Ideal News and Views

News and Views from a few miles north of Ideal, South Dakota. History, agriculture, politics, hunting, bison, Scot heritage, WW11 B-24 Service, prairie life, cattle, weather, horses, Homesteading, and some photos.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

RIP Lowdon Heller Feb 24, 1924-May 28, 2016

I notice that Lowdon had not published here since 2010.  He lost his computer with passwords, etc to a house fire a year or more ago.

Lowdon was residing at Elder Inn for the last few months.  He indicated he was having trouble sleeping, but his problems were worse than that once admitted to the Gregory, SD Hospital.  Lowdon died there five days after admittance.  His funeral and interment will be today, June 1, 2016 at Ideal, SD.

Below is the last photo of Lowdon that I took.  It was in November 2015 at Winner, SD Elder Inn. We had gotten his computer, TV/Monitor, printers that I had rescued from the tornado and rain damaged Ideal School where Lowdon was living after his home burned.  We had just put a new chair together and he was testing it. Click on image for a larger view.

Condolences to his family and friends who may still be able to find this blog. --- Doug Wiken

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Healthy, Wealthy and (UN) WISELY

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Yearly "suspicion" renewed

Popular demand requires another thought or two to record this year before the final ball is dripped.

Round and round it goes and where it or why is it, "humans are fascinated by round objects"?

Basket balls, tennis, pool, soccer, volley, golf, and on and on the games proceed of one or teams of humans compete in the game of keep away or in my zone the round objects(s) from others. Is it the the games of chance to guess under which cup the round pea is hidden or in what universe are other spheres hidden?

Saturday, September 20, 2008


September 22, Monday, is to be observed with your kids at dinner time, according to a proclamation by the Governor Rounds. Across the dammed Missouri between the buttes of the Bear and Deer's Ear live fewer mouths of Westerner's kids.
Supper around the campfire with the kids is a summer gathering after working the cow's "kids". I know they will all be there as a full day of wrangling burns more calories than an hour of sporting exercise. Sugar pop and mom and bottled water never mention wrangling on the sports ads.

The kids will be at school in the hot "lunch" line. It is dinner time at the old school line. Whoa, the terminology has changed--.The Governors proclomating for the dinner at the bean table in Washington D. C. Kids are wiser than pop at home or the machine. It takes a coin or two in the machine but a greedy freebee for the cam-pain.

The flag is up and the flag is half way down. Out here the sun is up the son is down, no half way about it--the kids are at the table as the sun and kids (set) sit down at supper time.

Maybe Dad and Mom best to havethe banker at the breadfast table for beans and biscuits?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Reviving a Cemetery

Yes, it is an Ideal one that has been around for about 100 years. It was designated in a part of a homesteader's 160 acres when a family member died. Located on a grassy knoll, fenced with an over- head arch proclaiming IDEAL CEMETERY it has survived. .

Though neglected for a time in the 1980's it is now on a recovery mission by the spring-offs of the early settlers.

In 1992 I appeared before the Tripp county commissioners asking them to appoint persons who would take care of the "abandoned " cemetery. A provision of the S. D. law allows County commissioners to manage abandoned cemeteries with funds provided. I didn't get support and the request rejected.

The recent interest in Tripp County celebrating it's 100th anniversary in 2009 gave me the impetus to revive the management of the cemetery. Several members of the community whose parents and or family have been interred therein have taken care of the grounds . Mowing and adding flags for the soldiers of war along with the honor guard from the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars have now made Memorial Day at the cemetery a day of remembering..

The original Cemetery corporation has been dissolved by the Sec. of State. It is feasible to re-incorporate and proceed to the business of selecting ; directors, by-laws, a management team and method of finance,

The Ideal cemetery will be for another 100 years a place to visit and remember.


"e" ps Bernie in the recent issue of South Dakota magazine has an article on 92 churches. How about 92 cemeteries?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bees lost in the clover

Yellow blossom clover covers the hills and valleys of the area. The June 5th rain of at least 3-4 inches brought the clover blossoms. Now if the bees work the warmer days and the winds do not blow too hard that No 1 Clover honey of Sue Bee will be available this fall.

The PBS special on the disappearance of the bees indicate a possible undiscovered Virus. Our area is covered by Bachman bees with three bee yards. In this land of Milk and Honey, where are the cows to milk. How about the rodeo fanfare with the wild cow milking contest?

It's the buzzen of the Bees in fields of clover now, Burl Ives would sing all day long beneath the
sycamore tree.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wealth Returns to Lyman County

The prior post on wealth leaving the Counties in S. Dak. has been countered by adjoining County of Lyman. A recent edition of the Lyman County Herald relates the return of wealth by a former resident.

Dakota (Mullen) Sturges was born to Judge Frank and Anna Mullen on a homestead southwest of Presho.Graduated from University of S. Dakota she returned to teach in Lyman County and in Tripp County in Winner. She married Fred Sturgis in Winner after returning from work at U. S. News and World Report Washington, D. C

Fred and "Kota" moved to Omaha, Nebraska and operated the W. H. Sturgis Company with Kota the business manager. The W. H. Sturgis Company's business was wool, hides, iron and metals, jack and jill rabbits(mink meat), wild animal furs, and prairie bones from past cattle and buffalo herds. Offices from Belle Fourche, Winner, Sioux City to Omaha retrieved and profited from the Western South Dakota used and unused material of the land.

Kota passed on several years ago and in her estate specified that three entities in Presho will each recieve $50,000 for three years. Returned wealth to Lyman county is $450,000.

Ripley's "Believe it or Not" carried a story on the W.H. Sturgis Company on collecting bones of the prairie.

Fred's brother, Charley operated the Winner branch andwas Winner's mayor. I have sold skunk and weasel furs and zinc lids from green mason jars to the business located on the corner west of main Winner.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Wealth Transfer in Triipp County

Wealth transfer or money from the lands of Tripp County has been studied and is available at SDCF website. As the money or wealth is handed down to the next generation it is likely that much of it will leave the county and the State. As the younger generation leave the so will the wealth as heirs of the holdings pass to them never to return.

