Spring floods and the ensuing drought certainly have made this a tough year for a lot of farmers and others who depend on weather behaving at least somewhat normally and seasons coming and going on time.

But KARE-11 notes that one seasonal business in Minnesota  perfectly capitalized in the weekend's drop in temperatures, and another says its perfect location allowed it to beat all the meterological odds stacked against it.

The business getting the award for quickly answering when opportunity knocked is Wild Mountain ski area near Taylors Falls, Minn. When late-fall temperatures dropped into the wintry range early Sunday, the ski hill's operators fired up its  machines and made enough snow to open one downhill run and set rails and boxes for snow-boarders

Co-owner Amy Frischmon said jumping the snow gun allowed Wild Mountain to continue its tradition of being the first ski hill to open in the Midwest, and this year made it the first ski hill to open in the nation, according to the story.

Meanwhile, Deer Lake Orchard in Buffalo, Minn., says it's sitting on a bumper crop of apples, despite the sudden April freeze which, coming on the heels the warm winter, left many Minnesota orchards struggling to produce a full crop.

Owner Yuri Preugschas said the credit for 90 percent of the orchard's 5,000 trees producing a healthy crop goes soley to 85-year-old Otto Buttenhoff, who in 1965 chose what turned out to be a perfect place to grow an orchard protected from spring freezes.

The trees were planted high on an east-facing slope, making spring sun hit them at a perfect angle.

"We're calling this the `Otto Crop,' Preugschas said in the story. "In fact we're able to help supply some of the other orchards in our area."