The scurs were pleased with the performance once again of the ’74 Gremlin Weather Eye. Only those who once owned a Nash/Rambler product can appreciate it. Will we appreciate the upcoming week’s weather or want to trade it in on a new model? Starting Wednesday, mostly cloudy with good chance for rain. Highs near 50 and lows around 30. Thursday, mostly cloudy and cooler with a slight chance for rain and snow in the evening. Highs in the low 40’s and lows near 30. Mostly cloudy Good Friday and a tad warmer with a continued slight chance of rain and snow. Highs in the mid-40’s and lows hovering around the freezing mark. Partly sunny on Saturday and a bit warmer with a slight chance for rain and snow. Highs in the low 50’s and lows in the upper 30’s. Easter Sunday, mostly sunny with highs near 60 and lows around 40. Partly cloudy and warmer for Monday with a chance for showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 60’s with lows near 40. Tuesday, mostly sunny with highs in the mid-60’s and lows in the upper 40’s. The normal high for Easter Sunday is 59 and the normal low is 37. The scurs will be planting their potatoes on Good Friday after a trip to Souba’s where someone will be Johnny on the spot to help them.
Another week of slow progress towards planting season. There was some talk of small grain seeding over the weekend. A quick drive-by survey of a potential planting acreage revealed nothing planted. Chances are soil conditions were just a bit tacky yet. It has remained very cool with our warm days struggling to get to the forecast highs with cool and cloudy conditions following them. It’s no wonder overwintering crops and forages are moving as slowly as they are. The Dubya’s winter rye is greening up although it’s taking its sweet time. Some hayfields and pastures have a greenish hue to them but that’s about it. Some have attempted to spread manure on top of the recently thawed fields and have left some substantial ruts. Sometimes there is no choice especially if the pits are getting past the full mark.
Around the yard there is additional proof as to just how cold it has been. At the order of Mrs. Cheviot, the mulch cover was removed from some of the perennials so they could dry out, avoiding fungal disease. Probably no danger of that just yet as under some of the slabs of old hay used there was still ice even on the south facing slope. There is hope however. Last Tuesday the fence was charged and the lambs made their first outdoor appearance. Yes, the heavy traffic by the ranch slowed to a crawl to get a glimpse of the new lamb crop. Charging the fence also allowed me to put away the illegal fireworks I’d been shooting at the ewes to keep them off the fence in the meantime.
It was tempting to put in some radishes again. We still have some winter radishes in the refrigerator that have maintained their integrity so no hurry. That and the .28” of precip from the rain and snow Sunday has made the ground sticky on top. Picking up all the sticks as well as the corn cobs from pheasant/squirrel feeding over the winter seemed a more prudent course of action. The seed will keep until the ground is ready.
The first striped gophers were spotted in the yard on the 8th. A small group of bluebirds made their first appearance that same day as did the first of the rhubarb buds to make the soil surface. The handful of chorus frogs heard earlier last week turned into thousands and the noise on the few warm nights was almost deafening by the 9th and 10th. Last but not least, a lone tree swallow stopped to check out the bluebird houses near the yard. Unfortunately those nesting boxes are occupied by house sparrows. The house sparrows don’t know it yet but they will be evicted permanently soon.
As cold as it has been, the ice came off of St. Olaf Lake late last week. It was only about 10 days before that people were still out driving around. I was surprised, as avid as he is, that the local Bandwagon star didn’t swim or boat out to the remaining iceberg for one last go at it. Although, the way the 20-degree low on Tuesday morning felt, he might get one more crack at it.
Fudgie and Ruby’s big day Saturday started out with a good brushing for Fudgie. We wanted her to look pretty for her vaccination appointment. The strong southerly breeze carried some of the large fur balls up into the trees where some birds would probably grab them for nesting material. It doesn’t take any prodding to get either dog into the soccer Mom van, also known as the Gus Bus.
Once we arrived on the scene of the clinic and got in line, the dogs shifted into full Border Collie mode. They were more concerned about keeping track of other dogs moving across the parking lot than they were the canines right next to them. Our dogs were well behaved and have the drill figured out. They waited patiently and quietly until it was their turn. When the injections were administered, Fudgie squirmed a little but was calmed by my reassurance and firm grip. Ruby on the other hand wagged her tail the entire time. Mrs. Cheviot was holding her and when she wasn’t looking, Ruby would lick her face. A strategy to think about next time you’re getting shots.
See you next week…real good then.