The scurs got the temps to warm up finally after discovering the cable for the heater was unhooked on the Weather Eye. Will their efforts continue to yield results? Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny and pleasant with highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Mostly sunny Thursday with a good chance of an evening shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the low 60’s. Friday, partly sunny becoming mostly cloudy with a moderate chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs again in the mid-70’s and lows in the mid-60’s. Mostly sunny and warmer for Saturday with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs near 80 and lows in the low 60’s. Sunday, mostly cloudy and cooler with a modest chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows near 60. Partly sunny on Monday with a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. Tuesday, mostly sunny with highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. The normal high for July 25th is 82 and the normal low is 62. The scurs are camping near the ceement pond in hopes warmer temperatures will continue.
Warmer temps over the weekend were just what the doctor ordered. However, there are areas, believe it or not, that could use some rainfall. July appears to be pulling the same stunt now for the third year in a row with well below normal precipitation. Normal precip for July at the SROC in Waseca is 4.42”. So far at the ranch we have recorded .56”, at the SROC .73” and at the Mall for Men a paltry .3”. August has also presented us with lower than normal rainfall amounts for three years prior and most forecasts are not indicating any inkling of increased precipitation. Lack of August rainfall has taken the top end out of the crop locally and with all the problem areas this year, we could use a break just this once.
Corn has been tasseling this past week, although the sins of the spring fieldwork have caused it to tassel unevenly in many cases. Some has been able to gut down and grab some of the nitrogen many assumed was lost and in other cases not so much. Soybeans are rolling along although complaints of short plants abound. July frequently disappoints as August is the month that makes the soybean crop. See comments about August rainfall above. Soybean aphids were spotted locally last week so it remains to be seen just what they may do. The pea crop has been about as expected: poor. Late planting followed by heavy rains doomed this crop right out of the chute. Alfalfa could use some of the aforementioned rains in order to make for a better third cutting and in some instances potential for a fourth.
The garden at the ranch has begun to bear some fruit! The first two yellow pear tomatoes were plucked recently with the promise of more to come. The mosquitoes have prevented me from foraging through the cucumber vines to see what might be hiding there. The muskmelons are setting lots of fruit as are the pumpkins and gourds. The first planted string beans are flowering profusely and even though the stand was thinned due to the wet conditions, they may compensate somewhat for that. The late planting was being attacked by rabbits so a bunny fence was constructed. The mosquitoes were almost unbearable but the fence was built and has effectively kept the varmints out so far. The fall garden area was worked down for planting in another week or so. The snap peas and more winter radish seed was ordered so it’s ready whenever we are.
The Haralson and Fireside apple trees are heavy laden with fruit as are the crabapples. The Snowsweet has a dozen or so on it, not bad considering it’s only been there a few years now. They quickly became a favorite eating apple for us so we can’t wait to see what the little tree can do over the next few years. Most of the fruiting trees and shrubs are loaded this year at the ranch including the nannyberries, chokeberries, honeysuckle and American cranberries. The serviceberries were too until they ripened and the robins made short work of them.
We’ve been attracting orioles now for a long time although I don’t recall ever seeing as many as this summer. The orchard orioles must’ve had a banner hatch as there are frequently a half dozen or more showing up to gobble the grape jelly. The Baltimore orioles usually move them out when they arrive but the orchards are persistent. The hummingbirds have also been more numerous than some years. Mrs. Cheviot’s pots with several different types of salvia in them keep them flying in circles around the house then back to the nectar feeder. Frequently when gazing out the window one can see a hummer working over the flowers. I never tire of watching them and am still awed by their flying capabilities.
Ruby and Fudgie have had the life of Reilly this summer when one thinks about it. Not only when the weather has been cool but even when it has been on one of its infrequent warm spells. Take the other day for example. Working in the garden and getting more dog help than a person should be allowed to have, I made a beeline for the garden hose for a drink. Ruby immediately takes this as a sign it’s time to play. Her pirouettes chasing the water coming out of the hose probably belong on a You Tube video. Fudgie would rather watch Ruby and go inside to enjoy the AC. On the first day I started it up, she could feel the cool air and plopped on the floor in front of the register. Definitely the dog days of summer.
See you next week…real good then.