The wealth study was conducted with Citigroup, Presentation College Foundation, Sioux Falls Area Foundation and the Watertown Area Foundation to forecast the financial future of South Dakota.

The information was over a 10- year period from 2000 to 2010. In Tripp County a 10-year transfer is indicated at $61,957,258. A population loss in the same time period is indicated at -7.9%
or 2,464.

Remember the rule to follow the money, so it is to follow the young brains that inherit the milk and honey of he rural areas of South Dakota never to return.

As the county population decreases so will the number of children that will be enrolled in the schools. State aid for schools will decrease based on enrollment and the needed dollars will be assessed to the rural land. Land produces fewer children as they are not needed by the farm and ranch. No need to kid the farm for hands to stook the grain, milk cows, or herd the sheep. the few left are to inherit the problems of the land and replenish the "CASH COW" for those in the population centers who still rely on the sales tax to finance great expectations. As the weak dollar leads to higher prices of the consumer goods, general sales taxes and special taxes as the 4 B tax in Winner allows bonds to be floated . Swimming in debt or swimming in water you still have to tread carefully or drowning by foreclosure is possible. Yes, cities can file for bankruptcy.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mrs. President Hillary Clinton?

How will Hillary Clinton's name be listed on the election ballots this fall if she is selected in Denver, would her name appear on the ballots as : Hillary Clinton or her proper title of Mrs. President Hillary Clinton.

She is entitled to the formal address as a past President's wife as Mrs. President Clinton. That was the social form of address when Bill Clinton was President.

If Bill is tagging along at a formal dinner would he be introduced as Mr. President Clinton, or Mr. President Hillary Clinton.

Emily Post can you post a suggestion?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ideal air mail pilot circa 1952

South Dakota winter and spring of 1952 or so were years of record snow fall and blizzards. Most roads were impassable. For several days, roads might be drifted from Ideal to Winner, SD. Bulldozers could push it out, but if the wind blew, the road might be drifted in again that evening or next morning possibly piled even deeper.

My father, Charles Heller, flew a 1946 vintage Aeronica plane. A Ski replaced each wheel. The wood and fabric plane then became the temporary mail plane running between Winner, SD and Ideal, SD. Once sorted by the postmaster, the rural route mail was put in paper bags for each rural route "customer". Some chain smokers were so hard up for tobacco they wanted cartons of cigarettes included with the mail drop. I have several photos. This one was most likely taken on March 15, 1952

A rapid spring runoff flooded areas which was not good in those days..adding water misery to blizzard misery for some people and animals. But this year the snowfall has been pretty sparce even if weather was often cold. Not much moisture so far. We are waiting for spring rains this year..or even snow tomorrow as forecast for Tripp County. Not likely that the Ideal mail plane will need to run in 2008.


New York Times on line has an article on the Chicago board of Trade grain futures today. It has no explanation of how or why the futures of a date drop off higher that the cash market. i.e.wheat

The Federal subsidy for the insurance company premium might have a part of this pit bite.
Grain farmers must carry the Federal crop insurance plan written by private companies. Farmers have a choice not to carry but they cannot claim any Federal farm disaster payments. That's the bite. Grain farmers are to report the acres planted to the private insurance companies and or the losses and yield of bushels. Acres for winter wheat planted are already reported.

Now that information is recorded by the USDA offices in USA. That becomes public information. Who needs to know how many acres planted. The total number of acres planted to winter wheat is already filed. A faster way to obtain that information is to obtain the information filed prior time with the private insurers of that commodity. I wonder if that information is secure or does that information leakaway? If you are a speculator in the pit you need to know the anticipated acres planted. Yield per acre is already filed and by checking the drought forecast for the areas planted they can estimate the bushels available.

Demand and supply the fangs of the speculator enter the Chicago Board of Trade and enter their bids based on the information they have gathered. Spring wheat is being planted now and the report date of acres will be filed soon. The puffed wheat price has driven farm rental of wheat land up to $50+ - an acre. The waving wands of the golden wheat may be in the minds of the wheat farmer but the cost of producing the wheat will leave the farmer fools gold in the granary.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Congress has been trying to pass the new farm program for the coming years. The last program expired. But the recent deadline has been extended a month. Last evening P.B.S. had a preview of the not yet released "Body Count" a movie of the decision to invade Iraq----timing was a few months before the fall election. Hardly any discussion. Ayes were plentiful except a couple nays.

Although the guns of war have not been beaten into the plowshares it is time for the mental planning for the farm operation to be completed and action. Timing the passing of the farm program before the spring planting is a familiar congressional tactic. They have had a year to discuss and pass a new farm bill.

This warrior of the land noticed how little discussion on war to Iraq and great delay and discussion on a farm program.

Are farms that important? You have heard the expression , "It's the pits"? Probably a little truth to that statement as the pits of the New York Stock Exchange or Chicago board of trade have been cultivating and bagging the unwary on future trading of farm products, especially grains as wheat, corn, and soy beans. Speculation future prices raised spring wheat up to almost $20 a bushel. Two bushels of spring wheat to plant per acres,Diesel fuel at almost $4 a gallon nitrogen $770 a ton and harvest costs not announced yet-- but the conversation using words not noticed in the dictionary, free--no charge. Cash investment per acre of spring wheat is close to $250. No snow and no rain in this band of drought. Dowsers and dancers needed to find that dew of the cloud.

Freedom to farm or farewell to farms? A cash sow or cow are needed on the range. Hath thou heeded Joseph's rule of the green thumb? Dip into the granary of seven years lean and seven years fat. At this time it is "Empty bins near the old corral."

That manna from heaving is of interest. How about 'stuffen' the Bank of Cooperatives?
Your neighbors might not have a roof over head for long, but at least have the basic food available at the grocery store.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Transplants and Dialysis on the Rosebud

Ideal Villager finally at the No. 1 spot to receive a kidney and pancreas transplant. After three years of dialysis twice a week the lady had word she is now at the top of the waiting list. Senior resident Ms. Charlotte Long Crow retired from the CHS health care job some years ago and now can look forward to an easier life.

