While the windshield washer setting on the Weather Eye became entangled with the heater controls, the scurs still made a valiant effort at last week’s forecast. Can they keep the warmer temps coming or be doomed to reconfigure their process once again? Starting Wednesday, partly sunny with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the mid-60’s. Partly sunny on Thursday with a moderate chance for showers and thunderstorms increasing into the afternoon hours. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Friday, mostly cloudy with a modest chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the mid-50’s. Partly sunny on Saturday with a moderate chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Sunday, mostly cloudy with a moderate chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows near 60. Partly sunny on Monday with highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Tuesday, sunny with highs in the upper 50’s and lows in the mid-50’s. The normal high for June 7th is 77 and the normal low is 56. The scurs are thinking napping in the hammock is looking more promising all the time.
Another good week for crop growth in spite of the more-than-generous rains. We saw frequent rainfall for the month of May with measurable precipitation being recorded on 17 of the 31 days at the ranch. Strangely enough not one of the rainfall events totaled over an inch with the greatest amount recorded being .76” that fell on the 29th. This has been a blessing as when the weather does straighten out. Rain for the most part has fallen gently and over an extended period of time. Coupled with low humidity following the passing of the rainfall events, fields have dried fairly quickly and field operations can commence sooner than one might expect. Chemical weed control in corn has been foremost on the minds of most operators and when temperatures warmed sufficiently, fields were generally fit. Corn this past week was typically V3–V4 and soybeans V2 with some early plantings at V3. Most of the pre-emerge chemicals have bought farmers some time. Hopefully the other shoe will not drop anytime soon.
Warmer temperatures meant getting the vine crop transplants in the ground last Thursday at the ranch between rains as expected. One good thing about the Friday rains: The transplants never knew they were transplanted! Putting them in with the lights from the Gator apparently was the thing to do. The Indian corn planted May 24th was beginning to emerge June 1st. A few watermelons, string beans and tomatoes then the main planting is done. Until the mid-July planting. Heck, that’s less than six weeks away!
Lawn mowing has seemed to be a perpetual task so far this spring and early summer. Finally on Sunday, after spraying pasture fences, moving feeding equipment and weed eating around all the trees, I managed to get all the lawn mowed at relatively close to the same time. It was a struggle however. The white clover and dandelions in the windbreak were like mowing a wet sponge. The wet goop scraped out from under the mower deck about every half-round reminded me of the material we used to gather from the innards of a fistulated cow for forages class in college. At least the stuff under the mower deck hadn’t fermented yet, so it didn’t smell that bad. Leave it under there for a week however and the results are remarkably similar. The dogs do seem to appreciate my efforts. Ruby and Fudgie love to roll in the grass, hopefully leaving lots of their hair behind. I’m just glad with all the rain their pee spots have blended into the rest of the lawn rather than sticking out like a sore thumb.
Another rite of spring has come and gone at the ranch. Operating one of the black cutworm pheromone traps kept me off the streets every morning after chores. The traps have a sticky bottom and are baited with a female black cutworm pheromone to attract male cutworm moths. Typically these moths migrate from the southern U.S. and are brought here in thunderstorms that come up from the Gulf of Mexico. The results from the trapping network are useful in predicting whether or not there will be cutworm problems in the corn. This was not a very active trapping season, although there were some mornings as many as five were captured. For over 20 years I’ve participated and it has just become part of the morning routine each April and May.
Lots of bird observations even though some of them indicate a slowdown at the feeders. The jelly in particular hasn’t been consumed with quite as much gusto as it was, although if the feeder goes empty, the orioles let me know about it under no uncertain terms. There do appear to be more hummingbirds though, so that needs more attention. The bluebirds at the kindly neighbors’ are busy feeding their young as evidenced by a peek in the nesting box when spraying the fence there. Baby robins are everywhere it seems like and some of the parents are starting nests for their second brood already. This should put a damper on some of the loud 4:30 a.m. singing once that is complete.
Was saddened to hear of BB King’s passing. Over the years I’ve developed an appreciation for the blues and he epitomized that genre, not to mention influencing many artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. First appearing on The Tonight Show in the late ‘60’s, he became a public figure famous for his signature guitar styling and the guitar itself, Lucille. It would be great to know how to play guitar let alone like he did. It’s more than sufficient to listen and relax to the musical stylings the blues provide and thank my lucky stars for the impact BB King had. The thrill is not gone.
See you next week…real good then.