Storms of June 1st – 3rd turn area topsy-turvy

Submitted by Art and Barb Straub.

Depending upon where one was relaxing the weekend of June 1st – 3rd, precipitation fell or blew four to six inches in the Henderson area. Until then, gentle precipitation fell upon field, forest and lawn, greening nature, allowing agriculturists to plant corn, soybeans and other without troubles. But the copious deluge, torrents of H20, left humans, birds and beasts aghast. Solid roads were left with deep gauges; ditches became crevices; ducks and geese were swimming in countless new ponds amid four to six inch stands of corn; gardens, which had been looking good, turned to cement; replanting was and is in the offing. If a field had the least slant to it, erosion beyond belief occurred. Hillsides along country roads experienced unprecedented landslides. This wasn’t the Minnesota spring we knew treasured and enjoyed.

Birds known for sloppy nests bore the brunt of the fury. Mourning dove and cardinal juveniles spilled out onto the grass, totally disrupting avian family life. Turkey and pheasant poults found themselves swept along with the thrust of the powerful erosive waters. Prayers and thoughts during the drought of 2023 received triple-quadruple answers. Yet, recovery efforts abounded as road crews were on the scene within hours of the semi-monsoon. Road and field repair continues.

Even before the storm, odd moments in the natural world were plentiful. Keen-eyed Dave Kolter of Henderson spotted a painted turtle on Main Street , Henderson. The five by six hardback was hiding next to one of the many “Detour Ahead” signs immediately next to the Schuette Ice-Cream Shoppe. The reptile appeared to have a slightly cracked rear shell, its carapace, and perhaps remembered that in earlier times, Sarah’s spot was a drug store where all manner of bandages might be sought. (Or was it yearning for a root-beer float?)

White squirrels, gray squirrels, little red squirrels, black squirrels… residents have taken all of these in kind. Yet the Greg/JoEllen Genelins in their aerie above Bucks’ Lake snapped a photo of an orange-tailed black squirrel around the first of June. One wonders as to the chemical contents of Bucks’ Lake.
Red-tailed black squirrels. What next?? Over the years we’ve recovered numerous bodies of black squirrels on Highway #93…the lake seems to have a magic elixir which draws squirrels to its charmed water? Or is there a hex which besots the squirrels in that they drunkenly get ‘zapped’ re-crossing the highway?

Trumpeter swans of earlier years, Sylvia and Sylvan, have been frightened away by the monstrous machines raising Highway #93. Yet, from our hillside vantage point, we’ve espied the beautiful giant birds returning on weekends to poke around the mound upon which they built their nest and laid their eggs. A depressing sight.

Battered female monarch butterflies, few in number but determined to carry on the species, began depositing eggs a week ago, and with careful scrutiny one can view their wee one-inch bodies on milkweed leaves. Their larvae will be available to share with French Meadow assisted living residents June 11th.

For the past five autumns, a ‘save the monarch conservation group,’ “Monarch Joint Venture,” has been busy plucking milkweed pods. Numerous anonymous LeSueur/Henderson area individuals have been gathering these pods for MJV. Among other beneficial activities, the MJF national group distributes free milkweed seeds around the country. The organization has just announced the acquisition of 20 acres in the Belle Plaine area which will become the NEW WORLD HEADQUARTERS for Monarch Joint Venture. ALL Indy readers are invited to an open house celebration on Saturday, June 22nd, 10 am – 3 pm at 1100 West South Street, Belle Plaine, Mn. The event is called PRAIRIE OAKS BUTTERFLY DAYS. There will be Monarch and pollinator activities for ALL ages, and just plain fun! Questions?? wcaldwell@monarchjointventure.org
Until then friends, share with us an absolutely foolproof mosquito prevention potion!