Haying seems to be just getting under way in the Stutsman County area.
About a week behind schedule according to the National Agriculture Statistics Service.
This early morning shot shows a little haze in the air and some dew on the windrow in a field just south of Jamestown.
Most people I’ve talked to anticipate an average hay crop this year. We had good moisture going into the spring due to the heavy snows last winter but we’ve received little rain this spring and the cool weather has left us short on the warmth needed for grasses to grow.
For those that believe in the old wives tale that deaths come in threes this has been a reassuring week.
Ed McMahon went through most of his career as a sidekick. Still, he was probably the best known second bananna in television.
Farah Fawcett made big hair and a big smile into a career with a single poster and television series. The poster in particular became a "must have" for every young man, or big boy, of the 1970s, myself included.
His death, possibly because it was sudden and unexpected, is getting the most attention from the news media. For me it is just the passing of someone who I knew of but had no interest in.
I can say that I’ve never intentionally listened to a Michael Jackson song.
Not bragging or complaining, just his music and my interests aren’t paths that are ever going to cross.
But if you beleive in the "Celebrities die in threes" myth the rest of them are safe for the time being.
Check out the outdoor section of the Jamestownsun.com for an article about nesting duck numbers in North Dakota.
Basically dabbling ducks, the ones that tip themselves over and root around for things to eat with their rumps in the air, are up.
Diving ducks, the ones that go completely underwater in search of things to munch on, are mostly down.
Blue Winged Teal are dabbling ducks
Game and fish biologist credit it to the migration patterns of the various species. It seems that more of the dabbling duck species are opportunistic in their nesting habits and will settle wherever the see a lot of good water.
Many of the diving duck species seem to be more driven to follow the migration pattern through no matter how good the nesting habitat is that they fly over.
I guess if you spend a lot of time out in the wetlands of the prairie pothole region this year you will see a lot of duck butts.
A little more about yesterdays blog about North Dakota governor Frederick Fancher.
Local researcher, genealogist and historian George Barrens emailed me to let me know that the Fancher farm also served as a rural post office. For those of you that collect old post marks (there is a name for this hobby but I can’t think of it) you might find a Fancher, North Dakota post mark.
Barren said all that exists of the farm and post office site is some trees.
A couple of events to tell you about;
Marketplace for kids bright ideas showcase and contest
Marketplace for Kids will present a Bright Ideas Showcase and Contest which will put the spotlight on the amazing talent of North Dakota’s youth. It will be held at the North Dakota State Fair, Wednesday, July 29, 2009, and is open to students who have just completed grades 3, 4, 5, or 6 during the past school year. To enter your project or find more information, visit the Marketplace for Kids website at www.MarketplaceForKids.org or call 1-888-384-8410.
Admission: No charge
2009 NKF KEEP Screening
If you have diabetes or high blood pressure you are at risk for developing kidney disease. The National Kidney Foundation will host a free kidney screening for people at risk of kidney disease. To make an appointment call 800-596-7943.
If you have an event of interest to the people who reside within 50 miles of Jamestown let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes it takes a little disaster to bring a person to his greatest opportunities.
Take, for example, the seventh governor of North Dakota. Frederick Fancher was born in New York state but moved with his family to Michigan when he was 15. He attended college at the Michigan State Normal School in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Fancher died in Los Angeles, Cal. in 1944. He had retired from the grocery business in Sacramento in 1925. He had moved to the Golden State shortly after he left office of Governor of North Dakota in 1901.
You see Fancher had a brief but very active and successful career as a politician in North Dakota. His first public service in North Dakota came in 1889 when he served as president of the constitutional convention.
This was followed by two terms as the North Dakota Insurance Commissioner and a term as the governor from 1899 to 1901.
During Fancher’s time in the governor’s mansion the state began operation of a twine factory at the state penitentiary. This, at least according to his biography posted to the Internet by the North Dakota Historical Society, was his greatest success in office.
Fancher was nominated by the Republican Party to stand for a second term but declined citing health concerns. He may have had lung problems because he left for the warmer climates of California shortly after leaving office.
If that supposition is true the move certainly was successful. Fancher lived 43 years after leaving North Dakota.
Of course politics was a part time occupation in the early days of North Dakota statehood. Fancher operated a large farming operation six miles north of Jamestown as his main source of livelihood. He also served on the Board of Trustees for the State Hospital and ran an insurance agency in Jamestown in his spare time.
But what brought Frederick Fancher to the Jamestown area in the first place?
His biography says that his first business venture, undertaken when he was just 20 years old, was to start an insurance business in Chicago.
The same biography says less than a year after he opened his office the Great Chicago Fire wiped him out.
The traditional history of the Great Chicago Fire says the blaze started when a cow in the O’Leary barn kicked over a lantern. The facts are four square miles of the city burned.
It would be interesting to know if Fancher kept any cattle in the barns of his farm north of Jamestown. I pretty sure that he would have advised his hired hands to be very careful where they left any lanterns
And I think we can assume that he kept his fire insurance up to date.
I don’t think there is anymore peaceful sound than the cooing of a Mourning Dove on a quiet morning.
The coo-coo seems to indicate that all is calm and quiet.
Still, they can stand their ground. This one had just chased a blackbird out of the tree. We assume she had a nest somewhere in this Blue Spruce, located about 5 feet from our porch, although we never did see the nest.
I guess you don’t always have to go out onto the lonesome prairie to find a little wildlife.
Quite a statement given he’s been dead for more than a century.
Limpy Jack Clayton was a hard drinking pioneer of the James River region. He was also a bit of crook who ran into trouble with the law for little things like rigging elections and selling booze without a license.
You might say he was very colorful.
Limpy Jack will be making an appearance at the Stutsman County Museum at 2 p.m. on June 21 for Father’s Day.
Actually I’ll be portraying him in what is sometimes called a first person history. I’ll talk with those gathered as if I were Limpy Jack. I’ll even explain how I got my limp and what my name was back in Pennsylvannia, if you look like an honest group.
They say the trick to doing a convincing first person history presentation is to choose a charector that is similar to your own.