Upside down. Often it seems that we are like Alice in Wonderland, where what should be up is down and what should be down is up.
The only missing link is the Cheshire Cat.
We need our own good humor and appreciation of the daily surprises we encounter to realize that life is not always sequential and unfolds beyond our plans and control.
It is like this column. Hours of research and outlining a column were put on hold, because of comments at a Mother’s Day luncheon giving a personal, practical viewpoint adding a new element to the mostly completed story in my computer.
The previous day Dean Peterson stopped at the End Stool with the surprising news that sturgeon were spawning along the Wolf River Sturgeon Trail.
“I never saw so many sturgeon spawning at one time,” Peterson said. “They were piled on each other as they spawned on the rocks and emerged out of the water.”
Peterson is a retired New London teacher and has spent his life enjoying the river and outdoors.
The trail project included enhancing the spawning area by placing suitable rock along the shore.
The last two spawning years have been the best I witnessed since my first year writing about it in 1965.
This year the spawn took place in early April, coinciding with the walleye spawning on the Wolf. While not unusual, walleye spawning is usually nearly done before the historic fish starts.
The surprising thing about Peterson’s report is it was a second major spawn, coming nearly a month after the initial honeymoon by sturgeon migrating from the Winnebago lakes as far up the Wolf River as Shawano.
Peterson said the bulk of activity was west, downstream, from the culverts carrying overflow of the Wolf into the Mukwa marsh south of County X. The existing culverts are to be replaced by two larger culverts this year.
Dean’s chance stopping at the trail and stopping at the End Stool was a ready option to my original plan for a column.
Those options are not usually available.
It is not like nature where sturgeon and walleye spawning in spring, deer mate in late fall and deliver in spring and other creatures respond to daylight and other forces.
This past winter is one of the anomalies.
I did not need my driveway plowed once during the year. It was not as cold as the polar vortex influenced winter the previous year although many forgot that.
This spring was another as the fruit trees and lilac bushes, used as a barometer by many anglers for the peak white bass run, blossomed in early May … weeks before Memorial Day, that often coincides.
Sometimes it seems Mother Nature and the forces of nature laugh at us as we continually are surprised when things out of our control do not unfold when or how we expect them.