This winter won’t give up [UPDATED]Published 6:28am Monday, March 18, 2013 Updated 8:29am Monday, March 18, 2013
I’m sick of winter.happening
Anyone think differently?
Think back to a year ago. Upon returning from a golf vacation in Phoenix on Sunday, March 18, 2012, I was welcomed back with a Tuesday round at Pebble Lake Golf Course, which had opened on Monday, March 19. It was the earliest opening since 1979. We also were treated to a day of golf in January, with virtually snow-free greens and fairways.
Those who prefer lake activities enjoyed a similar wonderland. The ice went off Lake Alice on March 20 last year, and on Long Lake, north of Fergus Falls, on March 20. I happen to know that at least a couple of docks were in the water on March 21.
I was able to tune up my golf game and pontoon around the lake the last 10 days in March while temperatures hovered around the mid-sixties last year (yes, the mid-sixties – I checked). I recall a couple of recurring concerns. “Why did I go on a spring golf vacation this year?” and “Wow, has global warming sped up or what?”
Of course, as I strolled down the fairway or enjoyed gentle lake breezes in a golf shirt and khakis, I honestly wasn’t too concerned.
How we long for those days, and those concerns.
At the time of this column, a good 17 inches of snow sat on the ground. I haven’t measured, but I’m betting the ice is a good couple of feet thick on area lakes. Another pileload of snow – some said four inches, others said 12 to 16 – was expected to mess up our roads and driveways by Tuesday afternoon.
Based on the forecast, the snow and ice won’t be leaving anytime soon, either. The 10-day forecast does not predict one day where the high temperature exceeds 32 degrees.
For those who enjoy winter, I tip my cap. If you are the type who wants to spend as much time on the snowmobile, skis or snowshoes as possible, then it’s your lucky year. I would also hope those establishments who benefit from winter activities would see an economic boost this year.
For the rest of us, we’re just going to have to wait. My bet is that the golf course won’t be playable until April 15, and the ice won’t be off the lake until early May. It has to come off before the fishing opener, right?
In the meantime, we can all enjoy our favorite winter sports teams.
Of course, the high school season is over for most of us, the Gopher men’s basketball team has been a disappointment, the Timberwolves have collapsed due to a heap of injuries, and the Wild are – well, we’re not sure where the Wild are.
I saw that, through the magic of technology, Target Field is a green meadow, and no matter what the weather is, will be ready when the Twins come back from Florida to open the season on April 1 against the Detroit Tigers. It might be below freezing when the game is played, but it will be played.
Did I also mention that it isn’t too late to take a spring vacation? I’m also going to suggest warm and sunny over a ski trip.
• • •
If we have to endure this, in the words of a songwriter I can’t remember, long, cold, lonely winter, we might as well have some fun with it.
The piles of snow on our roofs, and the recent spells of melting and refreezing, have made for some fabulous icicles in our area.
The Journal is looking to publish photos of those icicles in its March 31 edition, and on our web site, fergusfallsjournal.com
Be sure to email us your best icicle photo at newsroom@fergusfall sjournal.com
All photos will be on our web site, the best will be published in the newspaper, and the very best will win a cash prize. We’ve already seen some great ones, and I can’t wait to see more.
Joel Myhre is The Journal’s publisher. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org