The scurs wasted no time taking credit for the warmer weather. They somehow don’t seem to take the blame for the rainy, cloudy days however. Will they own up to it this week or blame a phantom malfunction in the Weather Eye? Starting Wednesday, mostly cloudy with a good chance of morning showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Thursday, mostly sunny becoming cloudy with a slight chance of an evening shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows around 60. Partly sunny with an increasing chance for showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Saturday, mostly cloudy with a good chance for showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the low 60’s. Partly sunny on Sunday with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Monday, mostly sunny with highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the mid-60’s. Mostly cloudy with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms on Tuesday. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the mid-60’s. The normal high for June 21st, the first day of summer, is 81 and the normal low is 60. The scurs will savor every minute of the 15 hours and 28 minutes of daylight because after the summer solstice, the days will begin getting shorter. And we all know what that means.
Warmer weather has definitely been beneficial to crops and they show it. Nodal root systems on the corn continue to expand in search of nitrogen and other nutrients. Soybean rows are puffing out as they continue to move toward their reproductive stages of growth. Corn was largely V6–V8 last week with soybeans being V3–V4. Baling dry hay continues to be a major challenge when it rains every day or two, without sunshine or breezes to boot. Ditto with spraying. With heavy rains predicted last Thursday, it was like watching a bunch of ants with all the balers, sprayers and side dressing rigs moving across the landscape.
The garden at the ranch has benefitted too from the recent warmth. Vine crops are starting to sprawl and run from their original hill placement. Tomatoes actually turned green from the purple and yellow brought on by the cool cloudy weather after they were planted. The bunnies have gotten into the act, chewing off some tomatoes and messing with Mrs. Cheviot’s planters. A customer at her greenhouse job was cursing farmers as she claimed the reason there were so many rabbits in town was the pesticides being applied in the fields. I’d like to know just which pesticides these might be so I could get my hands on some as there is no shortage of the stupid rabbits here.
Birds continue to nest in abundance as well. Robins are well on their way to producing a second brood and barn swallows have eggs in their nest in the lambing barn. One pair apparently has been desperately trying to make a nest over the living room window. On the upper portion of the window frame, it looks like someone has been sticking little wads of Blackjack gum. One of these days it will be time to get out the carwash brush and clean their mess off.
The sheep are loving life with all the lush grass resulting from the frequent rains and moderate temperatures. Belly deep in the grass, some of them even grunt like pigs they have become so plump. We get lots of comments from people who commute daily by the ranch, frequently about the lone black sheep in the group at home. They do stick out in a flock of entirely white sheep to be sure and give people something to talk about apparently.
There’s nothing wrong with being different. Sometimes I think it’s been a recurring theme in my existence. Oh sure, we had IH tractors and equipment growing up, plus Dad was a Buick guy. But we didn’t always have the same things the neighbors had. For instance, not many folks had Co-op or Cockshutt tractors or a Studebaker car. When we were kids I remember spending hours poring over some old car magazines an older cousin had left for us to look at. One couldn’t help ogling the Studebaker Hawks, and even the fish-mouth Packard Hawk was very unique. As mentioned before, Dad knew what he was doing when he bought the Lark VI for us kids to drive to and from school. It was basic transportation and not powerful enough to get many speeding tickets. That experience got Studebaker into my blood however.
Fast forward to last fall: I spotted a restored ’59 Studebaker Silver Hawk in an ad in Turning Wheels, the official monthly magazine of the Studebaker Driver’s Club. The car was in the St. Louis area. I contacted the owner by e-mail and asked some questions about it. It was getting to be late October though and I had contracted the alien, so was unable to take it much further than that. The next month the ad was gone so I assumed the car had been sold. Not so fast. About a month ago I was perusing the ads again and I spotted a car that looked familiar. Was it the same one? I punched the e-mail address into my e-mail search and sure enough, it was a match. I sent more questions and received more positive responses. Should I go take a look at it even though there is still a ways to go on the Lark? Mrs. Cheviot said, “Go for it.” She liked the looks of the car and it would give us a head start on the leaf watching and cruising to the A&W in our hometown, Spring Valley, before completing the restoration on the Lark.
I enlisted the services of Vista’s noted Swedish astronomer, my consultant to the stars for spiritual advice and his trailer and away we went. We arrived at our destination and the car and the owners were just as advertised from our communications. We were invited in for lunch and after a test drive, we negotiated a deal. They were glad the car was going to a good home and I was ecstatic to finally have one of my dream cars. Best of all I had the approval of the noted Swedish astronomer. Then we got dessert! A homemade cake dish made with angel food cake, strawberries, blackberries and whipped cream. Absolutely incredible. We loaded the classic car on the trailer and after saying our good byes, we headed back north. In the meantime I’d called my insurance agent informing her of my purchase. Earlier I’d sent some photos. She loved the photos and her reply was that her grandpa and grandma had owned a car almost identical to it. Swell. Here I thought I was buying a chick magnet. Instead, I’d punched my ticket to old fart-hood.
See you next week…real good then.