By Brian G. Schommer
Where else could you be where within a week, you experience a 12 to18 inch dumping of snow causing snow emergencies to be issued in just about every community within two hundred miles, coupled with temps in the low-to-mid twenties to temperatures near 60 degrees, thunder, lightning, buckets of rain and potential tornadic activity? Then, the next morning after the storm, Mother Nature decides that back to the twenties and snow seems to be a good idea. Minnesconsin.
There are folks who will argue that the Dakotas and Iowa experienced drastic changes in weather patterns as well, and I cannot argue against that. Once those States get professional sports teams of any kind, I might include them more in the dialogue but for now, I am putting those locales in the same realm as the last person selected each year in the National Football League. That person is called “Mr. Irrelevant.” Relax neighbors to the South and West; it’s a joke.
A joke. According to good old Merriam-Webster, a joke can be defined as a “humorous or ridiculous element in something.” That could easily be translated as a tornado in December… in Minnesota or Wisconsin. Certainly, before Wednesday, December 15 of 2021, a reasonable person would find that type of statement to be completely ridiculous. Temperatures nearing 60 degrees in the middle of December in Wisconsin or Minnesota? Preposterous, right? Yet, a little over a week before Christmas, that is exactly what was put on our plate by good old Mother Nature. Well, I for one hope that she is ready to stop trying to be so funny and just get back on track for the winter.
The rollercoaster weather creates issues for those of us who like to get out, drill holes in the ice with hopes to harvest that 15” crappie, 30” walleye or even a bucket full of sunfish. I am not a scientist per se, but common sense tells me that it must be cold for lakes to freeze over. I also know that the more I weigh, the thicker the ice needs to be, or I may end up swimming with the fish that I hope to catch. It is also common knowledge to most ice anglers that unlike Spring, Summer and Fall fishing adventures, getting to the honey hole is not as easy as putting the boat in the water, firing up the old Johnson 9.9 horse and scooting across the lake. The options are walk, take an ATV or snowmobile and in a perfect world, drive to your favorite fishing spot. Unstable ice makes even walking somewhat dangerous. The last thing anyone wants to hear is someone broke through the ice, was injured or worse, especially during the holidays. So, this is my official request to Mother Nature, just in case she is reading… PLEASE stop with the jokes. A few months of cold weather to suffice the needs and wants of many who enjoy outdoor winter sports really is not that much to ask. There will be plenty of time for the warmer weather again in months to come. Please?
For the fleeting moment that we did have some good snow cover, it was fun to see folks out on their sleds, both motorized and the kind that requires a nice hill. The Hastings Sno-Mos were able to host their Youth Snowmobile Safety Training on December 11th with over 40 area youth participating. As a sign of appreciation to Mother Nature for the pile of snow she provided the night before the event, THANK YOU. The kids really appreciated the opportunity to get out on their machines and the training that they received will hopefully translate to less injuries and safer trails. The club will also be out grooming the trails to keep them in top notch condition if we get some more snow. As we move into the Christmas Season, please be safe in all your “Outdoor Adventures.” If you are out dashing through the snow, roasting chestnuts on an open fire or just having a silent night taking a little winter stroll by yourself, I wish you a Merry Christmas. If Christmas is not your thing, I wish you happiness and joy and of course, “Get Out and Enjoy the Great Outdoors.”