Mandan News

Dan Ulmer: Becoming one with nature’s animals

Layout 1 (Page 1)Okay, so here we go again…

Noting that either of my loyal readers might be interested, I decided to share my notes from another week in the wilds of Lake Tschida.

I somehow managed to befriend a wild hen turkey this week. She doesn’t talk much but she seems friendly.

Prior to retiring I noted that one can usually tell a retiree’s lawn from the rest of their neighborhood’s lawns… the retiree’s lawn have a manicured look while those poor working stiffs are still wrestling with crabgrass.

Anyway, I’ve been slowly working my lawn out here into kinda looking like real lawn, and therefore I have now spent a small fortune on grass seed. And it seems my new friend really likes to wander around my yard plucking up my newly seeded areas.

She and I have gotten quite close to each other, and the other day we were within whisper distance, so I told her that I would really appreciate it if she’d quit absconding with my future lawn. She kinda bobbled her head and slowly waddled off to the next mouthful of seed.

I repeated my desires and she just kept on walking, so I decided to shoo her off my property. I waved my arms and said, “Shoo,” and she waddled around the back of the cabin, so I followed her around the cabin twice before realizing that she really wasn’t listening to me, so we both parted company.

She’s been back every day since and rather than shooing her off we just sorta nod at each other and go our separate ways. This worked well until I came around the corner and literally bumped into her. She freaked and I freaked while we both reversed courses. She ran around to the other side of the cabin and I did too, where we bumped into each other again. She then stood her ground. Having had this experience with the female gender before, I reversed courses thinking that it should just get out of her way… and now that our relationship has been fully established we nod at each other when passing.

Then along came the longest day of the year, known to some as the last day of summer because days get shorter from there on, and it rained. We’re talking gusher, like walls of water, like holy moly, like 3.2 inches in an hour. Of course the jet ski we hadn’t tied up floated away.

When we first noticed it from the cabin window we had high hopes the wind would just blow it to the other side of the bay, but much to our dismay the ski headed toward open water and therefore needed rescuing. To which Ben, dressed in a tee shirt and shorts, scrambled through the pouring rain, swam out to the ski, climbed aboard, fired it up, and brought it back. Another crisis resolved.

I’ll spare the details about Saturday adding another inch and a half of rain before knocking out the power, causing us to find candles and flashlights, the roads washing out and the part about limiting out on walleyes too small to keep, and the no good deed going unpunished where I whacked my head whilst watering a neighbors flowers and allow you to get on with your life…

But before I let you go, according to my rain gauges (I have two) we had 4.8 inches of rain out here last weekend and not a day passed where I wasn’t pooped by the time I finally made it to bed. Whodda thought retirement would keep a guy so busy doing nothing…

Here’s hoping you enjoy whatever comes your way…