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The Day of the Cricket


Fri, Sep 7th, 2001
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Monday, August 27, 2001

It is an ill wind that blows no one any good. This summers heat and lack of rain will result in a crop disaster for some farmers. To those of us who dont like to mow lawns, the same weather gives us a vacation from that chore. This summers unusual weather has been an absolute boon to other species, particularly the cricket, perhaps best known in our house by its scientific name; the ugly black cricket.

The last time I recall such a scourge of crickets was in 1988. It is clear in my mind because that is the summer our youngest son was born. It was also the year of a major regional drought. On June 20, 1988, while waiting for word from my wife that this was indeed going to be a birthday, I walked across the lawn. It was close to one hundred degrees at one oclock in the afternoon. Wherever I stepped that afternoon the grass I walked on turned brown and remained that way until the rains finally came. That summer was also the only time I can ever remember barn flies by the thousands coming to the sheep bucket to drink. Theyd line up along the waterline like miniature cows along a creek. Had I not seen that with my own eyes I would not have believed it could be so dry.

That summer, like this one, must have been perfect for the ugly black cricket. Every cricket egg laid that season yielded a baby cricket that quickly began looking for our house. Some people were spared the onslaught. Others suffered far more than we did. I got in on some conversations with farmers about cricket control that were disturbing. Farmers have access to some powerful control measures that most of the rest of us do not. I would be surprised if any insects have dared to encroach upon the toxic boundaries of some of those places even yet.

With a baby in the house I felt that my hands were tied. Aside from fogging the basement a couple of times with some hideously toxic bug bomb, I limited myself to cultural control. At first, cricket control by hand was effective. The limited numbers of crickets in the first wave of attack were tolerable. They came out at night when most of the lights were down and I would just get up from reading or watching television, grab them and dispose of them in any number of permanent ways. Later, when the cricket numbers increased and they found out that they could attack by free falling from the overhead lights, things started to get nasty. It was not a mothers dream to go in to the nursery to find a .....
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A Journey West

Fri, Sep 7th, 2001
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Monday, September 3, 2001

June 1975

The northwest wind, gusting to 30 miles an hour, brought tears to my eyes as I concentrated on the road ahead. Huge cumulus clouds drifted across the blue skyline, playing tag with the sun. We drove ..... 
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Fri, Sep 7th, 2001
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Fri, Sep 7th, 2001
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Submit a Letter to the Editorhere

Fri, Sep 7th, 2001
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To the Editor,
Monday, September 3, 2001

After reading the Fillmore County Journal and River Valley Reader concerning our public libraries I was compelled to write this letter. The comment made by Paula Michels (Fillmore County Commi ..... 
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Vernon H. Vigeland

Fri, Sep 7th, 2001
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Vernon H. Vigeland, 77, of LaCrosse, Wis., formerly of Mabel, Minn. died March 12, 2001 at the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in Mabel where he had resided for only a week.

Vernon was born September 5, 1923 in Preble Township, Fillmore County, M ..... 
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Gladys Judith Swain

Fri, Sep 7th, 2001
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Gladys Judith Swain, 93, of Rushford, a homemaker, died March 7, 2001 at her home.

Gladys Judith Williams was born May 15, 1907, on the Humble farm at Highland Prairie, moved to North Dakota with her family when she was 3 months old and retu ..... 
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