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Latest New Richland, Minnesota, weather

The scurs discovered a sticky heater control cable on the Weather Eye and promptly doused it with lots of PB Blaster. Stinks in the Gremlin but the scurs will try anything to get some heat generated. Will they get the cable loosened up so we can plant corn soon? Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs near 60 and lows in the upper 30’s. Partly sunny on Thursday with continued slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-50’s and lows in the upper 30’s. Friday, mostly sunny and continued cool with highs in the mid-50’s and lows near 40. Mostly sunny Saturday with highs near 60 and lows in the mid-40’s. Sunday, mostly sunny with highs in the mid-60’s and lows in the upper 40’s. Mostly sunny on Monday with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-60’s and lows near 50. Mostly cloudy Tuesday with an increasing chance of rain. Highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the low 50’s. The normal high for May 17th is 70 and the normal low is 49. Will the scurs be basking in the sun by the ceement pond next week? Stay tuned.

The Full Moon for the month occurs on Wednesday the 14th. It is generally known as the Full Flower Moon as May is famous for its flowers following the April showers. It also goes by Full Milk Moon and the Full Corn Planting Moon. (believe that one when we see it) The Ojibwe called this the Blossom Moon and the Sioux the Moon When Ponies Shed. It is definitely the Moon When Border Collies Shed at the ranch although that could be said about almost any month.

Progress was finally made again toward corn planting early last week although it was short-lived. Fields in many cases were marginally fit but the calendar date is taking its toll. As of May 12th corn that was planted April 26th had germinated with a coleoptile about 1 ¼” long and radicle roughly 1 ½” long. A few more warm days and it will emerge. Emergence for corn generally takes somewhere from 90 – 120 GDD’s. Some soybeans were also planted by those who had the manpower and fields ready to go. Soybeans are somewhat forgiving although extended periods of wet feet are never a good thing for soybeans. Some are starting to get antsy and nervous and one can’t blame them. Still reports on Monday of ice being found in tile lines. After the spring we had last year, another year of late planting is getting on everyone’s nerves.

Trees were planted at the ranch on Thursday night hoping that would help slow the rains. Usually it stops raining immediately and we have two months of drought. Didn’t work as we had over 1.5” within 4 days of planting. Oh well, at least the bunnies chewed some of them up already.  Past tree plantings continue to reward our efforts. The nannyberries now provide great cover for the orioles as they dart to and fro. The spruce and arborvitae are favorite nesting spots for the robins and chipping sparrows. While not fun to mow around the amount of snow they catch, makes it well worth the time.

The lawn mowing season got underway at the ranch over the weekend. Whitey is still on the DL but Howard and Little Whitey both answered the bell. Surprisingly, they started without hesitation. Even though the oil needed changing on Little Whitey, they were both in midseason form. The lawn itself was uneven and patchy but it was good to go over it once to even it out. That way the next time parts won’t need baling. Once finished it certainly looked more well groomed. 

It helps to have hobbies to keep one’s mind off the weather, which you can’t do anything about anyway. That’s one of the reasons I like watching the birds. After a watershed week last year, I figured this week would be a letdown. Far from it. In addition to being able to watch last week’s newcomers, there were new visitors. About an hour after press time on the 6th, our first oriole was at the jelly feeder. He must’ve told the goldfinches there was plenty to eat as they suddenly showed up in force. The first hummingbird was spotted here on the 8th. That night the toads could be heard adding their trilling to the loud music of the chorus frogs. Then it was like the bird flood gates were opened. On the 11th, we had an orchard oriole, a catbird, chipping sparrows, an indigo bunting and heard our first house wren singing from the plum thicket. A cardinal added his color and whistling spring song as well. Hard to remember a spring when the birds have arrived so close together or the yard being such a blur of color.

Speaking of memory, I don’t think Fudgie forgets much of anything. When an egg is cracked open in the kitchen she gets very fidgety as I’m sure she was the beneficiary of many baked goods over the 10 years Mom had her. Hearing the sound of eggs cracking was likely only the beginning of the process. Fudgie has that same reaction when I’m loading up to feed the birds. The noises she makes in anticipation of the trip outside are downright comical. Ruby is simply just ready to launch once a door is opened. She also uses her toenails like a sprinter. The little puncture marks Ruby leaves in the soil remind me of the track spikes worn in days of old. I keep telling myself I still have that kind of energy; just have to pace myself a little more.

See you next week…real good then.

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