Many lakeshore residents of Diamond Lake are all too familiar with curlyleaf pondweed. It is a nuisance weed that grows to the surface of the lake, interferes with boating and fishing, chokes out other, more environmentally friendly vegetation, and creates a huge clean up problem when it matures, cuts loose, and floats up on shore. If you happen to be downwind when it happens, you know what we are talking about.
For the past four years, the Diamond Lake Association has sponsored an annual cutting. With the permit approval of the DNR, and using cutters purchased by the Association, Association members have tried to cut the weed just when it is mature enough to produce its turions (seed bags). If you cut too early, it will grow back again. If you're too late, the turions will develop to reseed the pest for future years.
In very recent years the problem hasn't been too bad. Whether this is do to the cutting efforts, to weather conditions, or to snail beds, is hard to determine. Whatever the cause, north shore residents Bill and Joan Schultz, Orlan and Kathy Flaata, Mike McMonigal, Tom Deadrick, Judy Christensen and Jackie DeRudder took up the challenge again this year. The project was complicated by winds and individual schedules, but they did manage to find a couple of large patches in the southeast area of the North Bay. This year's crop was identified by Tom Deadrick using his fishing locator. Volunteers suspect they may have been a little late because the weeds were rather heavy. On the other hand, they didn't see any turions, so maybe they caught it in time. They had to quite June 15 since the permit expired on that date.
Apparently there were some complaints from property owners who suffered the beaching of cut weeds. However, the volunteers ask for their consideration, as the problem would be a lot worse if the work weren't done at all. They welcome additional help for this job next year. Interested persons can contact any of the people involved or any board members listed.
Prairie Woods ELC
Many residents are aware of the wonderful opportunities provided by Sibley State Park: camping, hiking, biking, skiing and an interpretive center. Less well know, perhaps, is the Prairie Woods ELC (sounds like it might be a lost branch of the Lutheran Church, but ELC means "environmental learning center"). The Center has been growing in importance over the years to where it now encompasses seminar rooms, indoor and outdoor climbing opportunities, wild flowers and prairie grasses, the beginnings of a recreated American Indian Village, hiking and skiing trails, and a beautiful site with much wildlife. It may be just the thing to do when younger relatives visit and the weather is unfavorable. Instead of climbing the cabin walls, everyone can take a shot at a climber's training wall. Call in advance (320-354-4894) to make sure you can get in. There is a small fee.
The Center is a bit tricking to find. It is located off Highway 71, north of Willmar. At the north end of Lake Ringo (a sign says "Dickerson's Resort) take County Road 29 west for about a mile and a quarter. The entrance road is on your left.
For the past three summers, Rick "Ricky" Kragenbring has been organizing a motorcycle rally. This July 26-27, will be the 4th. Rick grew up on a farm just northwest of Diamond Lake and now he and his family run Revy's Restaurant in Atwater. He got the name Revy, short for Reverend, when he went to school in Atwater after having attended St. John Lutheran country school two miles east of Diamond Lake.
This year's rally features a number of local as well as headliner bands, including regional favorites Austin Healy, Crow and Jimmy Van Zant. There will be tribute shows to Motley Crew by Wild Side and the Rolling Stones by Satisfaction. Older rockers may remember Molly Hatchet, and country fans will be entertained by The Kentucky Head Hunters. A bandstand is being constructed to facilitate performance rain or shine.
In addition to the music, a number of activities are planned. There will be a bike parade in Atwater on Saturday the 27th at noon. An 86-mile fun "run" will help raise donations to Toys for Tots. Bike games are scheduled in the afternoon and include a plank ride, water balloon toss, keg roll and wiener bite. Vendors will be on hand selling leather items, jewelry, patches, clothing, tattoos and customer motorcycle items. A food booth is being prepared by the West Central Snowdrifters, and breakfast on both days will be provided by the First Assembly of God Church (St. Cloud). They will also be holding a blessing of the bikes church service Sunday morning.
The rally will be held at the Atwater Festival Grounds, one-mile east and one mile south of Atwater. Camping sites are available. Tickets can be purchased at the gate, over the phone, at Revy's or by mail. According to Revy/Rick, the event is open to all motorcycles (not just Harleys) and there is plenty to do even if you don't have a "bike". The Rumble is sponsored by a number of local businesses and the Northland Ford Store.
Avoiding Swimmer's Ear
BlueCross BlueShield BluePlus of Minnesota
Volune II, No. 2
Middle ear infections are familiar to most people. Less familiar are infections of the ear canal, called swimmer's ear. Caused by bacteria or fungi and a moist environment, swimmer's ear can cause itching, pain when you chew or move your ear and temporary hearing impairment. It can occur when you swim, shower or shampoo your hair anytime you get water in your outer ear.
The best way to prevent swimmer's ear is to keep the ear canal dry. Don't use cotton swabs to clean ears: they push protective ear wax into the ear, which often leaves a space between the wax buildup and the eardrum, creating the perfect environment for bacteria or fungi to thrive. After swimming, you can also mix equal amounts of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol (or use over-the-counter ear drops), put a few drops in the ear, and let it run out. The alcohol will dry and water in the canal. The drops can also be used to treat swimmer's ear.
If symptoms of swimmer's ear don't go away in a few days, call your clinic and ask about prescription ear drops.
The Association finally has a president. Judy Christensen has graciously agreed to lead us going forward. She would appreciate hearing from readers with suggestions on improving the condition of the lake.
Garrison Keillor sometimes jokes about "the association of associations". Well, there is an association of Lake Associations. It attempts to bring together lake associations for the purpose of exercising more influence on county and regional levels. In the past the Kandiyohi County Lakes Association has worked on tree planting projects, Eurasian water milfoil control, phosphate free regulations and other matters. We need a representative from Diamond Lake. Who would like the join? Please contact a board member if you are interested. (And if you really want to climb the greasy pole, there is a state association of Lake Associations that holds an annual confab in the early spring).
For those of you thinking about updating your septic system, you should know that low interest loans are still available through Heritage Bank in Pennock. Loans are a 3% interest for amounts up to $5,000. You will need a written estimate to obtain the loan. Contact Rollie Boll at 320-59904251. You must make initial contact with Gary Gear at the County Building in downtown Willmar. His number is 320-231-6229.
Steve McComas, consultant and scientific hired gun for the Association has discovered some hidden treasure in the area. $13,300 in carryover cash from our Phase II grant that was unspent is still available for lake projects. Try as we do, we have trouble spending the money. We need some serious suggestions.
Enclosed with this mailing you should find a publication entitled, "Your lake and You!". It is paid for by the Association as part of its efforts to promote sound practices and general awareness of lake issues. Please save it. Extra copies area available at the Atwater State Bank.
For those who didn't notice, Diamond Lake resident Tom Dolby qualified for the PGA tournament to be held in August at Hazeltine Golf Course. This is a major national event! Tom will be taking on the likes of Tiger Woods, and is one of three Minnesotans out of a field of 120(?). Watch the daily sports pages for his progress.
Remember, this is the last chance to pay your annual association dues. We will publish a list of members in our next issue. Hope to see you there.
Annual meeting is Saturday, August 10th 9:30 am at the Community Park Shelter.