Those scurs have been off a cog when it comes to the later week forecasts, but then so is everyone else who tries to predict the weather for more than four or five days at a time. Will their fortunes improve and do we want them to? Starting Wednesday, mostly cloudy with a slight chance of rain. Highs in the upper 40’s and lows in the mid 20’s. Thursday, partly cloudy with a good chance of snow. Highs in the lower 30’s and lows in the lower 20’s. Mostly cloudy becoming partly cloudy on Friday with a modest chance of a morning snow shower. Highs in the low 30’s and lows in the mid-teens. Saturday, mostly sunny and colder with highs in the upper teens and lows in the single digits. Partly cloudy on Sunday with highs in the mid 20’s and lows in the upper teens. Mostly sunny for Monday and Tuesday with highs in the lows 30’s and lows in the mid-teens. The normal high for November 21st is 38 and the normal low is 21. The scurs will be retiring their Carhartt’s with the white hanky in the back pocket for another deer season.
November 22nd marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas back in 1963. I remember that day, although I was too young to fully comprehend the significance. I was 5 and where I started school, kindergarten was only in the spring, so I was home. We typically listened to the NBC affiliate as in that area KROC in Rochester came in the clearest. I remember listening to people like Sander Vanocur, David Brinkley, Chet Huntley and Floyd Kalber covering the events of that day and the following days. The black and white Columbia TV was part of the memory, the images seeming now like something out of an old movie, a very sad one at that. Things changed that day forever and not for the better.
Field work is nearing completion although the weekend rains made conditions greasy on top following the thawing of the soil late last week. As a result, lots of mud can be found on area roads where attempts have been made to finish up. A few people are still finishing up and the ten-man dryer in Bugtussle continues to howl, a reminder that the late corn has not dried down much.
Venus is in the southwest sky, not the southeast sky as was written in the column that went to print last Tuesday. I was driving down the road looking to the south and wondering if I had written southeast or southwest. Sometimes it seems like it’s easy to be thinking one thing and writing another. Sure enough, when I checked I had written southeast so I apologize to all of those who were frantically looking in the southeast sky for Venus. It is so bright right now that you literally can’t miss it. Also making an appearance now is the planet Jupiter which will be rising a little earlier every night and will be rising in the early evening come months end. Mars will be high in the real southeast sky at dawn and will be easiest to pick put above the crescent moon on the morning of the 29th, if it isn’t cloudy of course. The Leonid meteor shower left an impression on me. Heading to the kindly neighbor’s Saturday night, a meteor could be seen through the light clouds as it tracked westward, becoming a dazzling blue before finally fizzling out.
Mrs. Cheviot left me to my own devices for the weekend marking the official start of barn cleaning at the ranch. With the sheep way out in the pasture Friday night it made a perfect opportunity to grab the spreader quick from the feedlot so I left the gate open. No sooner had I turned my back to put the pin in the skid loader and they were on their way through the gate. I yelled and Fudgie was there in an instant, nipping and growling at the sheep as they retreated back to the safety of their enclosure. The weather Saturday was not the most cooperative and neither was the tractor, deciding to die briefly after the third load. The sediment bowl held some clues as some rust from the tank had collected in the bottom. After that load I was soaked anyway as the drizzle intensified. Once it let up and I put on some dry clothes, two more loads were hauled. That part was fine: The mud tracked into the yard wasn’t. The wheels on both the tractor and spreader looked like coconut chocolate covered donuts with all the stalks and leaves stuck to them. Muddy fields sorta take the fun out of it, as if cleaning barn is a lot of fun in the first place.
Looking at the field on Sunday after the rain, seeing the sheen left by the precip and recalling all the mud already in the yard I opted instead to do a bunch of other odd jobs. The list included garbage detail, cleaning up in the house, trimming branches and putting tree wrap on all the vulnerable saplings. The branches needed to be trimmed while being slapped in the face by those low hanging branches when mowing was still fresh in my mind. Fudgie and Ruby were more than glad to assist. There was plenty of growling, tire biting and circling the Gator as we made our way across the yard from tree to tree. Watching the two dogs enjoying themselves in the fresh air as I worked made the day go faster. They stayed in the yard watching though when I went out to the tree planting, not wanting to tempt fate with an electric fence encounter. By nightfall I had found and wrapped the last of the crabapple trees. As I drove back towards the yard, both the dogs came around the house on a dead run, keeping an eye on my every move just as they had all day. Time for chores and to put the feedbag on afterwards, a welcome respite for one tired human bean and two tuckered canines.
See you next week…real good then.