The scurs were a day off on the drenching we got on Monday, but it’s like horseshoes and hand grenades. Close is all that counts that far out. Will they hone the Weather Eye in tighter or will they continue to languish in mediocrity? Starting Wednesday, partly sunny with a good chance for evening thundershowers. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows around 60. Partly sunny with a slight chance of an overnight shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the low 60’s. Friday, partly sunny with a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Mostly sunny Saturday with a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the low 60’s. Sunday, partly sunny with a modest chance for daytime showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the low 60’s. Mostly sunny on Monday with highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the low 60’s. Tuesday, partly cloudy with a good chance of overnight showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the low 60’s. The normal high for July 1st is 82 and the normal low is 61. We will have already lost 3 minutes of daylight since the summer solstice by then. The scurs don’t care so long as they get to change their clocks back in November.
The Full Moon will also fall on July 1st with the most common name being the Full Buck Moon, aptly named as the buck deer begin developing their antlers during this time. It also goes by the Full Thunder Moon for the numerous thunderstorms often common this time of year. It also goes by the Full Hay Moon. Somehow the two are not synonymous. The Ojibwe knew this as the Full Raspberry Moon for the abundant wild raspberries ripening in July. The Sioux were also fruit lovers, calling this the Moon When the Wild Cherries are Ripe. Not a lot of fruit at the ranch just yet but it’s only a matter of time. The rate it’s going this year, it could be the Full Lawnmower Moon.
It has indeed been difficult to make hay recently. When the forecast is for rain every other day and it’s right to boot, there’s not much reason to even try. Corn growth this past week took us into the V9–V10 stage with the color on most fields achieving that dark green everyone likes to see. Soybeans were V4–V5 with some of the earlier planted fields starting to show an occasional bloom. Right on schedule. The heavy rains did us no favors with most coming off some earlier rainfall events feeling fortunate. Now? Not so much. Nitrogen deficiencies may start to show, especially if we don’t get the spigot turned off or at least turned down.
Lawn mowing has been equally frustrating. Letting it go much more than four or five days is asking for trouble, especially when there’s as much white clover in the windbreak as we have. I don’t spray so the bee people should be happy. However, I don’t see the bee people coming around to help clean out the bottom of the mower deck when it gets gummed up. Without doing that about once per round the mower does a pretty mediocre job of mowing. Mowing it more than once very couple weeks doesn’t hurt either, when Mother Nature and my schedule allow it anyway.
The recent storm added more chores to Mr. Cheviot’s already burgeoning pile. The ash tree that shaded the livestock trailer decided to have a come apart so the chainsaw was pressed into service. Not that I didn’t get a lot of help and supervision. There are always gawkers who slow way down. They like work. It fascinates them. They could sit and watch it for hours. There are also Fudgie and Ruby who are on top of things, watching to see that a branch or two doesn’t move out of their jurisdiction. Ruby also added another quirk to her already long list. Running the chainsaw kicks out lots sawdust behind you. When I glanced back to see where she was, I saw the small red and white Border Collie snapping at the sawdust stream. Could only shake my head. What some dogs won’t do for entertainment.
Mrs. Cheviot’s recent run in with a customer who was convinced farmers were evil doers hell bent on destroying the bird population should perhaps make a trip to the ranch or our kindly neighbor’s sometime. There are more birds now than ever and like many farmers, we have spent a lot of time providing habitat for them. Robins start singing at 4:36 a.m. and by 5, they must be off putting on the feed bag or looking for food for their second brood of youngsters. The bluebirds at the kindly neighbors’ have fledged and they’re working on their second brood. We have at least two different wrens singing in the background. There are dickcissels singing in the pasture and chipping sparrows singing in our windbreak. The common yellowthroats toss in their two cents occasionally from the plum thicket. The orioles appear to be bringing their young to the feeders just as they have for many moons now. They’re also starting to come on their own, more bumbling and curious than their parents who eat and run a lot this time of year. The brown thrasher tosses in an occasional guitar rift hidden someplace deep in the nannyberries. And last but not least, a rooster pheasant (likely one of Little Jerry’s contemporaries) crows from different points on the landscape as he makes his appointed rounds.
Went to the Back to the Fifties car show again last week with Vista’s noted Swedish astronomers and some other local characters. It was a blast riding up there in the Swede’s ’58 Ford Fairlane 500 hardtop. Once on the State Fairgrounds, symbols of Detroit’s former opulence (and South Bend Indiana’s: Studebaker was manufactured there, not in Detroit) were on display. Also bumped into my little fat buddy from Bemidji with whom we shared some libations and quality time. Couldn’t help thinking of my dad while we there though as he would’ve turned 100 this past Sunday. Dad was a Buick guy and one of my favorite cars he had was the ’57 Buick. Not as much chrome or massive perhaps as the ’58 my brother once had, but equally as impressive. The interior was fascinating and with those red ball hubcaps it drew attention to a 4-year old when Dad washed it. The salmon color contrasted with the cream colored underline made the car unique and I only remember seeing a few like it. The reawakened memory implanted from that era is probably what stirred my passion for old cars. Among the 10,000 or so old cars go round and round, didn’t see many ’57 Buicks Sunday but they were there, just as I’m sure Dad was. Thanks Dad.
See you next week…real good then.