Well here it is Monday and we’ve “endured” another spring weekend of snice (snow ‘n ice)! As we sat peering through an 8” hole on top of 30” of ice fishing for little red lines in late February soft water was already lookin’ pretty good. The same thing happened when the DNR post card came congratulating us on being drawn in the most recent turkey lottery. That little 3x5 card brought thoughts and memories of warm moist woodland mornings, gobbling toms, squirrels scurrying through dry leaves, the peeping of a hen woodie winding her way with a reckless abandon through a tree maze locked onto the opening of the wooden box intended to be her spring home and the cries from paired up honkers gliding past. A legitimate daydream or so I thought. Now here we are mid-April and the forecast is calling for a winter storm warning with a possible 7-10 inches to the north adding to the 20+ already on the ground. The word out of the Dakotas is that snow geese are flying south again. Bet you didn’t see that comin’ a month ago and nor did they. Do ya think they feel some sense of urgency to head north? Also the upcoming fishing opener is less than 30 days away with 32 inches of solid ice locking in the Governor’s opening day lake.
Sitting here my thoughts wander a bit. The wood stoves’ still aflame consuming oak
logs. Let’s see that would mean it’s been working hard for six and a half months.
The cabin’s still snowed in and impassable with Culligan soft water scheduled to be delivered in a week. Actually in a sick sort of way it’s kinda funny. But again wandering thoughts ask if there’s something wrong here? Are we beginning to experience a new normal or is this simply a very late spring? I recall listening to a DNR researcher speaking to Roundtable attendees a few years ago on the effects of global climate change. The predictions included weather events that would be more extreme on both ends- dry and wet. He cautioned that cold water fish species like tullibe, white fish and walleye would see their survival range moving north due to warming water replaced by fish able to survive warmer water temps like bass and sunfish. We’ve already seen some changes in animal and bird species. As a kid possum were critters never seen in central Minnesota and in fact I had never seen one. They were found in Missouri and south. Then typical Minnesota winters would actually freeze their ears keeping them well south. Not so any more! The new normal for them has a welcome sign out adding another egg eater to our existing predators of ground nesting birds. Southern Minnesota was the northern edge of the cardinal range but now the bright red males along with their more reddish partners are a common sight in central MN and beyond. A year ago we met 80 degrees in March and lakes were full of soft water for a few weeks already. The 2013 MN turkey season will kick off Wednesday with lots of snow in places. Our season will be about 10 days later but once again it doesn’t look like what I was expecting. I’ll probably wait a bit longer to begin packing my turkey huntin’ stuff but no doubt it’ll include long jons, warm gloves and stocking hats.
So once again here’s the question - is this going to become
the new “typical” spring or simply a year that causes my extreme case of spring
fever to be treated with 2 aspirin and lots of rest waiting and waiting and
waiting? However the reality is plain – We have very few choices so I
guess I’ll just wait!