The scurs were happy to see their diligence with the Weather Eye paid off with warmer temperatures. Will we reap the benefits for another week? Starting with Wednesday, mostly sunny with highs in the low 80’s and lows around 60. Sunny for Thursday with highs once again in the low 80’s and lows in the low 60’s. Continued warm and sunny on Friday with highs in the low 80’s and lows in the mid-60’s. Partly sunny becoming mostly cloudy on Saturday with a good chance for and evening shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the low 80’s and lows in the mid-60’s. Mostly cloudy and slightly cooler on Sunday with a moderate chance for showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the low 60’s. Partly sunny Monday and cooler with a modest chance of an evening shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows near 60. Mostly cloudy Tuesday with a continued modest chance for showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. The normal high for June 1st is 75 and the normal low is 54. About time. This spring was starting to remind the scurs of Alaska. It appears the long johns can be filed away for future reference.
The weather this past week came just in the nick of time. There was potential for much snarling and gnashing of teeth if it hadn’t straightened out soon. As it was most are getting done planting or can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel. Some of the corn planted April 26th is pushing 2nd collar already thanks to the above normal temps over the past weekend. Corn planted May 6th and 7th has emerged and stands while not perfect appear to be adequate. Some of the soybeans planted in that timeframe have emerged as well. Rye seeded last fall as a forage crop began heading out and alfalfa has started to stretch, giving those short on forage a chance to exhale finally.
A large chunk of the garden at the ranch went in over the weekend. Saturday Kennebec, Pontiac and Gold Rush potatoes hit the ground first followed by 100+ hills of vine crops including squash, pumpkins, gourds and muskmelons. More garden went in following that including Indian corn, beets, carrots and cucumbers. Some sweet corn, tomatoes, and string beans plus whatever else we decide to mess with yet to go. We didn’t get done but we can see the end coming. Just like farming.
All the time I was planting there were plenty of birds around to keep me company. A brown thrasher must be nesting in the garden area as it sang its heart out the whole time, with nary the same song twice. The goslings down on the pond must be getting close to hatching as the geese put up a ruckus from time to time. No sign of wood ducks yet but they should show up soon. The Baltimore oriole migration apparently is complete as the jelly and sugar water consumption has taken a dive. They haven’t taken advantage of the string left out for their nest building activity so not sure if they’re nesting nearby or not. The orchard orioles have set up camp and with the sudden explosion of leaves on the maple tree, won’t surprise me if they nest there again. The canopy is so dense that seeing them disappear in it is the only clue we have that they’re here. A baby killdeer was spotted on one of my trips to the garden. A fuzzball on legs and cute as a button. His mom was doing the broken wing routine but I wasn’t buying it.
A robin has again built on top of a nest in the barn started initially 4 or 5 years ago. After skipping last year, the woven mud nest is now about 8” tall. Interesting to look at and at last check there are babies in it. The parents may be the ones using the rain gauge as a toilet. Lately they haven’t had time to plug it up. As cold as it was and as late as the ground thawed, there are already robin babies scattered all over the yard. One never knows when you’ll bump into one it seems. There are also scores of grackle babies and a Cooper’s hawk has caught on to this fact. The barnyard was in an uproar as one flew off with dozens of grackles in hot pursuit. No shortage of grackles or house sparrows so the hawks are free to help themselves.
Ruby and Fudgie definitely have taken a shine to this weather. When we’re around they’re free to spend time outside at their leisure. Ruby usually heads to the barn after a while to keep an eye on the sheep and Fudgie crashes on the back side of the house somewhere. Not sure where as she comes when the door opens. She also comes whenever a gate is opened, something that’s become a force of habit whenever we need to go out in the feed lot. The ewes are wise to this now and the last thing they want is a red and white Border Collie nipping at their heels when there’s plenty of grass to devour on the far side of the pasture.
The flowering crabs this past week were absolutely gorgeous with many yards boasting several in full bloom. Oddly enough the wind didn’t cut the season short as it has some years. Apple trees at the ranch appear loaded with blooms again although the Honeycrisp again has no blooms. Not sure what the problem is as the tree looks healthy as a horse. There was more bad news on the fruit tree front: All appearances are that Betsy’s dad, the area’s largest peach grower has declared his grove to be deceased. This means we may have to consolidate our operations. The huge peach tree loss will likely have a ripple effect on the economy. We won’t need as many crates or trucks to haul the peaches nor workers to pick them.
See you next week…real good then.