She had to have her boys drive her to Gregory as Winner hospital has not a dialysis machine.


Cow Maternity and the Barometer

Beware the Ides of March ------------- in 2008. And the NY stock market almost collapsed.\\

The Ideal stock market at the out barn fared well. Four new calves appeared and only one weak one that I had to jimmy up.A calf represents about a 20% gain in asset value of one cow share. A live -stock C.E.O (cowboy Entramanure Operator) is in charge.

Posts will follow if this procedure connects..


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Test of new blogger login

Like wagontrains passing in the night, this blog and my passwords have been passing.

This is a test. If it works, and I can log in again, there may be some actual news at Ideal News and Views.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lowdon will soon be publishing again

After having his computer on the fritz for some time, I finally got it going for him again, but in the process may have lost some of his logon information. So, if you have
been missing posts here, with a little luck, we will soon have the connections right.

Lowdon says he has been storing up good post ideas and photos.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Take the Ideal Road to Ideal and C&W Convenience Store

"IDEAL ROAD" to Ideal Village, C & W Convenience Store to Hiway 183.

The last publication of the South Dakota Map indicates a road from Hamill to Hiway 183. It is outdated and the road is dangerous as "pop up" hill has claimed a person's life.

The right road is to continue south about 5- miles and watch for the small "Ideal" sign on the right and follow this to the Stop sign and continue west to Hiway 183. Just head west and you "kant miss it, ole chap" It's a county graveled road and pheasants boom a welcome call.

As a S. D. legislator I successfully had this route placed on the S. D. Hiway system. Times changed and this route from Hamill to Winner was driven straight south towards Winner.
Later Tripp County Commissioners adopted this route as a Farm to Market Road. It is well maintained and safe route thru the Ideal suburbal area. In a jest it was named J-90 as the County Commissioner from Ideal was a J orgensen. In the final completion of the project it also honors a past Ideal County Commissioner "Butch Best" JB-90? This road is the last northern trail across Tripp County unless you row your boat on the big White River.

Beware, however, as you cross the Thunder Creek along the roadway suicide deer are a terror to avoid.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Bison Behavior, Honda "Roundup"

It's great to have a home where the buffalo roam--not to far though. The first buffalette or Jr. arrived today. Might be a little early usually in May June . But, is it an indication of a drought continuing?the calf seems normal weight and the mama cows survived on wheat straw and prairie hay not very green.

Two days before this weather change to a super cold the herd bull sponsored a wild west show by herding all the other animals into a freak out. This is the first time I observed the antic of gougeing the land and circle the wagons (all the buffaloes) The flag tails were up . Sometime in the night they all crashed out of the container. At Noon the next day I found them at rest cudding a half mile away. I circled them and lreturned to the pen. The lead bull followed the Pied Piper Honda and returned thru the pen gates as if to apologize for prior antics.

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High special land sales impact property taxes and development costs

Recently land sales indicate an astounding rise in South Central S. D. But, what impact in the local areas who do not benefit from the sales but are saddled with potential services for the invaders.

If rural development tourism, Pheasant hunting, prairie dog hunting, and calf/cattle feeding projects begin what will be the tax on the local township owners and OPERATORS of the land?

In the past a cattle feeding opeation had the local township road graded and graveled and that was paid out of township funds (tax) The recent building of an alcohol plant at Mitchell area in the rural area pojected just under a million dollar project to build a road heavy enough for the corn hauling. If the rural area have bed, booze, breakfast places that tax is not credited to the touwnship where it is situated.

The tax should go to where the burden falls. A sales tax on the real estate? Or a return where the tax is collected? Our County has hired an economic development person. Where will ecomomic development occur and will their operation contribute to a burden on the local township?. Township business is mainly ROADS. In our township about $800 is returned for the roads out of pheasant or hunting funds. What about the investment persons who bids the land beyond its farming or ranching ability. Maybe a use tax on land. Money retained in the township where it is located to be spent for roads or schools?

The rural folks are paying city sales tax at half the sales tax the State does. Eventually the cities will swarm with jogging around circles, pools to wiggle in or event centers, sports centers that collect more and more dollars. The Roman Empire idea of bread and circus will pacify the citizens. It is occuring in Rapid City and Soo Falls and even Mitchell. Who will bell the cats> Who will raise the food, or will big Box farms (Super Wall'Marts) and ranches be owned by foreign bonds

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Taxes 'Til Death Do Depart?

Taxes 'Til Death Do Depart?

The coming election for placing a one percent tax on motels, booze (known as the Bed, Booze sales tax) in Winner is up for approval by citizens coming election. After a few months of wool gathering, the Mayor has started spinning the good yarn. A new unleakable water pool for old and young can be built from the new tax.

As Winner is an aging town of elders, and the spring offs have left for greener pastures the passing of the bars when they put out to pasture brings many a relation to the farewell to Dads, Mothers, Aunts. The Irish that come to toast farewell to relations wakes hardly rest in the motels . The new proposed tax will be borne by the Irish farewell. Taxes do not fade away.

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Pheasants and Peasants: Greed not Need

Land of the Pheasants and peasants too. Yes, the auction of land held last Saturday in Presho was an interesting case of greed not need.

A couple of miles south and one east of the C & W convenience store at Ideal was offered by auction. The 313.9 acres of mostly farming type, a two story house and a few outbuildings that were adjoining along a county graveled road sold for $1475 an acre or a total of $483046. Whoa, before you judge this the going rate for farm ground consider that it was owned by two partners who probably couldn't agree to a buyout of one another. Each probably owned half and so it real cost to the winning bid was valued at half that amount per acre. Additional thought too that the rural water line is installed and sewer lines, elctric lines, trees, water dam and accessibility adds up to the value. Maybe a bird or two of long tales add colour to the purchase.

