Not a lot of rain last week, but enough to keep things going after the mini-heat wave. In spite of the cool start, the scurs are thinking perhaps it’s looking like we will eventually have a real summer. Starting Wednesday, mostly cloudy, highs of 70 and lows near 55. Thursday, partly cloudy with a slight chance of evening showers. Highs near 75 and lows around 60. Partly cloudy on Friday with a chance of showers. Highs again near 75 and lows around 65. Saturday, partly cloudy again with a moderate chance of shower and thunderstorms, Highs of 80 and lows of 65. Partly cloudy and warmer on Sunday with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs around 85 and lows near 65. Monday, partly cloudy and remaining warm. Highs around 85 and lows near 65. A good chance of showers and thunderstorms for Tuesday with mostly cloudy skies. Highs of 85 and lows around 65. The normal high for June 21st is 82 and the normal low is 60. The scurs will be remaining under their beach umbrella in case that rain shows up for the summer solstice.
Yes, the 21st is officially the first day of summer, although most will say that meteorological summer actually begins June 1st. Last Tuesday’s heat is gone and with it the nearly desert winds. There have been a few warm days, but it’s been difficult to call it much of a summer so far. There have been many days in June where a jacket is a wonderful thing to have along just in case. Heck, I still have the chains on the tractor yet. Not sure if I’m that far behind or just getting a jump on winter the way the temperatures have been going.
Cooler temperatures have meant slower growth in the crops and the flip side of that is weed growth hasn’t totally been a runaway either. In between gale force wind events, there has actually been time to apply herbicides. This past week saw some corn exhibiting a sixth full collar, although five collars on a field-wide basis were more the norm. The second trifoliates on the largest soybeans were nearly fully expanded, although there are soybeans all the way from there to just planted. Most hay was put up in good shape and the quality looks to be excellent. Feeding some of the newly baled hay delivered by the Hay Fairy, the lambs would tend to agree.
Miraculously, all the vine crops planted in the garden survived the blast furnace of a week ago. Apparently, having good stock and watering heavily as we went when transplanting paid off. The ground became so hard that tilling the remaining ground was like tilling concrete. After the roughly half-inch Thursday night rain, however, that changed and the soil worked up better than it has all spring. This allowed for the onions to go in, the cucumbers to be planted and for another planting of sweet corn. There are still tomatoes, peppers and string beans to plant, but these fortunately won’t take long after work some evening. Then, maybe, kind of, perhaps we can put all the seeds away and focus on weed control. There are some snap peas blooming and with any luck in another three weeks we should be able to sample some of those delicacies. The Haralson and Fireside apple trees are loaded in the yard at the ranch and there are even a few on the Snow Sweet tree that was planted only a year ago. Am curious if any of them make it to harvest so we can see what they taste like. The crabapples we planted were roughed up a little by the heat, but after a little extra TLC, it appears they’ve escaped the heat relatively unscathed.
The birds have become more sporadic in their appearances at the feeders, particularly the orioles. They now go through about a jar of jelly a week as opposed to their earlier antics of nearly a jar a day. One faithful customer has been the male orchard oriole and even the female makes an occasional visit. She seems to enjoy the orange slices as well as the jelly. When they leave, they always seem to head for the same group of trees, so something tells me their nest is in the yard someplace. Hummingbirds have become more numerous as Mrs. Cheviot has planted the pots and baskets again. Time to get some of those fly and ant guards for the nectar feeders as the insects are wasting no time making a mess of them.
Ruby had another big weekend where we travelled to my mom’s to see my oldest brother. This was the first time she’d met him as I don’t recall bringing her along at Christmas time. She was very glad to meet someone who would scratch her tummy and she played that for all it was worth. Ruby played outside with Fudgie too, blowing off steam just as they’ve become accustomed to. Looking out the window was a little like watching one of those comedy skits where the parties take turns chasing each other. These two are a little like the monkey see-monkey do routine as well. Mom has some hard plastic decorative birds, chipmunks and bunnies she likes to place in the flower beds around the house as well as on the porch. Oddly enough, every one of them was scattered around the yard not much differently than children’s toys left for the parents to clean up. Fortunately nothing was chewed on so no harm, no foul. Just have to be thankful there are no diapers to change.
See you next week…real good then.