The scurs got some of the moisture out of the equation and finally got the Weather Eye to warm things up a tad. Have they found the formula for success or will they need to look in the Gremlin parts books some more? Starting Wednesday, sunny, becoming cloudy in the late afternoon with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs near 80 with lows around 60. Mostly cloudy on Thursday with a good chance for showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the low 60’s. Friday, mostly cloudy with a good chance of a morning shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the low 70s with lows around 60. Partly sunny on Saturday with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70s with lows in the low 60s. Sunday, partly sunny with a modest chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70s with lows in the mid-60s. Mostly cloudy on Monday with a moderate chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70s with lows in the mid-60s. Tuesday, mostly cloudy with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70s with lows in the mid-60s. The normal high for June 15th is 79 and the normal low is 58. We will only gain approximately one more minute of daylight by the summer solstice. The scurs are making sure their hammock is not tied to the bumper on the Gremlin.
Amazing what a difference a few hours of sunshine and warmer temperatures can make on a corn crop. Conditions cooperated this past week long enough to allow many to finish their corn herbicide applications. Some rain fell, but it was spotty in nature with some fields being too muddy while down the road a mile or less conditions were dry. Corn responded favorably to the weather change, improving in color and starting to stretch. Much of the corn was V4–V6 with the nodal root system starting to take over the seminal root system the plant survives on to this point. This caused concern as there were fields and hybrids that displayed many colors other than green. There was one field protected on three sides that already exhibited corn knee-high by the 4th, of June. It’s been a while since that happened in this area anyway.
There have been some questions about ants on peonies and rightfully so. What are they doing there and are they necessary for the flower buds to open? The answer most commonly accepted as to their reason for being there is that the buds exude a sweet substance and ants, having the sweet tooth they do, are attracted to it. The ants, however, are not necessary for peonies to bloom. When removed, the buds will still open normally. This is not a reason to apply pesticides however. Pesticides can eliminate beneficial insects along with the ants so the best idea is to just leave them alone.
Have been assessing the performance of a Roller Feeder bird feeder purchased this past winter. So far it’s been good for keeping seed waste down and squirrels at bay. Squirrels have tried in vain to get at it, but as of this writing, they’re been unsuccessful. Even the three pint-sized squirrels from this year’s hatch are unable to outsmart it. That didn’t stop me the other day from wondering what kind of bird was getting inside the thing and was shucking out sunflower seeds on top of the seed bin. Watching closely, I determined the culprit was not feathered but four-legged. While we don’t see them often, it was apparent the feeder is not chipmunk-proof.
The garden planting continues. About the only thing left to plant in the vegetable garden is the second planting of sweet corn. Watermelons, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers were all planted ahead of some timely rain. Mrs. Cheviot has worked her magic on the pots around the house and the hummingbirds have been checking them out. For their later season enjoyment, salvia has been planted as well as the 4 O’clocks and nasturtiums. Nasturtiums are also tasty additions to salads among other things. The peppery flavor and crunchy texture is a well-kept secret. The leaves and flowers from this Peruvian native plant are edible and can make an interesting addition to many gourmet recipes.
The last two straggler lambs have been weaned off the ewes, making the lambing season officially over with. They’ve done well for April lambs. Being in a separate pen with access to their own private creep feeder made access to solid feed easy early on for them. Overall the lamb crop has grown rapidly. The type of spring we’ve had has been ideal. You know it’s a good sign when you have to look twice in the lot to make sure one of the yearling ewes hasn’t jumped a panel.
Ellendale natives have got to be excited about the addition of the new Casey’s on the east side of town. It is progressing rapidly and was surprised how far along they are. For those readers on the coasts and overseas friends, Casey’s is a little like a Midwestern 7-11, only better. They make a mean donut and their subs are usually among my favorites when I’m on a mission without a chance to pack my lunch. I have not tried their pizza. However, I am told it is good stuff so am waiting with bated breath for the store to open so I can see if that’s true. Of course, as the saying goes, bad pizza is like some other bad things, not all that bad.
See you next week…real good then.