The scurs were pleased to see the warm sun this past week as well as the weekend rains. Their reliance on the ’74 Gremlin Weather Eye continues to pay dividends. Will they be able to turn the water off temporarily and keep temperatures warm? Starting Wednesday, mostly cloudy with a good chance for a leftover morning shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the low 70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. Mostly sunny on Thursday with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. Friday, mostly sunny with highs remaining in the low 70’s and lows creeping upward in to the upper 50’s. Saturday, partly sunny becoming mostly cloudy with an increasing chance for a shower or thunderstorm by evening. Highs in the low 70’s and lows in the upper 50’s Mostly cloudy Sunday with a moderate chance for showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70’s and low in the mid-50’s. Mostly cloudy with highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. Tuesday, mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. On June 7th, the normal high is 77 and the normal low is 56. We will only gain about 6 minutes more of daylight by the summer solstice on the 21st. The ice on the ceement pond being a distant memory, the scurs are mending their zubas.
What a week of weather for crop growth last week was! GDD or GDU accumulation was more typical of mid-June as we made progress towards erasing the deficit created earlier in the month. Much easier to catch up this time of year than later on, similar to a baseball player’s batting average. May was actually below normal precipitation-wise so starting June off with a soaking rain was welcome. Corn that was planted in the May 5-7th timeframe was showing three collars as of last week and stands remained impressive considering the less-than-perfect conditions in some cases the soil was in at planting time. Weed control is the next item on the agenda for most when soils dry enough to allow it. A cooler week forecast may slow some of those plans although it will also slow crop and weed development as well. Soybeans roared out of the ground, planted in many cases less than a week before. There again, emergence and stands appear to be decent as most of the soybean acreage was planted in nearly ideal conditions. Small grains should benefit from the slightly cooler weather and alfalfa development should slow enough to allow cutting at prime levels for maturity. Getting it dry may be the issue if trying to bale it.
The lawn at the ranch is growing faster than time has allowed to mow it. It gets mowed once a week and it looks like every four or five days would be better. Fudgie and Ruby would be all for that. Biting the tires and following the mowers back and forth is the highlight of their day. Eventually as Mrs. Cheviot finishes up her greenhouse stint and if we can keep two mowers running, it shouldn’t take so long. A mower for each dog: Bonus! The gardens and flowers are also on the agenda as some spot watering kept the vine crop transplants going until the weekend rains came to the rescue. The indigenous American corn came up as did the cucumbers planted less than a week earlier. And yes in response to a late evening call from a reader, we even planted our sweet corn. It was definitely warm enough. The fly in the ointment: The mosquitoes have shown up. They’re not nasty yet although given the recent rains, that will likely change.
When it’s wet and little can be done in the lawn and garden department, the birds provide a welcome diversion. The neighbors are already convinced I’m nuts so when they see me walking across the pasture in my waders that pretty well confirms it. Bear in mind we live on top of a hill. Checking the wetland/pond area, the wood ducklings had not hatched as of Sunday afternoon. One hen came off the nest when the wood duck house observation door was opened and the other was taking a break. Hope she enjoyed it as when those eggs hatch, she’ll be pretty busy. The Canada geese that were loud last week do indeed have gosling. They sailed out of the cattails to see who the intruder was, then silently slipped back into the rushes. Hummingbirds are becoming more frequent visitors and were particularly enamored by the salvia Mrs. Cheviot brought home. The baby robins in the barn have made their way out into the real world. They stood on the edge of the nest one morning and must’ve flown out. Remember kids, it’s all downhill once you leave the nest.
Others have noted this as well that our usual house wren guests have not appeared in great numbers this summer. The common yellow throat at the ranch tries to fill the void but they are no match for the house wrens in the song department. The oriole numbers have tailed off although it appears we’re left with the locals. The maple that has been an orchard oriole favorite really leafed out this past week making it more suitable for nesting no matter who wants to build there.
Am concerned that Auntie Mar Mar might’ve been swept up in the tornado south of Albert Lea last weekend. Could’ve had that country and western music turned up too loud on the boom box again I reckon. Been awfully quiet from that direction. Mar Mar’s been promising me blueberry bars so I wouldn’t want to miss out on those. Hopefully she’s been wearing her ruby slippers while staying away from old maids riding bikes with little dogs in baskets.
See you next week…real good then.