Another property about30 miles north on the I-90 Presho area was sold. The 931.01 acres was bid in at $1215 per acre of a total sale of $1,131,177.15 The area was not as convenient but was designed for pheasant hunting. Not too easy to find which makes it great for bird and hunter.

TO---(please complete)

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Test post

test post

Fossil news

Dr Jim Martin a few years ago was in the Antartica and discovered fossils that dated some 60-70 million years go. Recently Dr. Martin and several others returned from Antartica with the bones of a baby plesiosaur they had recovered from that continent. On December 13th the three were honored by the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology at the Museum of Geology with the presentation of the Department of Defense Antartica Service Medal. Dr. Martin, Dr. John Sawyer, and Mr. Wayne Thompson were honored by the National Science Foundation Antartica Research Expeditions.

Don Roosa and I attended the recognition for Dr. Martin's discovery of Anartica fossils at the School of Mines some years ago. Don, Herb Coe and I discovered a mosasaur along the Missouri at Iona about 1958. The School of Mines under the direction of Harold Martin and Dr. Green from the Museum of Geology excavated this twenty foot specimen and brought it back to the basement in the Museum. The Museum has the skeleton of a long-necked plesiosaur from Salzman's flat along the Missouri River near Iona and it is the main exhibit in the Museum of Geology.

The baby plesiosaur, Salzman plesiosaur, and mosasaur were living in about the same 60-70 million year period: Cretacious.

Great Moments in Time?

Great expectations at Mars?

70 Million years vs 6 months

Time does wait for those of the inquiring mind. I waited 6 months before a post on the Ideal N/V .
The Drought of the Mid-West (7 years lean?) did not dry out the hydro excess in the top part ofthe brain of political experts. The tares exceeded the golden thoughts and the harvest was bare.

Approximately 70million years ago on a "floating" continent a baby plesiosaur died. Wednesday December 13, 2006, 6:41 M S T at the Museum School of Mines and Technology the shroud was lifted on the bones of this baby.

The hands of Dr. Jim Martin early resident nearIgloo, S. Dak. revealed a missing link to a fossil relative found on the Salzman flats on the Missouri River near Iona, S. Dakota. Dr. Martin of the paleontology department School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, S. D. along with Dr. John Sawyer, and Mr. Wayne Thompson were presented the Department of Defense Antartica Service Medal by the National Science Foundation Antartic Research Expedition.

A Paleontologist never lets the dead past bury its dead. Just a few feet from the baby bones unveiled was the tail end of the Salzman long-necked plesiosaur fossil.

If time does tell, can you wait?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


The virus of terrorists that disrupt communication on "e" mail and the Blogs has not been contained. But it surely made it difficult to continue the Blog. Will try to send out a new post from here as a consultant cleaned the guts and nuts from the computer.

The words of the Dakota Song, "Oh Dakota Land, Dakota Land" is appopriate this year. " In the Land that never rains, as I look out over the plaines-=--tis especially true from this area to the northwest part our State. In Harding County it has recorded an amount of rain less that the Drought of the '32's., less than 3 inches total this year. Grassland needs the spring rains and snow melt to charge the soil beneath the grass to feed the growth in the hot summer.

Cattle herds are being sent to market or to other pastures where the rains fell. It is fortunate that the price of calves and replacement cows is being maintained. The alfalfa crop was a one time cut and very short tonnage per acre.

Surely could use a portion of that"Forty Days and Nights of rain"

Another year or two of drought will devastate the prairie dogs for lack of food. Would it follow the migration of the human population to the urban areas where the lawn grass, parks vegetation is available? An appeal from "Prairie Dogs Forever" for oats and bales of alfafa might be the next headline on Blogs, and city orientated newspapers?


Friday, March 17, 2006

Ideal News and Views

Ideal News and Views

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks sent a publication to me . It is to help soften the criticism of the ranch owners in the north west part of the state, particularily the Harding county ranchers.

The ranchers up there close their lands to open hunting. The reason is they do not want the Conservation Officers of the Department tramping in on their lands to "check"violaters of game laws without asking permission of the land owner. Perhaps the game warden(conservation officer) sees red clothing, a dog or two scouting , or a gun shot , and a parked SUV and must "check it out" without asking the land owner.

The Department is trying to solve the problem by better relations, viz publications to improve relations with the ranchers. The Department selected and held meetings with a group to ask how best to improve the rancher relations.

IN this publication are three or four articles: 1. Trapping available for ranchers: Abandoned Mines are animal habitat;Goose depredation programs available: and Viet Nam War Memorial to be held in Pierre.

The bats in the Mine, trapping the animals of terror, and attracting Bird Avian flue in the slough, publishing alist of the "game Wardens" (printed with a heavy background of brown) that I can' see to think about might be able to K O a hard fissted rancher -BUT--- THE VIET NAM DISPLAY?

Honoring the efforts o the Viet Nam hunter should never be a part of the Departments publication. Reason is that the present Governor is seeking re-election this fall in November and this open season for huntng for votes is obvious. So campaigning by the Department for the Governor is a dastardly approach and misuse of the hunting license fees?

The executive is fishing for votes, gaming the Viet Nam hunter and great expexctations of parking his SUV beside the Pierre goose pond for another four years
(The Governor's mansion is on the front lawn of the "goose pond").

Perhaps the deparment had an article on the exposure to Avian flu via the residents of the "goose pond" might be more appropriate. Or an article on the Avian flu and the Pheasant population that creates $ for the department.Or perhaps a possible research program to contain the possibility of introduction of the disease to the wild pheasant population by outside the State pheasant hatcheries.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Ideal News and Views

Ideal News and ViewsS. Dak Game, Fish and Vietnam?

The local mail arrived with a publicaton from the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks,--Wildlife Divison located in Pierre. S. D. The Department has had serious confrontations with the local ranchers up there in the northwest part of the State, near Buffalo and other ranchers in Harding County. The game the hunters seek is the antelope and deer(trophy). The discussion centers on the Game Warden (called Conservatiion officers -polite talk) The Game Wardens are hunting hunters who might or might not be obeying the rules of the Department covering limits and licenses .

