The scurs were on the money last week with their rainy forecast. Unfortunately the windshield washer was a little sticky on the Weather Eye so some places received excess precipitation. Will the new heater knob the scurs ordered from Budach’s arrive in time for a happy ending to the school week? Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with a slight to moderate chance of showers as the day wears on. Highs in the low 80’s and lows in the upper 60’s. Mostly sunny and warmer for Thursday becoming mostly cloudy by evening with a moderate chance for a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the mid-80’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Partly sunny, dry and cooler on Friday with highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the low 50’s. Saturday, mostly sunny with highs in the upper 60’s and lows near 50. Mostly sunny on Sunday and continued dry with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the low 50’s. Monday, partly cloudy with a slight chance of rain. Highs near 70 and lows in the low 50’s. Tuesday, mostly sunny with highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. The normal high for September 8th is 76 and the normal low is 53. We slip back below 13 hours of daylight on September 6th, the first time since April 5th. The scurs have no doubt that the Vikings will be undefeated yet on Saturday. It’s Sunday they’re worried about.
The Full Moon for the month lands on the 8th and is known as the Full Harvest Moon. The brightness of the moon allowed farmers to work long into the night before they put headlights on the horses of course. It was under this moon that many of the staples common to the native tribes were harvested. The Ojibwe called this Full Rice Moon and the Sioux called it The Moon When the Plums are Scarlet. Indeed, the wild plums at the ranch are scarlet, those that have remained hidden from the birds. We generally refer to it as the BLT Moon however.
Abundant precip fell this past week over much of the area putting farmers’ worries about having enough moisture to finish the crop to an end. The month of August at the ranch we tallied 5.6” with another .41” falling on Sunday and actually recorded for September 1st. In town the rainfall for the same period was 6.95”. The pattern of an extremely dry August the past several years has been broken. Now the biggest concern becomes having enough heat to finish although we have made some positive strides in that direction. Worrying about it won’t change it however. Most corn remains in the R5 dent stage and R6 soybeans are becoming more common with the exception of the replants of course. The rains should help keep the potential yield in play on both crops as we get closer to the finish line.
There were some large flights of dragonflies noted the last couple weeks of August then again over the past weekend. Many of those spotted at the ranch appeared to be green darners. This is interesting because this species actually migrates south to the Gulf states. Dragonflies are an important link in controlling winged insects although they may get more credit than they deserve for controlling mosquitoes as adults anyway. As Jeff Hahn at the U points out, most mosquitoes generally show up at dusk and afterwards. This doesn’t mean however that they won’t grab one should the chance arise during the day.
The white-lined sphinx moths arrived at the ranch over the weekend too. A few weeks ago one of the large green hornworms was seen feeding on some prostrate knotweed and purslane outside the Mall for Men. Was wondering when the moths would appear and first saw one working over some of the bouncing bet (an escaped ornamental) in the road ditch as I gathered the mail. The next night several were flitting between the salvia and four o’clocks in the small garden. Meteorological fall has arrived.
The orioles hung around through Labor Day so we’re holding our breath hoping they’ll stay a while longer. There were more Baltimore types than we’d seen since back in May. With their frenzied activity it’s no wonder they eat so much jelly. The hummingbirds too have been numerous and hungry. When they’re not at the feeders they’re after the plants and vice versa. Lots of squeaking as they chase after one another, rest a few seconds then do it all over again.
The lawn has taken off making it necessary to do some routine maintenance on the mowers. Both Howard and Whitey were up to an oil change so I obliged them. This is akin to cruel and unusual punishment for a Border Collie however. I left Ruby and Fudgie inside as I didn't want waste oil spilled all over the place. Unable to bite the tires as the machines were started to warm them up, I could hear much snarling and gnashing of teeth coming from the house. I could also see through the window a lot of commotion as Ruby ran frantically from the couch to the door and back. Now if only we could channel that energy into operating the mowers as opposed to just herding them then maybe we’d have something. Wishful thinking I’m afraid.
See you next week…real good then.