We managed to get our snow in Thursday night, so the scurs were glad to get that out of the way. Are we done with snow or will the Weather Eye from the Gremlin be pressed into service once again? Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny. Highs in the mid-60’s with lows in the low 40’s. Thursday, partly sunny with a slight chance of a morning shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the mid-60’s with lows in the low 40’s. Mostly sunny on Friday with highs in the mid-60’s with lows around 40. Saturday, sunny with the start of a cooling trend as well as a slight chance of an overnight shower or thunderstorm. Highs near 60 with lows around 40. Partly sunny Sunday with a modest chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the mid-50’s with lows near 40. Monday, mostly cloudy with a modest chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the upper 50’s with lows in the low 40’s. Mostly sunny Tuesday with highs in the upper 50’s and lows in the low 40’s. The normal high for April 20th is 59 and the normal low is 37. The sun will rise at 6:30 a.m. on the 16th and will set after 8p.m. on the 18th, about the same time as this past August 25th. The scurs patio furniture will take up residence soon beside the ceement pond.
Midweek rainfall was the story this past week with amounts varying from around an inch to over 1.5”. At the ranch we recorded 1.66 from the 8th – 10th and at the Mall for Men it was closer to 1.25”. An overnight encore of .15” and .1” respectively Sunday night dampened plans for tearing into fieldwork ahead of schedule. Up until this past weekend, soil temperatures were anything but warm, averaging in the mid-40’s at the 2” depth as measured at the SROC. It is easy to remember fondly the years when we’ve had an early start but fooling ourselves into thinking this is now the new norm is where we set ourselves up for disappointment. It will be ready when it’s ready, not some preconceived notion of when we think it ought to be. Keeping that in mind should help save much snarling and gnashing of teeth if things don’t come up perfectly.
There are other indicators too that while we’ve warmed up, it still hasn’t moved things like the lawns and trees ahead of schedule just yet. On the 9th, the snowfall knocked the signal out on our satellite receiver when it accumulated on the dish, looking like it was covered with mashed potatoes. And, some of the shallow wetlands have recovered to respectable levels. Back in early March in our wetland, there was no water where one of the wood duck bungalows is placed. A Saturday trip to check on wood duck house occupancy revealed it was once again in the water. In fact it was to the point that taking one more step would’ve meant water going over the top of my knee boots. We have recorded over 3” of precip with snow and rain at the ranch since that time. With primarily cool conditions, it has accumulated. No wood ducks yet but there was a pair that flew by the kitchen window Monday morning.
Other occurrences this past week included the radishes starting to emerge on the 10th, 10 days after planting. Peas followed three days later. A brown thrasher serenaded us during morning chores Monday and the first tree swallows of the season were spotted at lunchtime. The male cardinal spends time singing between the Dubya’s, neighbor David’s and our place. Suspect they’re nesting at neighbor David’s as he has the best cover in his windbreak. And the chorus frogs finally got it cranked up as only they can do. Warm temperatures over the weekend were to their liking. When heading out to feed the last of the bottle lambs Sunday night, the southwest wind was carrying frogs’ shrieking up the hill and into the yard. The buildings block the sound but when there are no obstructions between you and the pond, the noise that thousands of tiny frogs can make is incredible.
Saturday was a great day to finally remove the tree wrap from 30 odd trees. As usual there was ample Border Collie help as the spiral wrap was unwound from each of the small trees. Even better for Fudgie and Ruby was the preparation of the lawnmowers for the season’s mowing. With the truck sitting outside, opening the garage door can mean only one thing to these two dogs: Get inside as fast as possible, growl ferociously and bite those lawnmower tires! To take it one step further, when both mowers are started, moved outdoors, and left running the dogs are just beside themselves. While I was at it, I discovered another Border Collie quirk. Ruby just hates to get sprayed with the air hose. Accidentally nailed her with it while cleaning the deck off and she came unglued, not much different than when the garden hose is sprayed. Auntie Mar Mar once accused us of having Ruby just for entertainment purposes. Well, if the shoe fits I guess…
See you next week…real good then.