The argument begins, can a warden enter private prope;ty without trespassing to check red coated hunters or those who look like hunters or are carrying guns or being followed with a dog or two? Does the warden have to have permission of the owner or does he actutally have to witness a game violation.

Landowners in that area have limited hunting access and the ranch land has been closed for general hunting by the owners. The S. D . Department has attempted to resolve the problem by transfering a game conservationist (warden ) who has been on that area assignment for many years in hopes of softeningthe argument.

The Department selected a number of persons in the State to study the problem and come up with a method to delete the problem. One method to try was to inform the public through a publication to land owners the role of the game warden. I am on the receiving end of the publication. Well let me continue.

In the four page format of a nineteen by seventeen folded publication there is on page one; "State Trapping Program Available to Ranchers and Farmers" ; on page two,"Abandoned Mines are Wildlife Habitat"; on page three," Vietnam War Memorial to be Held in Pierre Septemeber 15 and16" and " Goose Depreditation Programs Available;and on the back page a one third page advertising "Viet Nam War Memorial" with a shadow photo of an American flag, an eagle on wing and a Viet Nam Veteran. Several side box statements are along the pages too and one states,"The aAverage annual expenditure of the WDM progam spent in answering lanowner complaints is in excess of $2.5 milion". Another page has a long box listing the Conservaton officers Statewide. BUT-- the shadow color makes the names almost unreadable, probably to DE-EMPHASIS THE ROLE OF THE 'GAME WARDENS'?

So if bats in the caves need to be protected, as they consume the West Nile mosquito or plant game plots for a dollar or two to attract the migratory geese who may harbor the Avian flu this fall heading back to the Platte river or to Arkansas,--great --- but VIET NAM VETERANS WAR MEMORIAL?

It has occured to my mind that to honor the hunter in the land of the Viet Nam is out of joint in this publication.

The Governor Rounds had announced earlier that in September a Memorial program would be held for the Viet Veterans and the recent session of the Legislalture put $100,000 of sales tax(include the tax on food) to celebrate the hunters in Viet Nam.

The real hunt is for vet's vote as the Gov is doggen for votes for his second time around as the Governor of South Dakota.

Great moments in history? After returning Stateside from the WWII I recalled the moment when the final standdown of the Squadron was reviewed by Killer Kane of the Polesti Oil raid debacle that the crew member on our plane thumbed his nose as he reviewed the troops from a slow sideslippen Piper Cub a few feet off the tarmack.

All show no understanding. The politics of war or the war of politics?

The need is for a few more code talkers to carry the message during the war of political strategy using veterans memorials.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Wring in the Spring

The old timers speak of a month of wetting the prairie with rain, fog and snow sniffles. Back in the saddle again as the two and half inches of moisture brought by wet snow in several main features and even a mantinee or two has caught the mid -Dakotans with the familiar problem of spring calving.

Cattlemen are busy day and night with the arrival of the newborn calves. Pulling future dollars from the heifers or from the experienced senior herd member is familiar. Calves come forward and backward on their time not yours. Cowboys in denims are the OBY's on the prairie.
If it takes two to Tango it oft times takes two to untangle the problem delivery of a calf. DVM's are far away so a partner of the operation is the wife ( Medi-Vet )who can wind the puller or help sew em up after pushing the container back in place.

A report of a "mad" Santa Gertrudis cow recently. The ID program is not in place to trace the origin of the outbreak. I had a report that Ted Turner was at the Winner slaughter plant to negotiate the "South Dakota Certified Beef" that would be prepared at the plant. Turner(buffalo owner) has restaurants that would feature that branded product. The sheep industry has ID requirements for tracing scrapie, a form of that "mad cow" disease. I have a numbered tag to install in the lambs that is recorded at every sale transaction. The serial number of the tag is recorded by USDA.

A research fund has been awarded to a South Dakota college to study why buffalo may be immune to that "mad Cow" disease.


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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Farm and Home Show, Presho 2006

A pre-spring arrival in the smaller towns on the S. Dak. prairie is the Farm and Home Show. At Presho this was held Saturday in the community building. The basketball bank boards were out of the way and plastic film protected the floor. The bleacher seats were folded.

Entering, one was faced with not the ticket tackeer but an order counter for lunch. The menu was Indian tacos for the waciu though later I noted no preponderance of Lakota (Sioux Indians) or reps of the South.

Yes, it was a promotional idea to set the pleasant juices flowing from the tummy to the brain stem. Anticipation of food and pleasant thoughts to follow in touring the display booth was the strategy.

About fifty display booths catering art work, quilts, gutters, newspapers, telephones, health products, bank service and abortion, but no snake oil or hucksters. Town businesses were represented like home heating,bank, telephone, but the one I had to visit was the reps of the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks.

The Department has been criticised for allowing it's wardens (conservation officers) to enter private land without notice or approval of the land owner. I think maybe a warden that sees a blaze of red and a gun carrying person in the field is suspect and must "check him out".

The two wardens were neat in appearance and friendly. One was wearing a pistol holder though I do not know if it was filled. Reminded me of the Brit's Bobby who carried the stick but no weapon. His word and uniform was sufficient, " I sey ole chap". I had to question one of the men, (no female wardens) about the possible Avian flu introduction by the ducks, geese, pelican migratory invasion. Not noted as yet as most of the migratory patterns are in the European and Asiatic area where spotted outbreaks are noted. Would be a disaster for the flu to spread to the pheasant population for South Dakota hunters and the income for the S.D. Department.

Entertainment? That was a cracker barrel session by local legislators.
S. Dak. legislature is awaiting the approval of the executive Governor of the abolishing of abortion in S.. Dak. I look at the pickle barrel question of the abortion question. Is it the majority wish of the citizens in the legislature or is it a legal question. A news release notes that a million dollars has been promised to carry the challenge to the Supreme Court of the U.S. I don't know if the million dollar baby is a registered lobbyist or is it illegal to promise dollars for a non-veto by the Governor.

