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It's so wet that.......

Brainerd Area Office, after receiving more than 200% of their normal rainfall, reported seeing pairs of animals lining up outside their office door.

Loggers didn't have to haul their logs to the mills, they floated them there.

There's a move afoot in Congress to declare the entire state of Minnesota a National Wetland.

You can't raise any dust on a gravel road.

Some lakes and reservoirs are two feet over their normal levels.  Even so, Jesse caught fish during the Governor's Opener.

Mosquito larvae are renting rooms in ant hills.

On a windy day, there are white caps on the water table.

Percent of normal rainfall from April 1 to May 24, 1999:

Jack pine ramblings

Otherwise titled "Jack pine observations following the October 98 straight line winds and the November 98 second weekend of deer season snow load and high winds."

Damage is confirmed on the ground from Motley to Kabecona.  The entire central Minnesota jack pine belt is affected: broken tops ( some up to 6" in diameter) on the ground with snags standing, many with no live branches left, some with a few.  Some stands have over 60% top breakage.  Almost all standing trees have some level of branch breakage. These events, as a follow up to the 1995/96/97 wind events are a classic example of the break up of old age jack pine, artificially sustained by land use and fire protection policies.  All we need now is the budworm!

May 14th field inspections verified all downed material does have bark beetle activity.  Once again there is a complex of insects working, depending on the diameter of the material and whether it is lodged or down.  Nuptial chambers are evidenced in all cases, while some attacks do display completed y or x galleries with obvious egg niches and the earliest of larval activity.  New attacks are underway.  Attacks from Ips are concentrated on the down side of the logs, as indicated by pink to red frass piles.  Numerous clerid predators were observed in the fresh frass areas.

In contrast, standing snags  are still untouched by bark beetles due to high sap pressure in the boles as evidenced by rapid fluid flow when pealed by a draw shave.   Snags, however, are being attacked by ambrosia beetles that exhibit white frass piles on the bark from boring direct into the wood with no chambers or galleries in the inner bark.  These attacks look like a small drill hole into the wood. Live adults were boring 1/4" to 1/2" into the wood.

Branch breakage is now turning yellow to red and makes the damage more visible.  Expanding hardwood leaves are filling in the canopies, but the edges of stands are still visible and look badly broken. Nevertheless, there are unbelievable fuel loading and ladders!!!  All that is needed now to recycle these stands is catastrophic fire.  It may come.

Salvage operations are underway on a limited number of acres, but private lands may not be helped due to a soft  market and poor operating conditions in the broken stands.  Armillaria will be a problem in regenerating these stands.