The scurs took a chance that it wasn’t going to rain last Wednesday and lost. Will they have better luck this week? Starting Wednesday, cloudy with a good chance of showers. Highs near 65 and lows around 55. Partly cloudy on Thursday with a chance of a shower. Highs once again 65 with lows of 55. Partly cloudy and slightly warmer Friday with a slight chance of rain. Highs around 70 and lows of 55. Warmer again on Saturday with a moderate chance of evening showers. Partly cloudy with highs of 75 and lows of 60. Partly cloudy Sunday with an increasing chance of showers. Highs 75 – 80 and lows of 60. Partly sunny Monday and Tuesday with slight chances of showers and thunderstorms both days. Highs of 80 and lows around 60. The normal high for June 25th is 82 and the normal low is 58. The sun will rise on June 25th at 5:33 a.m. a minute later than it did on the summer solstice and on June 27th we will experience 15 hours and 27 minutes of daylight, one minute less than we did on the summer solstice. Hint: The days will be getting shorter already. That can be good news or bad news depending on your point of view. The scurs aren’t fretting about laying in their firewood supply just yet. Lots of time.
Crops made tremendous progress this past week despite the heavy rains of the 15th and 16th. Some corn has reached 8 collars and is about knee high on everyone with the exception of vertically challenged individuals. It may have been knee high 2 weeks ago in some cases. Most soybeans had 3 fully expanded trifoliates with some of the very earliest planted fields in the area showing a 4th and in some cases 5th trifoliate. Spring wheat has headed out and some have made their last pass with a fungicide. Peas have shown good color to this point although with some of the excess moisture received and forecast to come, that tune may change before too long. All in all to this point, we have been very fortunate compared to some.
The garden is getting closer to planted. There are some flower transplants for the hummingbirds to go in yet and some of the plants like the morning glory and bachelor’s buttons reseeded themselves. At some point one just gives up though. There were a few gourds that probably won’t get stuck in the ground. Given the number of gourds that get tossed over the fence after the fall decorating season, that’s probably not a bad thing. The muskmelons are flowering so hopefully we get enough heat to actually produce the number we’re capable of. The onions and sweet corn that were planted last week are wasting no time getting going. The string beans, tomatoes and peppers are in the ground and so are the zucchini. There weren’t enough transplants to be had so we had to resort to direct seeding, running the risk of hills being dug up by the striped gophers living in the yard. After laying down withering fire, one of the culprits was mortally wounded and hasn’t been seen since. There are hills in a couple different locations as well so the odds of them finding all of them are in our favor.
The gray catbird has decided that this grape jelly thing is a pretty good gig. “It” (the sexes are tough to tell apart) has been frequenting the feeder more often than the orioles as of late. Spotted a male and female bluebird at the kindly neighbors pasture on Monday while admiring the annihilation of the musk thistle population there. The royal blue of the male contrasted against the dark green backdrop of bur oak leaves in the evening sun was almost stunning.
Not so surprisingly, mosquitoes have sprung to life with all the rain. Spraying the pasture fence was done in record time. When the project was started the wind was working to my favor. Once down behind the windbreak however, I was at their mercy and they showed none. It was walk all the way back to the house and douse myself with repellent or tough it out. I chose the latter and lived to regret it. Every step through the long grass sent forth wave after wave of the pesky little bloodsuckers. Luckily as fast as I was moving there were few welts and very little itching resulted. Tough old hide I guess.
Ruby went along on the excursion and proceeded to find something dead in the pasture to roll in. I paid little attention to here rolling as escaping with my life was my primary focus. It wasn’t noticeable until we got back in the house and there was this awful dead animal stench emanating from someplace nearby. Ruby of course wagged her tail once I determined the source of the problem. Judging by the look on her face, she wasn’t impressed when bedtime came as the kennel door closed behind her.
With Mrs. Cheviot on the road for a week, I’ve been left to my own devices. Translation: I have to do it all. It does however mean I can shoot gophers out the window without worrying about repercussions, although Ruby hides behind the couch when this happens. Was placed in charge of making sure things all came back home after the 150th anniversary celebration of the Le Sueur River Lutheran church, which in turn was also very important to the little fat buddies. There was the better part of a pan of bars that made the training table. A faithful reader from Oregon introduced himself at the celebration and was wondering who these little fat buddies were. Well, there’s Otisco’s noted Swedish astronomer, PH’s husband, a German who the Norwegians have so far unsuccessfully tried to convert, a tractor salesman (a.k.a. “Mr. Haney”), a real live fertilizer salesman, a full-blooded Swede, Betsy’s dad, a guy who farms from the Mall for Men and other occasional mystery guests. That should pretty well narrow it down I reckon.
See you next week…real good then.