Grand River Roundup

Every time spring arrives, this little ditty runs through my mind: “Spring is sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the flowers is?”

Every time spring arrives, this little ditty runs through my mind: “Spring is sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the flowers is?” Spring arrived on Monday, but it’s going to be a while before we see green grass and flowers. The thermometer registered minus two degrees last Monday morning, but then it warmed up a lot with temperatures in the 50s and 60s for the rest of the week! The warm weather has melted a lot of snow, but those huge drifts in the draws and gullies probably won’t disappear any time soon.

It warmed up on Tuesday, but for some reason the well here in the yard quit. I went down to Bible study at Kathy Fabris’ place that morning, drove to Reva to eat a sandwich with some of the neighbors, and then attended Ladies Aid at Slim Buttes Lutheran that afternoon. Robert Knutson and Dale Nash came to check out the well while I was gone and determined that the problem wasn’t the well but the pipe going from the well to the pump in the basement of Taz and Amanda’s house is broke. Good thing we’ve got another well to tie into, because these guys are going to have to tear up the patio and dig the pipe up as soon as the ground thaws out.

There were three new baby girls born to Harding County folks to tell you about!

Julia and Dillon Lermeny’s baby, Pauline Lu, arrived Sunday, March 12 in Spearfish, S.D., weighing in at 8lbs 6oz and 20 inches long. Little Pauline was born with an infection, so she didn’t get to come home to the Slim Buttes until this Sunday.

Jake and Lona (Vroman) Downs’ baby girl was born March 14 in Rapid City, S.D. Little Alexa Jo weighed 8lbs 5oz and is 19.5 inches long.

Natasha and Brock Besler named their little girl Lucille Lynn Besler. She was born in Rapid City Wednesday, March 15, weighing in at 7lbs 6oz and 19.5 inches long.

We received more news about the TB outbreak in Harding County this week. John Kanta from Game Fish & Parks called me Wednesday let us know that GF&P will be testing wildlife for TB in the quarantined area next week. That was great news.

The South Dakota Animal Industry Board released the report from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa that says the Harding County TB strain was previously found only in Mexico. Experts have concluded that this strain of bacteria is nearly identical to a strain that is known to exist in dairy cattle in the central region of Mexico and that it has not previously been identified in the United States. It doesn’t appear to be genetically similar to other strains that are sometimes found in the U.S. in feeder or rodeo cattle of Mexican origin. The Tri-State Livestock News has a very informative article about it in this week’s issue.

The Harding County basketball team made it to state so the team and most of their family and friends drove to Aberdeen for the tournament. Casey, Missy and Amanda, and Ron, Starla, and Louise Jenson all went to watch Trig and Jarett. Since we’re calving, Reub, Taz and I stayed home, and watched the games on the computer. Casey came home Friday night to replace Taz because Taz had a rodeo in Fargo Saturday morning. When Taz came home Saturday night we found out he’d won the bull dogging!

I’ve been trying to get my laundry room cleaned out so I’ve been going through a lot of old pictures and papers. All that old history has kept us entertained, but I stumbled on to a bunch of Claude and Inez Olson’s papers I rescued when their rock house burned down several years ago. Tim Olson is Claude and Inez’s grandson and we intended to give them to Tim, but hadn’t gotten around to it. I went to Spearfish Friday for the Heritage Center board meeting and remembered to take the box of history with me to drop off in Buffalo on the way home. Tim was out at the Hackamore helping pour concrete at Clint Doll’s new house. With the colds and flu going around, I hadn’t had a chance to meet Clint and Kelli’s baby boy, so I drove up to the Hackamore on the way home and got to see both Tim and little Beau Richard!

Bob and Norma Tenold’s 56th wedding anniversary was this Sunday and a large crowd of friends and relatives gathered to help them celebrate. Congratulations to a great couple!

While Harding County is dealing with the TB outbreak, we were reminded of the Avian Flu epidemic a few years ago that killed a lot of birds. Maurice Lewton sent me this story about dead crows found near Boston:

Crow Mystery Solved

Researchers for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority found over 200 dead crows near greater Boston recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A Bird Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone’s relief, confirmed the problem was definitely NOT Avian Flu. The cause of death appeared to be vehicular impacts.

However, during the detailed analysis it was noted that varying colors of paints appeared on the bird’s beaks and claws. By analyzing these paint residues it was determined that 98 percent of the crows had been killed by impact with trucks, while only 2 percent were killed by an impact with a car.

MTA then hired an Ornithological Behaviorist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of truck kills versus car kills.

The Ornithological Behaviorist very quickly concluded the cause:

When crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow in a nearby tree to warn of impending danger. They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout “Cah”, not a single one could shout “Truck.”

Absolutely amazing.

Betty Olson is a South Dakota rancher and former state legislator for District 28.