The scurs’ crystal ball become cloudy once again on Memorial Day, but the rest of the week was pretty much as advertised, cold. Will we finally break out of our cooler-than-normal trend? The scurs are thinking we will. Starting on Wednesday, mostly sunny becoming mostly cloudy by evening with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs near 75 and lows around 60. Thursday, mostly cloudy with a chance of showers in the morning, becoming partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers in the afternoon. Highs around 80 and lows of 70. Warmer on Friday under partly cloudy skies with a slight chance of an overnight thundershower. Highs of 85 and lows near 65. Saturday, partly cloudy with a slight chance of a morning thundershower. Highs around 80 and lows near 60. Partly cloudy and slightly cooler on Sunday with a small chance of a shower or thunderstorm in the overnight. Highs of 75 – 80 and lows near 60. Monday, partly cloudy with a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs around 80 and lows near 65. Partly sunny and warmer on Tuesday becoming mostly cloudy with a chance of afternoon or evening thunderstorms. Highs around 85 and lows near 65. The normal high for June 1st is 77 and the normal low is 52. On June 1st we will have 15 hours and 15 minutes of daylight, with only 13 more minutes to be gained by the summer solstice. The scurs will be bottling some of this heat for January.
Crop growth was relatively slow last week, but this week should help to make a dent in the lagging progress. Some two-collar corn was observed and soybeans that had been planted a week to 10 days prior were emerging. It should come as no surprise that we are somewhat behind what we’ve come to expect in recent years. For starters, in May at the ranch, rain was measured on 16 and what will likely be 17 days out of the 31 by the time this reaches print. In addition, there were six days where trace amounts of precipitation were detected. This is getting to sound like a broken record as the same thing happened in April. Lots of cloudy, cool days with precipitation and as a result only a narrow window of time during which the ground was semi-fit for planting. There are some areas of fields this past week that were definitely not fit as witnessed when a local farmer planted soybeans through a wet corner. As I went by the newly planted area, there was water standing in the planter tracks already. Within 20 minutes, it was raining. Not a good sign. We are fortunate however. Most of the crop has been planted so there is plenty to smile about.
There are lots of changes finally in the garden at the ranch. The potatoes are almost entirely emerged now, making a solid row to follow from one end to the other. The peas, carrots and lettuce are coming along nicely as well they should. This has been some decent weather for these cooler-season crops. The Indian corn is emerging finally, as is the sweet corn. It’s a little uneven, but with the heat and a little rain it should be fine. One good thing about the sweet corn is it can be planted for several weeks yet if it fails to emerge. The pear trees are taking advantage of the warmer recent days and the leaves are really starting to pop. While there are some small pears on the Patten tree it’s doubtful they’ll amount to anything. Still, it’s good to see them. Makes me hopeful that we will someday enjoy fresh pears. The peach tree also seems to be making up some time as the new growth in just the last several days has about doubled in length. It won’t be long and peach farming will become a way of life in greater Bugtussle and environs.
Lawn mowing has become serious business across the landscape, what with Memorial Day and numerous graduations. No one wants to be known as the neighborhood slob so just like clockwork, when the sun comes out the hum of lawnmowers can be heard far and wide out here in the country. Oh yes, I suppose one could plant it all into native prairie or something so it would be low maintenance. It would be except for the fact you still have to control the weeds as well as putting up with the vermin that seem to enjoy having cover as they dig tunnels and dens around the foundations on the buildings. Think I’ll keep mowing, thank you very much.
The birds were active this past week. Not a lot of new arrivals, although we did have a male cardinal on May 28th that graced us with his presence and song while he was at it. He cleaned up under the feeders and helped himself to a little of the orioles’ grape jelly. Speaking of the orioles, the orchard orioles appear to be staying around as both a male and female are coming to the feeders yet. Nest building for the Baltimore orioles was in full swing so I decide to supplement their raw materials with some of the cotton strings we generally discard from the feed sacks. Cut into 8” – 10” lengths and placed on the woodpile. They had the string all picked up by the time we were done with chores the next morning. Found some more string and decided to see who was taking it all. A rather dull colored male oriole appeared and wadded several pieces in his mouth and departed for what was likely neighbor David’s yard. Hopefully he doesn’t end up with lots of 8” long pieces of string stuck in his lawnmower.
It was about a year ago I made a trip to Illinois to pick up our new red and white Border Collie Ruby. Seems like only yesterday she was a little eight-week old ball of fur. Ruby’s a small Border Collie weighing in at a little over 30 lbs. She makes up for that small size with the same intensity and tenacity she demonstrated even as a puppy. On the ride back from Illinois, she took down an older male puppy almost twice her size that I was delivering to another buyer. It’s been a fun year and her vocabulary is larger than some people I know. Just ask the squirrels. Recently she’s learned how to shake hands, one of the talents a dog must have if they’re going to be a member of our family. Now if I could just teach her how to type.
See you next week…real good then.