Having noticed the Weather Eye has continued to perform like a Kelvinator, the scurs are trying to turn it down to warm up. Or is it up to cool down? Therein lies the problem. Will they have it figured out by press time? Starting Wednesday, cloudy with a good chance of rain and snow showers. Highs in the mid-40’s and lows in the upper 30’s. Thursday, cloudy with a good chance of a shower. Highs in the upper 40’s and lows in the upper 30’s. Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of a shower for Friday. Highs in the low 50’s and lows around 40. Saturday, partly sunny with a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm and continuing the warming trend. Highs in the upper 50’s and lows in the upper 30’s. For Sunday, partly sunny with a slight chance of a shower. Highs in the low 50’s and lows in the upper 40’s. Monday, continued partly sunny with highs near 55 and lows falling to the mid-30’s. Mostly cloudy again on Tuesday with a chance of rain, again. Highs in the mid-60’s and lows in the upper 30’s. The normal high for May1st is 64 and the normal low is 42. The sun will rise before 6 a.m. on May 6th. The scurs will have long since devoured the contents of their super-sized May Basket by then.
Another disappointing week of field work for most. Some corn went in the ground, but it was generally the exception and not the rule. Rainfall earlier in the week varied widely across much of the area, with those to the west of Bugtussle receiving lesser amounts. Coupled with what were likely drier soils last fall, it allowed some limited progress to be made. Conditions as one travelled east were a different story. Rainfall on Thursday a.m. served to rub salt in the wound and the rains on Sunday stopped everyone in their tracks. We need not only for the rains to subside, we also need temperatures to warm up. We have experienced another month of below-normal temps and the pattern of well-below-normal temperatures that started last November continues. Pasture and hay growth reflects the effect of those cold temperatures, something those whose forage supply is tight are hoping changes soon.
Gardening at the ranch has been close but that’s about it. Every time we’ve had a minute to put in something, seems like a shower shows up and puts a damper on it, literally. Tracking rainfall as is my wont, I know with a fair degree of certainty when conditions are fit to plant. One has to keep that in perspective out here where the wind never stops blowing. I have to take solace in seeing how perennials are doing in the meantime. For instance, the lily of the valley planting we made from rhizomes collected at Mom’s place has emerged. The shoots are tough to see at first as the sheaths covering them are about the same color as the soil. One literally has to use the Braille method to find them at this stage.
Removing the remainder of the tree wrap on the windbreak and wildlife planting made for a worthwhile diversion on Saturday. Most of the trees made it through with flying colors although there were a few arborvitae the deer/bunnies had devastated. That’s OK, it’s a wildlife planting and that’s what wildlife does. Speaking of wildlife at my brother’s behest, I’d brought my waders along so when I was finished with the tree wrap, the wood duck houses could be checked for signs of activity.
When I first drove up on the dry land nesting box, I could see telltale signs of duck breast fuzz stuck to the side of it. I slowly opened the observation door and could see the hen on the nest facing away from me. I carefully closed the door and left her alone so she didn’t break any eggs fleeing my intrusion. I donned my waders and motored back to the other duck house. This one was in the water, hence the waders. I opened the door on the house as stealthily as I could. This hen wasn’t having any of it and when my face got closer to peer into the house, she emerged in a hurry, almost taking my head off! With my cat-like reflexes, however, I was able to dodge the feathered missile and after seeing one egg in the nest, closed the door and moved on.
Driving around the other side of the pond with the Gator, two long black necks emerged from the matted cattails like a couple of periscopes. Apparently the wetland was also home to a pair of Canada geese. I quickly vacated their space as I was an uninvited guest in their private little world. I had no intention of trying to figure out where they might be nesting. Once out of the wetland, my stomach was growling and I needed nourishment. I crossed the road to grab the mail and a pair of Huns flew off in the direction of the CRP I had just come from. It’s spring and whole lotta lovin’ goin’ on I thought to myself as I turned up the driveway to the house.
After church on Sunday Mrs. Cheviot and I travelled to Owatonna to plant our vine crop transplants. We stopped at Perkin’s as it had been a while since we’d dined there. We were almost ready to order when I happened to gaze at the Over 55 menu. Smaller portions yet much cheaper. Hmmm. The gears were at once turning in my melon when I had an epiphany: No longer would I need to use my fake ID to lie about my age. I could also get rid of the wig with the little bald patch on top. I could also ditch that goop from China I’d been spreading on my muzzle to give it that salt and pepper look. The possibilities were endless, I thought, as I ordered off the Over 55 menu, this time legally. I had come of age.
See you next week…real good then.