The scurs covered the bases last week, which is more than you can say about the Twins recently. What’s on tap this time around? Starting Wednesday, partly cloudy becoming mostly cloudy with a good chance of thunderstorms. Highs of 80 and lows near 60. Mostly cloudy on Thursday and cooler with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs near 70 and lows around 50. Friday cloudy and cooler with a chance of rain. Highs of 55 and lows dropping to 45. Slightly warmer but remaining cloudy on Saturday with a moderate chance for showers. Highs of 60 and lows around 45. Partly cloudy Sunday with a slight chance of a shower. Highs of 60 – 65 and lows near 45. Partly sunny on Monday with highs of 65 and lows of 55. Partly cloudy becoming mostly cloudy with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs of 75 – 80 and lows of 55. The normal high for May 15th is 71 and the normal low is 46. Sunset will occur after 8:30 on the 13th, the latest it’s been since last August 7th. The scurs are mailing their property taxes in with an IOU.
May 17th will mark the Full Moon for the month of May. This one goes by several names, the Full Flower Moon, the Full Corn Planting Moon and the Full Milk Moon. It was at this time that many farmers could curtail the feeding of hay and turn their cows out on pasture to graze as the grass had finally become lush and thick enough to support them. This was not a good time to stand directly behind the cows while they were in the stanchions however, for obvious reasons. The Ojibwe called this moon the Full Blossom Moon and the Sioux, after horses had been introduced of course, the Moon When Ponies Shed.
Soil conditions this past week definitely shaped up in the greater Bugtussle area as farmers were planting corn in earnest. Some were fortunate enough to finish planting corn and in some cases, managed to get their soybeans planted as well. The drier April in this area turned out to be in their favor as temperatures allowed little drying in that timeframe. To the north and west, farmers were less fortunate with rains slowing and stopping progress on Friday night then again on Sunday morning. Monday morning brought more general and substantial rain across Waseca and adjacent counties. It’s tough to venture a guess as to what percentage of corn is planted. Around Bugtussle it’s probably close to 75%. Not far to the north it’s probably closer to 15%. Just not enough rain-free days and hours of drying weather to allow for much more than that.
The weather has been allowing for a lot of bird migration however. This past week about the time I’d sent the copy to press, of course a white-throated sparrow showed up amongst a group of Harris’ and white-crowned sparrows. They usually do and this year was no exception. A brief stop at the kindly neighbor’s pasture revealed the bluebirds had returned to their favorite nesting box again for what is probably the fifth year in a row. On 5/6, the song of the first house wren was heard at the ranch and on 5/7, there were several female rose-breasted grosbeaks but as of yet, no males here. On 5/8, the first two Baltimore orioles were at the jelly feeder that had been put in place a few days before their arrival.
May 9 brought a mixed bag with a rooster pheasant trying to migrate through the side of the house. The house won of course but the pheasant managed to break a hole in the vinyl siding before breaking his neck. The electric fence was grounded out so it was time to track down the ground and take a peek in the wood duck house while I was at it. Opening the observation door on the side I could see it was occupied. A brown feathered tail with black bands was evident so I calmly slipped my hand over the body of the nesting kestrel and slowly brought her out where I could see how many eggs were in the nest. She looked at me and my leather-gloved hand with total amazement and disbelief as I counted the three eggs, then gently replaced her on the nest. She didn’t get excited and fly out as expected. Amazing how small these little falcons are, even smaller than a robin when you actually get your hands on one.
Ruby had another busy weekend of appointments to keep. First she went to the Heartworm Clinic in Little Jerusalem where she received many compliments on how pretty and well behaved she was. I must have a little of my mother in me as I wasn’t particularly amused by some of her antics since she isn’t real used to being on a lead rope. She minded, but just barely. After all the attention it was time to get the lawnmower fired up and as most Border Collie owners will attest, that usually fires the dog up. Time for the time honored tradition of biting the lawnmower tires passed down from generation to generation. That was followed of course by herding the lawnmower back and forth across the yard, getting her nice white socks all grass stained. Lawn mowed, the chores were next and after that, playing in the garden dirt. The tiller occupied Ruby’s attention while she wisely kept her distance from the rotating tines. Now her socks were not only grass stained they were muddy too. Sound familiar to you moms out there in the audience? We finished up in the dark and went in the house to scrounge up some food and refreshments. I sat in my chair and Ruby flopped down on the rug a few feet away while I petted and stroked her back. We were both tired and knowing there was another long day ahead, we both needed our beauty sleep.
The next morning she was ready for chores and then, up for planting the potatoes. Since we were heading to Mom’s for Mother’s Day, I made her stay in the house. Planting what turned out to be 40 hills of potatoes (I thought there were only 30 until I added the 10 hills of Norkotah russets) she would’ve started out the trip all mud. As it was she played with Fudgie again and had another long day of seeing the world outside of Bugtussle. She must adapt more rapidly than we do though. When we arrived back home, I was tuckered and she wanted to play ball until almost 11 p.m. There may be a Tommy John surgery in my future if this keeps up.
See you next week…real good then.