Jim Wooster a lad of Reliance and a former resident of Lyman county was the entertainer His auctioneer type of patter of his stories were bite and bit. Hardly any young people around to listen as silver haired, baseball capped men and bonnet free moms listened and clapped approval. The Wooster farm boys left the rural area a long ago. The example they set is still the pattern of the farm kids, cut and go east, west, north, or south but any direction, some up some down , but go.
Wosterized the grandmothers with songs of their childhood days via the prairie harp.

Of naught for money, but glad they were here to see and ponder the smaller slice of life in Presho.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Compulsory Kindergarten in S. Dak schools

Governor Rounds recomended Kindergarten be mandatory in S. Dak. Schools. It might be that future citizens of South Dakota need to know their songs and dances--and colours too from red to blue.

After George Hearst bought the original claim for Homestake his wife Phoebe had the foresite to provide for the education of the gold miners' children by having a large building built for Kindergarteners. The picture of the building appeared in the Rapid City Journal several months aback. T'was no country school building but a three or four story building. Since a number of the miners were immigrants their children would most likely be potential miners. I had a letter written in 1903-5 by a family friend, Churchill, who taught kindergarten in that area too. I remember she mentioned going down lower main street in Deadwood to Chicken Louies for supper after school---but always walked on the sidewalk opposite the "Girls of the Gulch. Perhaps George Carr's book on Phoebe Hearst will have more details on Kindergarten in Deadwood/Lead.

If Gov. Rounds was thinking of the golden touch in education in South Dakota by promoting Kindergarten best to think ahead and provide the money for the average daily attendance of those students from the State aid per student. Are their mothers going to be driving twice a day to some attendance center and be reimbursed a few cents a mile beyond the five miles. Sen Bouge of Faith might have a little buzz on that problem.

Who will pay the cost of the piper or rhythmn sticks or conductor. What will be the athletic program for the K's? I suggest TIDDLEY WINKS. The South Dakota Tiddly Winks Athletic Association will be created with the A and B and C divisions. To save mileage and food costs for competition between clubs the laptops and computers will carry the squigee games live by streaming. Moms could be the cheery leaders and some Bank could account for a scholarship or two. You Bet Dwd will support the Kindergarten Games.

I certainly support Kindergarten schools even with the "Winks" in the pot.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Goats getting Kentuckian goats

The Boer goat is being raised for its meat. The State with the most Boers is Texas followed by Kentucky.
A news article in the Kentucky Living magazine, a product of the electric coops in Kentucky, features the goats that are in great demand for its meat producing quality. As the smaller tobacco farmer is selling his government quota back to the Dept of Agriculture goating may be the income produce from the land.

As goats are hair coated perhaps they will be raised further north as global warming , at least this year in S. Dak., and multi=ethnic demand will make it a profitable venture for the small unit farm/ranch.

Goat tying is a part of the Rodeo circuit. If your bent towards a rustling life perhaps that would be necessary training to earn a profitable living on the open range or later closed range.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


The older method to establish a Ranch west of the Missouri river was to capture "a sick calf or two" and hook it to the milk cow. My honest homesteading uncle was embarrassed when the younger cow-"boys" of the ranch upon the White put a calf from the neighbor with his milk cow.

Attended a meeting of interest to a cowman at county seat Burke. On the agenda was a program on Cattle markets and invasive grasses on the prairie.A cow/calf operaion can now take insurance on the selling price of his calves as soon as they drop. Not a bad idea if you are finacing your land, equipment for the ranch. Somewhere in the vicinity of price guarantee of $117/hundred for the calf I think of 500 pounds. Available now is the grass insurance on the range, corn insurance, alfalfa, and always life/accident to the burial..

The invasive species of grass that has invaded the native praire includes the Cheet or a bromus of two major types one of the red coloured and the other closer to the oat seed type. One avenue of introduction was the feed shipped to the cavalry horses at Fort Niobrara east of Valenitne, Nebraska. The weather pattern of early rains and minimum during the June-August favored this type of grass over the mid-season grasses. A cycle of drouthy conditions favor the cheet and since its growth pattern follows the winter wheat it was a problem in the farm fields of wheat.
Control is by grazing management, heavy in the spring and let the native grasses grow thereafter. A light touch of "roundup" in the fall toprevent the seedling establishment helps. The best natural control is to pull the plug on the rain clouds during the summer.

Another introduced grass is the Brome. It followed the hiway right-of-ways north from other areas and was introduce during the '30's .Good for the early and late grazing. Worthless in the summer. I am using a pasture for the small bunch of buffalo. I note that they can survive on the dry stems of the brome over the hot summer and even into the winter. English type of cows would fail to manage the cycle of brome grass in this prairie range.

Professor Hanson of the State College at Brooking spent time gathering plants, including the grasses from the stepps of Russia. The crested wheat grass was the answer to stablizing the soil after the '30 dust erosion of pastures. I observed too that during the recent drought period here that that grass was spotted throughout the native pastures.

Grass to gas--bio-gas- Like the "Acres of Diamonds" oil for gas for the farm is "in your own back yard."


Monday, January 16, 2006

Ideal News and Views

Ideal News and Views
The new Legislative District for 26 ie. Tripp,Gregory and Mellette and Todd will stand.

Already past Representative of the old Dist. 26 Junke has a petition circulating in a new district( Mainly the old District 26) The Fed court redistricted the area and divided the District into an A and a B part that a resident must be in. That measure means that a A 26 B candidate must be from Gregory orTripp County and 26 A must come from Mellette and Todd counties.The District 26 allows one Sena-tor and two Representatives. Represenative must live in 26 A or 26B .From the two winners in the Primary in A and B, one person will be selected in the fall General election from each A and B thereby the District 26 will have two Representatives.

