  As we approached the Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport it was easy to see the extent of the storm as my home did escape the brunt of the snow.  It's still dang cold as the average high for today is 65.  Today the temperature is 35 degrees and snowing....again.  So, the garden remains bare, my potatoes should be in by now, the apple trees should be starting to blossom, the lilac should be showing hints of green but it looks like April 1 instead.  Oh well, it's Mother Nature at her finest!  Rest assured warmer weather is going to come, the garden will be just fine, and I expect a record crop of apples, pears, raspberries, and blueberries.  The problem now will simply be finding the time to get things going.

Satellite view of Leech Lake, 4-29-2013

Along with our late spring is the issue of our annual trip to Leech Lake for the Minnesota Walleye Opener.  This year is the 40th annual and Team Walleye is really looking forward to getting back up on the lake.  I only wish the lake was as excited as we are!  Here is the current satellite picture from the University of Wisconsin site that shows Leech Lake as if though it was still January.  With the sun high and rain predicted for the next few days, with a little luck the bays will open.  Next weeks weather doesn't look like it could set any melting records but all we can do is hope.  The signs are being complete, our 40th commemorative shirts will be done on Monday, the food is bought, we will go regardless.  We generally get our bait at my friend Bill Lundeen's bait shop however he has informed me that with all of the ice, shiners are probably not going to be on the menu for Mr. Walleye this opener.  Most shiners that are sold in bait stores come from local bait dealers who actually net them from a number of different lakes that include Leech and Winnibigoshish, which are of course iced in at this time.  Shiners are by far the best choice for opener but so again is open water at a nice 55 degree temperature.  It certainly will test our ability to make the most of it as our Big Fish Tournament should prove interesting.  The Sunday night fish fry could be in jeopardy as well, but not the great time.  Our friend Ron really looked forward to the opener and if nothing else, it will be a celebration of his life. 

Being in Chicago means the boat is still apart.  One thing that bothers me about my Ranger is the control panel mounting to the fiberglass.  It is simply screwed into the fiberglass with 10 #6 screws, it's OK the first or second time you open it up however eventually the threads disappear an you need a #8.  That's fine as well but eventually they will strip out of the soft fiberglass.  I ordered some #8-32 stainless steel T nuts and matching machine screws.  My idea is to drill out the holes, insert the T nuts with a generous portion of epoxy and mount them as inserts into the fiberglass.  It looks like it will work so that's my project for this weekend.  Other than that, the countdown continues!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If Lundeen's doesn't have any shiners stop in at S&W Bait. They're on 371 North about a half mile past my house. Anybody who's anybody in the Brainerd area buys their bait at S&W.


p.s. Saturday morning and it's snowing in Kenai. Ugh!