The scurs were right to be concerned about the Weather Eye’s unusual noises last week. It meant a major cool down was on the way. Will the thermostat stay stuck open or will we catch a break? Starting Wednesday, partly sunny with a slight chance of snow. Highs in the mid-20’s and lows in the low teens. Thursday, mostly cloudy with highs in the mid-20’s and lows in the mid-single digits. Mostly sunny Friday with highs in the low 20’s and lows around 10. Saturday, mostly cloudy and warmer with a moderate chance of snow. Highs in the upper 20’s with lows around 5. Partly sunny for Sunday and colder. Highs in the upper teens and lows in the upper single digits. Monday, mostly sunny and slightly warmer. Highs near 20 with lows in the upper single digits. Mostly sunny on Tuesday with highs in the mid-20’s and lows in the low teens. The normal high for November 15th is 42 and the normal low is 25. The scurs are thinking they should flush the Bar’s Stop Leak out of the heater core.
With an increased sense of urgency, farming largely shifted gears last week with fall tillage and anhydrous ammonia being applied in most quarters. Manure applicators were also busy as witnessed by the pungent aroma clearing nostrils across much of the area if the wind direction happened to be right. If weather forecasts are correct some of this activity will come to a screeching halt once the ground freezes up for the season. Tiling will continue for a while longer but again there are limits even though the equipment nowadays can pull tile plows and trench through some formidable frost. There are still some fields of corn left to harvest here and there though. Luckily we dodged the bullet of the snowstorm that went to the north. The ten-man dryer continues to roar in Bugtussle although the days of that too are numbered. One of the cool days last week when snow was predicted, there were what appeared to be flakes floating as I opened the pickup door. False alarm: Just pink bees wings from Bugtussle’s own ten-man dryer.
It looks like gardening is officially done at the ranch. Monday night a quick foray into the garden led to grabbing the winter radishes as well as the last of the spring types planted in late summer. While the quantity wasn’t what we’ve come to expect the quality was superb. Like the carrots, the radishes are sweet yet they pack a subtle punch to complement the sweetness. All in all the garden and small orchard were a success. Even though we don’t can, in addition to carrots and radishes there are plenty of squash, potatoes and apples to savor over the upcoming months.
The day is drawing nigh when barn cleaning at the ranch will commence. First though the tractor needed some work. The solenoid, the starter button and the ground cable were replaced. By the appearance of the red paint on the parts they were original. Once replaced the International 263 six took off like a champ. After 43 years I could only shake my head and marvel. They just don’t make stuff like they used to.
In the yard at the ranch we’ve pretty much given up on mowing the road cut one last time. That’s fine as there just weren’t enough good days to allow it to happen. The little solar lights that have graced our patio all summer are reflecting the shortening days and the cloudy November weather. Seldom do they stay lit much past 8 o’clock.
The birds and squirrels really don’t seem to care. The squirrels are content to munch the hearts out of the corn kernels and clean up under the sunflower feeders. Some goldfinches have returned and expect if snowfall begins to mount, we’ll see more of them. Colder weather meant the nectar feeders needed to be taken in and replaced by an additional suet feeder. The cold has brought additional activity from the woodpeckers. The most faithful of our feathered friends though have been the blue jays. Some don’t like them as they can be mean to the other birds. Here however they seem to just do their own thing in addition to adding color to a suddenly gray landscape.
Road construction in Bugtussle seems to have lasted an eternity. Actually it’s only been since mid-July but it just never seems to be completed. We haven’t had to worry about communication because it’s been nonexistent. Luckily, if there were any assassins after me they’d have a rough time as it’s seldom that I’ve been able to get into the Mall for Men the same way two days in a row. The daily shell game of cones, barricades and construction equipment parked willy-nilly on the streets has taken its toll. Oh well, just as the fieldwork is coming to an end due to the cold weather, pouring concrete and laying asphalt that should’ve been done over a month ago has ceased.
The icy roads and snowfall issued a wakeup call across all of Minnesota on Monday and Tuesday. Mrs. Cheviot found that out on U.S. 14 the other day. Luckily she was paying attention to the rapidly deteriorating conditions on the bridge deck and made a nice recovery when the car began to fishtail. Not surprised particularly with all the diddling around people do on their cell phones while driving that there were as many accidents as there were though. Regardless of the reason for the accidents it’s winter and driving accordingly is on order. Time to listen to Roadhouse Blues methinks. Using hands free of course.
See you next week…real good then.