The scurs’ predictions for showers and thunderstorms last week are making them believe the Weather Eye from the ’74 Gremlin X they’re using for forecasting must be connected to the windshield washer. Will they find the wire that’s crossed this week? Starting Wednesday, partly sunny with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the low 60’s. Thursday, mostly cloudy with a good chance for showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the mid-60’s. Mostly cloudy Friday with a modest chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs near 80 and lows in the upper 60’s. Saturday, mostly cloudy with an increasing chance for showers and thunderstorms into the evening. Highs in the low 80’s and lows in the upper 60’s. Partly sunny Sunday with a moderate chance for showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-80’s and lows in the upper 60’s. Monday, mostly sunny with a modest chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in low 80’s and lows in the upper 60’s. Partly cloudy Tuesday and muggy with a high in the upper 80’s and lows in the mid-60’s. The normal high for June 30th is 82 and the normal low is 61. By June 30th we will already have lost 3 minutes of daylight from the summer solstice. The scurs advise enjoying it while you can. January isn’t that far off.
Massive rainfall issues plagued much of the Greater Bugtussle area. Unofficial claims of over 10 inches in areas were reported while others had to settle for lesser amounts. At the ranch, we tallied 7.33” from June 14th – 20th and at the Mall for Men, closer to 7.6”. For the month at the ranch we’re looking at 9.8” so far and about that in town as well. Crops have reacted to the excess rainfall negatively as nitrogen losses appear to be common in the corn in addition to the drowned out spots readily apparent from the windshield. Soybeans have taken the rains slightly better on their appearance although closer inspection is revealing some root diseases already showing up, namely phytophthora. Spring wheat has headed out and appears to be in good shape considering the later than desired planting date. Second cutting alfalfa has benefitted from the rains and should help make up for lost time to alleviate the local hay shortages.
The storm on the 16th brought down a large chunk of the silver maple in our yard. Mr. Cheviot managed to get it sawed up while throwing the leafy branches over the fence to the sheep. The sheep remove all the leaves and make the brush lots easier to pile up once they’re done with it. The loss of a main part of the trunk has changed the personality of the backyard however. Now when I toil at the confuser during daylight hours anyway, the sun shines directly in the window where before it was shaded. If it starts shining in the window at night I may start to believe global warming is real.
Someone asked me after the recent storm how my shingles were. I told him they weren’t damaged by the storm at all. He gave me a funny look as though I was pulling his leg and then it dawned on me, I had told him previously I’d been diagnosed with shingles! I then explained that luckily I went in early to get it checked out and sure enough that’s what the nasty rash starting on my stomach was. It had begun to spread and the prescribed anti-viral horse pills pretty much stopped it in its tracks. It still itches and causes some minor pain, but it has been nothing like it could’ve been had I let it go.
My little fat buddy the mechanic and I decide to revive the Studebaker project while the fields were saturated for a few days last week. We got the thing to the point where we could put gas in it and see what it would do. What did it do? Unfortunately not much. Turns out five of the six exhaust valves in the flathead six were stuck in varying degrees of open so compression was not its strong suit. What’s next? You guessed it: Pull the engine and go through it, replacing seals, valves, rings, etc. While we’re at it we may as well do the clutch and throw out bearing. Nothing comes easy, although pretty soon we’ll have gone through and repaired most of the major systems. Now if we could find someone to do that with the weather.
The recent warmer weather has brought about the stable flies. Theses nasty little biting muscids make life miserable for those who desire to wear shorts. Repellents are of marginal effectiveness it seems and only smacking them seems to make one feel better. And of course, if you thought the mosquitoes were getting worse, you haven’t seen anything yet. All the standing water resulting from these June storms can only mean one thing: Hordes of mosquitoes. One more reason I’m happy to allow as many barn swallows as I can in the out buildings.
Fudgie and Ruby continue to enjoy the moderate temperatures when it isn’t raining. They romp and fertilize the yard, keeping the lawnmower busy. Fudgie has also discovered the striped gophers are fun to pursue and as most dogs do, likes to dig the holes open enough so she can stick her beak in it and snort. Ruby stays trim with all her tearing around the yard and monitoring Stormy’s progress in the barn. The lamb shares an 8’ x 16’ pen with her mother so she has room to run, exciting Ruby to run back and forth in front of the pen. When Ruby gets back in the house, she plays with her ball. Her ball supply is shrinking however. She lost another one in the living room and after tearing the room chairs and all apart, we still can’t find it. This has happened several times now. No one ever said raising Border Collies would be boring.
See you next week…real good then.