It still appears to be skinning the salamander of his protective skin, ie. Gerrymandering of the district. I still think that a Rep should have his own District and balance the scale against a Senator District. The editor of the Rapid Journal had an opinion that a A and B division was not needed as the Representative presently live in separate counties some 70 miles crow winging. But he failed to note that in prior elections that Garnos and Junke of District 26 liven about 7 miles apart down the creek. Those two are carrying the responsibility of "racing" to Pierre.LH

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Legislature in Session...Beware

The South Dakota legislature is in session. Heard today they may have 500 bills or more to run through the committees. SD is one of a dozen or so states that give every introduced bill a hearing. No legislative chairmen pocket vetos are allowed.

Sounded to me like the Governor didn't really have a plan for South Dakota, but more like a plan for his Governor re-election campaign or advance work for a campaign against US Rep. Herseth.

He spent a lot of time talking about federal military stuff over which he can do nothing but speechify? at funerals. He didn't talk about ...oh say..highway crash deaths caused by drunken drivers. That is something a state can do something about. Even having South Dakota Public TV putting the names, ages, and photos of every innocent SD driver killed by a drunk in a car...the terrorists of the highways.

So, was his state of the state speech a real state of the state speech or just more insurance salesman spin preparing for the closing pitch of the next campaign?

Well, guess you can tell I am back online. More to come if I can keep my computer running for more than a day or two at a time.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Blizzards of the West

The December '05blizzard I named Anthony has faded away in a drifting memory. The male names seem to fit the description of weather occurances on the Dakota prairies than female names, though hurricanes are appropriately named? "I can't see through your argument as I am snowed under "?

The past two weeks from the December blitz have taken most of the snow to water as 45 and 55 degree weather prevailed.
Cattle are grazing on the corn stalks which is a return of early days when the straw piles and corn stalks were the winter feed . A great way to save the hay in the bale.

A half dozen new-born calves joined their moms too. Planned calfhood thwarted by poor maintenance of the fences. The drought has made post hole digging, even with power tools difficult . Spring rains soften the land and time is available to tune the fence to the animals or even summer rains would soften the work of post tunneling. I compliment the survival of the arrivals to excellent planning by the mother cows to the weather pattern. Could the cows sense the demise of the high market for calves late next fall and they are hurrrying to meet the collapse of the calf market?

I have a picture of the snoozing calf, unaware of the Terrorists of the Dakota, blizzards. LH

Saturday, December 24, 2005

"I Spy"

I had a thought that games played by children are long forgotten. Did Mama Bush play "I Spy" with her children? LH

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Ideal News and Views

Rapid City Journal editorial of December 9, 2005 discussing the Representative split districts in the large district 26 mentions the two Representatives, Garnos and Jensen live 77 miles apart and the citizens should not complain that they are being adequately represented.

The editor over looked the times that Garnos and Junke were Representatives from Lyman county living a few miles apart, maybe 7 miles?

The District 26 has a border near Nebraska, Paxton, to the Cheyenne River; from the Missouri River, Lower Brule to a mile from Kyle east. Perhaps a crow would have to rest his wings to cover that representative area and would have the advantage of crossing the fields to locate a voter. Miles and miles and miles to cover to visit a voter.

Quite different in the area where a candidate can ride up and down in an elevator and visit with the problems of voters by punching the button?

As birds of the same feather flock or vote together, how can the other side of the issues be brought forward? Each representative must have a district as a Senator does.

Split districts for every Represntative would be fair to all Candidates, Let each Representative have his own area to represent. In District 26 the miles to travel would be cut to one half or the estimated cost of campaign expenses reduced from $10.000 to $5,000 It would take adds in nine local newspapers, two TV stations, and three radio stations to discuss with voters in district 26 the voice for them in Pierre. In some metropolitan districts one newspaper and a choice of TV or radio stations are available.

Check the record Editor and review your thoughts that Distict 26 or all districts should have one district for each Representative. Think like a candidate with the cost, time and night meetings and the long drive to your home. Let the campaign trail be shortened at least?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Sunset after an unseasonably warm fall day

One of the pleasures of the plains is a usually uncluttered view of sunsets. Tonight I took a break for a few minutes and hope you like sunsets too.

Wind was calm, so the sunset was reflected off dam water.

It looks better right now without snow. I suppose that will come soon enough. Then the sunsets look cold no matter how red or yellow.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

A few setting changes at Ideal News and Views.

A few setting changes at Ideal News and Views.

Comments are now allowed on posts here, but the "word verification system" is also working now. That means if you want to comment on a post such as this one, you will have to look at a picture with letters in it. If the picture of the letters shows "lmsft", then you will have to type in manually "lmsft" before your comment will be saved.

This system helps make it possible to allow comments without also having this blog barraged with spam and comments leading to virus loaded sites. Use the system responsibly and this may make things more interesting around here.

A new template has been installed which changes appearance slightly.

Posts here can now be easily e-mailed to yourself or others you think might find them interesting.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Bison Hunters get one June 2005

Buffalo hunters north of Winner, SD. Hunter on right is from South Africa.
photo by Lowdon

First Post of June, 2005

That means thirty days or so left to change my mind on this post.

Weather has warmed after some days probably colder than expected.
Going from too cold to too warm is tough on us old guys. Wind is blowing
hard enough to move the mosquitos north for a day or so.

I am hungry and will finish this post and try again after I fill my stomach.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Why Not Close Ellsworth AFB

The drought of Dakota is waning with showers of April rain now falling in May.A word or vision of the view Western River needs undating.


Why not? Following ideas are economic considerations to the City of Rapid.

After the Base is closed it is declared surplus. The State of S. Dak. rounds up its clout and takes possession. The Base is transferred to the Soldiers Home at Hot Springs to manage andthe Headquarters transferred to Rapid.. S. Dak. National Guard moves its headuarters to the Base. The Veteran's Health Administration takes the Hospital facilities and the VA Head is moved from Belle Fourche to the Base. The city of Rapid takes on the operation of the Air facilities for development of a World Air Terminal for the Air Bus Traffic. The vacant housing is available for Veterans and wives of all wars with priority from Civil War to Iraq. The 9000 persons will be pensioners with steady income from service retirement of full Social Security wages filling the vacated houseing. Induce Wall-Mart to lease a spot on a percentage of sales to the New Base for income. School will be supported by the additional food sales tax ,lease income from motel and other business appropriate to the times. As the air armada leaves it takes with it the terrorist exposure and leaves the young gals here in the Hills.

