Dick Herfindahl: Ever-changing weather is a typical fall trend

Published 11:23 pm Friday, September 22, 2017

Woods & Water by Dick Herfindahl

It has been quite a roller coaster ride this September as far as the weather goes. We had the cool fall-like temperatures and then back to the hotter than hot mid-summer weather. I guess I get a little frustrated when I am enjoying some cooler fall-like weather and then it slips back into hot and humid. Oh well, the evenings have been cooling off and it is Minnesota after all. On the up side, we have no hurricanes or serious flooding to contend with so I’d have to say that we are pretty lucky.

Last weekend most of our family was in the Galena, Illinois area for a reunion on my wife Jean’s side. The area of Galena and the surrounding countryside is beautiful and with the leaves starting to turn and the crops turning colors it was a beautiful drive and a great time spent with family.

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After spending most of my summer away from our cabin, I am looking forward to heading north for a few late fall days with my son Brad and my grandson Dylan. Dylan has some time off of college so we are going up there for a few days of fishing.

While I was whining about the weather a couple of paragraphs ago I realized that the hot and cool changes are pretty typical in the fall. In the early 70s a friend of mine and I had decided to go north for a few days of fall fishing. We actually chose a small lake to fish that is just a few miles away from where we eventually built our cabin. I guess what this tells me is that this area has always been my favorite part of the state to spend time in. On the day that we arrived it was overcast and misting with temperatures in the lower 60s.

After checking into the resort and settling into our cabin we put the boat in and started fishing.  We caught a nice northern and a couple of dandy walleye along with some crappie and largemouth bass. We were happy and were thinking that this was going to be a good week. Our euphoria didn’t last long because the next morning we awoke to crystal clear skies and sunshine. The temperature rose into the lower-80s and there wasn’t enough breeze in the air to ruffle a feather. The lake that we were on was, and still is, one of the clearest lakes in the area which made the fishing pretty tough. Over the years I have found this to be pretty normal for fall, at least in the northern part of the state.

It’s been awhile since any of our family has been up to our cabin so I hope there have been no four legged intruders looking for a place to stay. Although it was fun to see that black bear up close, I would rather not have him making himself at home.

My brother-in-law, Lynn from Nome, Alaska, sent me pictures of some grizzlies that he had captured on the trail camera that he had set up near his cabin north of Nome. The bears actually took the window out — jam and all, and pretty much trashed his cabin. The second time they were there they tried ripping the siding off. Judging by the size of one or two of those bears I’m glad that I wasn’t anywhere around.

Black bears might not be as feared as grizzlies but they are nothing to mess with. Any bear is dangerous and letting your guard down around one could be deadly.

The waterfowl opener is upon us and if you believe everything you read there will be plenty of ducks around. This bodes good for those that still duck hunt. According to the DNR there has been a steady decline in hunters, not only waterfowl, but overall. I know that the DNR has initiated quite a few programs in order to create more interest in both hunting and fishing in an attempt to curb what has been a downward trend in both.

I am glad that my grandsons still like to hunt and fish and I believe that being introduced to these sports at an early age was important to keeping them involved. These two sports are something that they will carry with them the rest of their lives. It is important that our youth carry on traditions such as hunting and fishing because they are the future of our outdoors heritage. In the same sense I know that it is just as important to teach our youth to enjoy, respect and embrace what our natural resources have to offer us.

Until next time: enjoy the nice weather that we are experiencing and take a little time to go for a drive in the country or even visit one of the many parks that we have available to us locally.

Please take some time to honor those that have sacrificed so much for the freedoms that we enjoy today, also take a little extra time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, those who served and those troops serving today.