The scurs found the air conditioning on the ’74 Gremlin X Weather Eye. Too bad it took them a couple days to figure it out. Will they see the error of their ways? Starting Wednesday, sunny with a high in the mid-70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. Mostly sunny Thursday with a gradual start to a warming trend. Highs near 75 and lows in the upper 50’s. Friday, mostly sunny with highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the low 60’s. Saturday, mostly sunny becoming mostly cloudy by evening with a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows near 65. Partly sunny Sunday with a modest chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs near 80 with lows in the low 60’s. Monday, sunny and humid with highs in the mid-80’s and lows in the low 70’s. Warmer Tuesday and muggy. Highs in the upper 80’s and lows in the upper 60’s. The normal high for July 21st is 82 and the normal low is 62. One month after the summer solstice we will have lost 30 minutes of daylight. Given that news the scurs are wondering if they should order another transport of insect repellent.
Summer certainly has been slipping by in a hurry. Scattered tassels are appearing in some corn fields and some of the early planted soybeans have reached R3, pod set. It will soon be time to conclude the last application of glyphosate on many fields. Earlier planted small grain fields are starting to turn and within a few weeks we’ll know what kind of yields to expect. Some of it actually looks decent thanks in large part to the moderate temperatures thus far. Oddly enough as of the middle of last week, we were only about 4% behind on GDU’s as calculated at the SROC in Waseca. Their report comes out midweek so would expect the slide to continue. Monday July 14th’s high of 63 corresponds to the normal high on April 27th and 28th or October 9th and 10th. Not exactly good corn and soybean growing temperatures.
There are still positives though in the garden at the ranch. The string beans planted on July 5th were nearly all emerged on July 14th. Emergence on this planting was excellent and if the rabbits leave it alone, it should make for some nice green beans. Tomatoes are setting nicely and there is one yellow pear type that is turning already. My favorite lunchbox snack. The muskmelon crop continues to be the crown jewel however. All 18 hills are lush green and flowering like mad. Moisture conditions are tremendous as these clay loam soils seemingly hang onto water forever, especially when the temperatures are moderate as they have been. It will soon be time to address the weed issue once again, a seemingly never ending task. About one more time through though and most of the vine crops will deter most of them for the season.
It has been one of those great weeks again to watch the birds. A male rose-breasted grosbeak has appeared again and enjoys moving in on the jelly feeder. The orioles are blowing through jelly and sugar water like candy as well. The adults have been feeding their young jelly when they sit in the tree and wait for it to be delivered to them. It’s not exactly finger, er, beak food, so frequently it winds up somewhere other than in the immature oriole’s tummy. Goldfinch numbers continue to grow as the thistle seed disappears at a more rapid pace. Two nesting boxes near the house at the ranch have been occupied. One has tree swallows in it and the other contains the bluebird we wrote about a few weeks ago. There are now three blue eggs in that birdhouse. To my delight while checking the rain gauge at the kindly neighbors’ pasture, the bluebird house nearest the barn also has a bluebird in it. When checking the fence on the far side of the pasture, the nesting box that produced a brood earlier now also contains three blue eggs. Apparently my diligence in cleaning the nest out after they were through with it paid off.
The nasty infestation of insects continues to ruin the potential for many outdoor events unless the wind is blowing. Luckily we’ve had some breezy days so that mowing the lawn could be done without the usual bath in insect repellent. The breeze also allowed for yet another brushing for Fudgie on Sunday. I seriously don’t understand where all the fur comes from on that dog. There were clouds of it as I ran the rake-type comb over her first to loosen her stubborn undercoat. Following up with another brush resembling a wool card, wads of fur blew across the lawn. Later when hitting them with the mower, it was like a dog fur storm.
Looks as though it’s our turn in the barrel on the north end of Bugtussle to put up with road destruction. As of the 14th, crews began grinding the road surface off and making the road mostly impassable. It will be interesting to see what each day brings. There will likely be days we’ll have to negotiate to get into the Mall for Men. I should be used to it. When the People’s Republic of Steele Co. resurfaced the road by the ranch last September, seems the outfit replacing the culvert below the hill caught our telephone line so we had no service. All well and good you say. The phone company fixed the line, right? Well, sort of. After being promised that our phone line would be buried in October, it remains on top of the ground. I move it every time I mow so it doesn’t get chopped to bits. Rodents and bunnies have already chewed the casing so one can see the wires inside but somehow it still works. When I have called the phone company to request service and information, I’ve received excuses about subcontractors, wet weather and improperly submitted work orders. Doesn’t help me. I guess they never did say which October. The way it’s going, I’m just amazed we don’t have to climb a pole to talk on the phone or use the confuser. Hey, there might be a reality show in this!
See you next week…real good then.