Perhaps success from disaster are the thoughts from the above mentioned. LH

Monday, June 09, 2003

Prairie Dogs Make Good Targets

Prairie dog hunters came from eastern Indiana the other day. In two days of hunting on the north village they estimate 725 were earned a rite. They (4) shooters and their young youngsters were in a self contained mobil outfit. The weather was great, though a little bit crossy wind was apparent. They parked in the "West River View" a designed observation point in the side of a butte = the highest point in this area.

An official of the Prairie Dogs Forever noted that it will help to ease the burden on the grass. 'One hunter asked how long does the adult prairie dog live? That is a normal life. Now the disease carried by some of the dogs is a pox given to tame doggies that was in close contact with a rat.

Who Will Limit Education Taxes on Ag Land?

Governor Rounds is suggesting that the legislature authorize the program to have health care for all enrolled school children. This may or may not be funded in whole or part by the State and or in combination with the local taxing districts.
As most of the school population is being transported to the cities, towns the rural aeas will support the program unfairly as the majority of the tax dollars local schools arrive from the levy on ag land, at least up to percent exceeding the 50% amount. The mad cow disease will spread to the mad rancher soon.

Saturday, May 31, 2003


Just watched Midwest Market Analysis from SDSU and saw.
Dennis Todey demonstrating the Climate and weather links put together
at SDSU. I logged onto SDSU CLIMATE LINK. Look around the site. Lots of SD weather information here

I sent Todey an e-mail suggesting they find a way to make your menus, etc a bit more readable.
Barely legible gray on ever so slightly darker gray is not particularly
readable. Not all South Dakotans are 20-year-old college students with
20-20 vision.

Getting this data put together at one accessible spot is a very good
idea. Despite above comments, I think the Climate URL is worth checking.
It has archival weather information, numerous airport, radar and SD school sites
also as links from main page. Take a look. If you think it could be a bit more
readable, send a message to SDSU. There is a mail link on the page..if you can see it.
)))))))))))) Doug WIken

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Ideal News and Views
Hunting: Brad Reis of Hamill is hiring lawyers to challenge the S. D Hunting law that allows shooting at birds that are beyond the right of way of roadways. The law wa enacted by the Legislature last session. Sen Koskan of District 28, Wood, S.D was instumental in working out that compromise. It might be like "I shot an arrow into the air and it fell to earth I know not where, or did I care" was this a quote by that short feller Longfeller?

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

I woke up too early this morning and noted that the meadow larks start singing at 5:50AM CDT which is about 30 minutes before time WeatherUnderground indicates is Sunrise: ie, 6:22PM CDT

The barn swallows which think our open porch is summer home were flying around here about two days ago, but I have
not seen them since. With the rains, mud for nest building would be readily available instead of only found at a dugout
about a quarter mile from house.

Your "mule" looks more like a paint horse. Could the vet tell the difference? -------- Doug Wiken

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

A light shower this morning(4-30) and forcast of heavier amount this evening. The drought is forgotten. Tomorrow the maidens of the Praire dance around the Maypole carrying a basket of flowers--have you forgotten? A great deal more exciting than a speaker at the Loyalty Day program? Dallas S/D had the Maypole dance the last information I had.

Vet advised to vaccinate the mule for Nile Virus even though only half horse and half Democrat. Barn Swallows and Purple Martins feed on the Virus carrying mosquito. You can order Barn Swallow nests on the Google search engine and advise as to the proper placing fo the nest included.
The sheep are in the rain fell the country looks green with grass and thoughts of the drought have retired.Vet said I should vaccinate the mule even if she is only half horse and half democrat.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Friday, April 11, 2003

The Sandhills cranes are flying north today. Some were very low over the house. I ran in to get the digital camera.
Stuck in a brand new diskette. Ran outside. Turned on camera and pointed it at cranes right overhead. Almost the
closest I had ever seen them.

Hmmm.. nothing in viewfinder except message......"Diskette Error". Would not wok....and diskette would not eject.
What was wrong? Ran back into house and pulled diskette out with a tweezer...but not just the diskette, along with
the diskette was the full sheet of diskette stick on labels folded neatly so they were the same size as the diskette.

No damage done to camera, diskette or diskette labels, but where were the CRANES? Far enough north already
that I could not even see them but could still hear them squaking and honking. -------- Doug Wiken

Thursday, April 10, 2003

The early morning before the sun rose the booming of the Praire Chicken male was hear.
The Pelicans have arrived and are fishing constantlydd. Last fall two pelicans died here on the water, perhaps the Nile virus got to them. Lowdon

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

South Dakota Codified Laws and Constitution South Dakota Codified Laws

find laws pertaiining to pheasant hunting. year of 2003



There is a need for the county to adopt county zoning before July 1 as the
new law will negate the process into the hands of the 5 commissioners.
Emergency meetings of the townships could be called to adopt a semblance of
the ordinance?

When Bell pig farms give up their buildings at wWhite River it would make a
good place to raise pheasants for the preserves. They have controlled
climate, and a way to handle the manure and the market for the birds right
handy in Lyman, Tripp, and Gregory counties ------- Lowdon Heller

Congratulations on your new web page and new weblog. You should have a lot of fun posting your ideas to your blogger. I will put
this note in as a test.
LinkCrusader has 700 or more links that are not blathering mindlessly about the "successes" of the Bush team of thugs. Check the option "Over 700 Anti-Bush Links" and you will find lots of blogs. My guess is the links you have forgotten when trying to remember some point can be found here and are organized much better than a "favorites" list that grew like topsey in your web browser. ------------ Doug Wiken


Tuesday, April 08, 2003


After having a computer and an internet connection for nearly a year, Lowdon Heller has a web page
Lowdon at Large and now a blog to make
it easy to update local news.