The scurs consulted the Weather Eye for drier, kinder, gentler weather and it delivered. Will it succeed in keeping the rainclouds away from Farm and City Days or will it be wet and wild? Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Partly sunny Thursday with a slight chance of an evening shower. Highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the low 60’s. Friday, mostly sunny with a good chance of an evening shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Partly sunny Saturday with a moderate chance of forenoon showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the upper 60’s. Sunday, mostly sunny with a modest chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Partly sunny Monday with a moderate chance for showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Tuesday, partly sunny with highs in the upper 70’s with lows around 60. The normal high for July 11th is 83 and the normal low is 62. Having already lost 13 minutes of daylight since the summer solstice, the scurs will be reading under the covers with their flashlight again.
Corn continues to move along and we should start to see the first tassels hopefully by the time this reaches your mailbox. Despite the wet soil conditions earlier, the crop continues to look very good, with most fields exhibiting very little in the way of N deficiency with the exceptions of the areas surrounding some of the drowned out spots. Soybeans too look better than they have in several years with most being a full R2 (full bloom). Soybean aphids have been found locally, although they are nowhere near economic levels. Some small weeds continue to appear between rows. Here again, what people are willing to tolerate depends on personal preferences. Generally speaking these are not yield limiting infestations. Drier conditions this past week allowed weed control measures to wrap up with some even resorting to cultivation in the soybeans. Some of the well washed second cutting hay that had been down for over a week was finally able to be baled. It was nice clean hay though.
The Canadian forest fires are causing some concern that we may see some cooler temperatures for crop production than we may like. Indeed, the haze has helped make it noticeably cooler than one might expect for the calendar date. It has also caused concern for those with respiratory issues. In fact a recent report was claiming that the air quality in the Twin Cities was worse than Beijing. Some of course are quick to jump on climate change as the culprit due to warmer, drier winters in the west. One can’t help but wonder though if conditions become colder and wetter than normal there, what will they blame that on? Not saying that the climate change isn’t happening, but to many folks, it has become another convenient excuse for any occurrence out of the “normal” in this day and age, whatever normal is supposed to be. When in doubt, blame global climate change.
Lawn mowing has certainly been high on everyone’s chore list this summer. Contending with the mosquitoes has been part of the challenge as well. The back of my neck is pebbled about like a basketball, having been bitten so many times. Howard and Whitey have been up to the task so far. Weekly mowing and trimming when I get around to it is about all I can muster these days though, especially when one knows it’ll be a bloodletting.
Don’t recall ever seeing as many orchard orioles as we’ve had this summer. There are at least a couple chocolate colored males, some young green males with the black bib and oodles of green females. They are eating jelly at a frenetic pace with some help from the squirrels and the Baltimore orioles. Oddly enough the hummingbirds have dropped off the radar screen. Not sure why, but suspect they are nesting. The first hatch of barn swallows is on the wing and not a minute too soon. With all the mosquitoes and flies to eat they should do very well.
With Mrs. Cheviot still on the loose, it has taken more time to get the putz projects done. However, after taking one look in the garage at the filth, a good floor sweeping was in order. After all it was becoming nearly impossible to get in the Silver Hawk without getting the once clean floor mats dirty. Driving it in less than pristine condition isn’t part of the deal. Getting rid of the cardboard that was soaked up with oil dripped from Howard and Whitey was the first order of business along with dog hair and what seemed like a dump truck load of sand. Should sell it back to the county.
After taking the Studebaker out for a spin it’s interesting once parked how many times I’ve been asked what happened to the car company. When did they quit making them? Why? Did someone buy them out? The short answers: The decision to cease automobile operations was made by the board in March of 1966. It had been coming for quite some time as the automobile division had been losing money since at least 1953 with the exception of 1959 when the Lark was introduced. The direction the company had been going focused more on developing into a conglomerate rather than automobile production. Studebaker had been buying up other interests in order to diversify. Studebaker owned companies such as Gravely, Onan, Clarke Floor Machines and STP. STP stood for “Scientifically Treated Petroleum” although Studebaker had used a “Studebaker Tested Products” moniker to tie it to some of its own advertising after purchasing it in 1961. In 1967, a year after automobile production ended, Studebaker merged with Wagner Electric and Worthington Industries. The resulting company became known as Studebaker-Worthington. Eventually it was acquired by McGraw-Edison in the late 1970s, which in turn was absorbed by Cooper Industries in 1985. When that happened, the Studebaker name quietly disappeared from the American corporate landscape.
See you next week…real good then.