The wily scurs and their Weather Eye were hitting on all cylinders once again. Will the warm temps continue to head our way or is the other shoe about to drop? Starting Wednesday, mostly cloudy with a modest chance for showers. Highs in the low 70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. Mostly sunny on Thursday and warmer with highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Friday and Saturday, mostly sunny and warmer with highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the mid to upper 50’s. Sunny and slightly cooler Sunday and Monday with highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. Tuesday sunny and a little cooler with highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the low 50’s. On September 25th we will experience our first day of less than 12 hours of daylight since March 16th. To add insult to injury the sun will also set before 7 p.m. on September 29th. Our normal high for the last day of September is 67 and the normal low is 43. The scurs are trimming the wicks on their kerosene lanterns so they can read fan mail into the wee hours of the morning.
After rains fell on the 15th it looked like it might be smooth sailing for the rest of the week as forecasters pulled their horns in until the last minute and voila! We got rain on Friday and Saturday night. Fortunately most of greater Bugtussle escaped with minor damage while crops to the north suffered severe injury from hail. In Waseca the hail actually made the Twin Cities news which is odd as usually anything south of Mankato is considered a foreign country. More corn in the area continued to reach black layer and soybeans were largely R7 where at least one pod on the main stem has reached its mature color. Sweet corn yields have been running very well with many reports of 8–9 ton. This usually bodes well for field corn yields.
At the ranch we saw .29” of rain both Friday and Saturday night bringing our September total to 1.76”. Last year we had 1.69” for the entire month. Our soil profile remains relatively full with some water seen standing on the edges of neighboring fields. The lawns have really taken off and given some warm weather, they will make up for lost time. As it is we’re back to mowing once a week with no letup in sight. After the frost scare the tomatoes continue to overrun everything and picking them takes until dark after the chores are done. I’ve given up on the green beans finally. After seeing the first planting is still bearing there is just a limit. They were great but enough is too much sometimes. More radishes are ready although the location this fall hasn’t agreed with them. Getting enough sunlight in areas of the garden is becoming a challenge and where to move parts of it becomes a question.
With the orioles a distant memory, under the cover of darkness, the barn swallows must’ve snuck off last week. It isn’t like there aren’t any flying insects to eat but their numbers are starting to tail off. Hummingbirds appear to be the next go with some still around on the 23rd yet. Last year the last hummingbirds at the ranch were seen on September 30th and in 2012 it was the 21st. One good thing about having all these old columns to reference, one can see when some of these phenological events took place. There are other birds moving through too. There are lots of flycatchers and a juvenile yellow-bellied sapsucker was spotted on the 19th.
Getting into the office since mid-July has become more interesting every day. Some days it’s like George Costanza trying to outwit his employer after he’s been told not to show up for work. You still find a way into the office even if they’ve rerouted the streets since the last time you were in town. Probably the biggest issue has been the lack of communication to let us know where they’ll be working next so we can plan ahead to take an alternate route. Oh well, that’s the name of the game anymore. We have all these wonderful ways and means for communicating and by golly, we’re simply horrible at using any of them unless of course it suits our purpose.
There are plenty of mosquitoes around yet so am not going to take any chances on either of our pride and joy contracting heartworm. Last Friday afternoon was heartworm shot update day so off Fudgie, Ruby and I hopped in the soccer mom van for a trip to the vet’s office. Oddly enough there was no one ahead of us so we were able to get right in. Dr. Dennis was on duty and while he towers over them, it’s easy to see our Border Collies love and respect him. Ruby was first and after a few minutes Dr. Dennis came in, cooing to her on the end of her leash. She looked up at him submissively with just the tip of her tail wagging. Within a few seconds, he calmly leaned down and slipped her the injection. She winced briefly but the tail kept wagging resulting in more praise. Fudgie was next after returning Ruby to the van. Fudgie can be cantankerous around strangers but she walked right over to him as he spoke softly to her. Without me holding her she too allowed him to give her the update sans growling or snapping. She even got a treat for her behavior. One doesn’t have to say the word “treat” twice to let them know they’re being rewarded for being good. I think I know how Mom felt sometimes when she took us to the dentist then afterwards to Berg’s Drug in Stewartville for a soda. She knew it wouldn’t last so she had to savor the moment.
See you next week…real good then.