The scurs were thinking they’d found the wire crossed between the windshield washer and the Weather Eye on the ’74 Gremlin X. They must’ve inadvertently crossed them again as some got a good dousing again Saturday night. Will they be more careful this week? Starting Wednesday, partly sunny with highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the lower 50’s. Temps rebound a tad on Thursday under mostly sunny skies with highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Mostly sunny during the day on Independence Day becoming mostly cloudy by evening with a good chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the mid-60’s. Partly sunny and again mostly cloudy by evening with a modest chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the mid-60’s. Mostly sunny on Sunday with a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the mid-60’s. Warmer and mostly sunny for Monday with a chance for developing showers and thunderstorms overnight. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Clearing for Tuesday with highs again in the low 80’s and lows in the mid-60’s. The normal high for the 4th of July is 83 and the normal low is 62. Hopefully the scurs will evade the Fireworks Police and not be writing from the Crowbar Hotel next week.
More progress was made in the fields this past week towards getting spraying done, although numerous operators were stuck making an attempt due to saturated soils. Corn is getting to the point where height restrictions are coming into play as it will be more than knee high by the 4th. Soybean weed control has also been underway as well it should be. The earliest planted soybeans were beginning to bloom as of last week so the meter is also running on that crop. Some of those plants were up to a foot tall in places. Replanting soybeans in the drown out spots is occurring as well and will likely continue until about July 10th. After that date the likelihood of harvesting mature soybeans diminishes greatly. It does however provide cover for weed control and helps prevent fallow syndrome in next year’s corn crop. First cutting hay has been largely completed and again, some tractors and balers were stuck in the process. The fun never stops.
Rainfall in the month of June at the SROC in Waseca broke not only the record for June itself but the all-time record for monthly precipitation. The previous record was set in September of 2010 at 12.66”. The new record set in June stands at 12.94”. At the ranch we aren’t exactly shooing the camels off the yard with 11.28” recorded and in town at the Mall for Men rainfall totaled 10.95”. I do have to laugh at how some are convinced those figures can’t possibly be right and that we must’ve had more than that. After reading three gauges daily, one would think I’d start to catch on. Also, something tells me after comparing recorded data from location to location, rainfall really does vary considerably, sometimes within less than a half mile. Nice and dry on one end of the field with a 4-wheeler and lucky to get out with your life on the other due to mud provides a clue.
It has also been a bearcat to keep up with lawn mowing with all this rain. We won’t even go there about the mosquito population. Saturday was particularly annoying as several little showers cropped up while I was making an attempt to mow the windbreak. It was desperately in need as it had become long and out of control. After getting soaked I vowed to finish come hell or high water. By the time I finished I was starting to dry off again although the sky was beginning to look more ominous. I suspected it was probably time to punt on mowing the last part of the lawn south of the house. The radar on the cell phone confirmed my suspicions so Fudgie, Ruby and I shifted gears to plant the last of the begonias Mrs. Cheviot had left us. Doing so allowed a clear view of the approaching storm while we weeded the bed after finishing planting. Weeding was completed about the time the first large drops splatted off my melon so we dashed to the house as the skies opened up. Timing is everything when you’re gardening.
The ranch continues to serve as a nursery for many species of birds. Many of the evergreens have hosted robin and grackle nests as well as chipping sparrows. The bottoms of their tiny nests here are frequently lined with dog fur and wool. Gee, wonder where that came from? A recent addition came in the form of a nesting pair of bluebirds. I’d seen them from the oval office and wondered which of the nesting boxes they might be using. They’d used the box attached to the lever on the plow in the past. That box had contained a partially built nest when checked earlier. Checking again recently the nest had not progressed, making me wonder if we would have any bluebirds at the ranch this year. They seemed to frequently be showing up closer to the house, making me wonder if one of the birdhouses in the dooryard had been chosen instead. Sure enough, when I looked behind the granary, a blue egg was already in place in the nest of neatly woven grass.
As I wrote last week, I was lucky to have gone to the doctor when I did to avoid the shingles making my life miserable. It’s nice to be able to stick with a somewhat normal routine and not have your life totally disrupted. Several have asked how I’m doing and I really do appreciate that. After all, seeing some of the pictures and hearing the horror stories, I feared I might become Bugtussle’s very own Bubble Boy. Moops!
See you next week...real good then.