The scurs were glad to get a few more days of warmer temps through early week, but some strange noises emanating from the Weather Eye have them worried. Is the other shoe about to drop or will our charmed weather lives continue? Starting Wednesday, mostly cloudy with a good chance of rain changing to snow by evening. Highs in the mid-50’s and lows in the mid-30’s. Partly sunny for Thursday with highs in the low 40’s and lows in the mid-20’s. Friday, partly sunny becoming cloudy with a slight chance of rain changing to snow in the evening. Highs in the low 40’s and lows in the low 30’s. Saturday, mostly cloudy with a slight chance of snow. Highs in the mid-30’s with lows in the low 20’s. Partly sunny on Sunday with highs in the mid-30’s and lows in the mid- 20’s. Monday, mostly cloudy with a slight chance of snow. Highs in the mid-30’s and lows in the upper teens. Tuesday mostly sunny and slightly warmer. Highs in the upper 30’s and lows in in the mid-teens. On the 7th we slip below 10 hours of daylight again for the first time since February 3rd. The normal high for November 11th is 44 and the normal low is 27. The scurs will be flying Old Glory in honor of all those who have served.
November 6th brings the Full Moon for the month, known as the Full Beaver Moon. The time of year to trap beaver and other furbearers was important as it meant a plentiful supply of warm fur for the long winter ahead. The moon also goes by the Full Frosty Moon. The Ojibwe knew this as the Freezing Moon and the Sioux called this the Moon of Falling Leaves. At the ranch we’re content to call it the Moon to Plug in Water Tank Heaters.
Harvest is nearing completion in most quarters. Corn yields continue to be generally disappointing with occasional blips over 200, but yields largely in the 160-170 range. Simply too much water in June, nitrogen loss, poor root systems, stalk rot, and a mid-September frost that caught some of the same areas that were already in trouble due to the other factors. Add it all up and it’s a season most of us are glad to be done with and get on to another one. Heading into next season, conditions for fall application of anhydrous ammonia have been nearly ideal locally. The relatively light precipitation for the past two months has led to very friable soils. Fall tillage is also progressing well and despite the fact the corn started out wet, the relatively quick end to harvest was a pleasant surprise.
Some lows in the low 20’s did indeed bring out the water tank heater in the main barn as the water would’ve been frozen solid otherwise. It also meant draining hoses in order to avoid hauling water buckets around. Luckily that was short-lived, although we know full well that won’t last. Banking the well pit with fresh bales will need to happen too before too long. The old ones make good cover for sensitive plants and decompose into the garden, enhancing the soil for upcoming seasons.
At the ranch, fall has also progressed rapidly. Carrots were harvested and being left in the ground this late they’re almost ridiculously sweet. Some of the small trees were wrapped as well as the bunnies don’t seem to care that there is still plenty of green grass they could eat. The leaves were ground up ahead of Monday night’s rain. Strong breezes allowed a few stragglers to sneak across the yard behind me. Fudgie and Ruby were both tuckered out after following the mower back and forth for much of the day. They enjoyed it as it will likely be their last tire biting and lawnmower herding session of the season.
The dense canopy of leaves suddenly being down revealed the typical large number of bird nests left behind every fall. As we’ve mentioned before it’s no wonder it gets noisy during the spring and summer months. There is the usual collection of robin, mourning dove, chipping sparrow and grackle nests along with some that after weathering it’s really hard to tell. Probably the most interesting among all the nests is likely one belonging to a catbird. It all makes sense now. Between the dense bushes and the 40 billion mosquitoes contained in them I could never locate the reason for all the scolding. Thanks Mike for the nice photos of the catbird nest from your place this summer to help cement that one!
Probably the biggest news coming out of the ranch though is the trenching in of the phone line that was residing on top of the ground for over 13 months. Not exactly sure what triggered the sudden recent activity by the phone company. Could’ve been the irate phone call from Mrs. Cheviot. Might’ve been the scathing complaint I filed with the MN Public Utilities Commission. Or perhaps it was my less than complimentary letter including the picture of Eddie Albert talking on the phone on the telephone pole. Whatever. I could go on about the actions or inactions of the phone company, but somehow we are just relieved the debacle is over. Being able to mow the lawn straight through without moving the line or concern about chopping it up for the first time all year was a moral victory. And, seeing the cable lying alongside the road less than a week ago, having it buried again meant one less thing to worry about with winter closing in.
See you next week…real good then.