The scurs managed to keep the rainclouds at bay with an assist from the Weather Eye for Farm and City Days. It threatened but did not make good on it. Will we be so lucky for the Waseca Co. Fair or will the thunderstorms finally prevail? Starting Wednesday, partly sunny becoming mostly cloudy with a moderate chance of showers and thunderstorms late in the day. Highs around 80 with lows near 60.Thursday, mostly cloudy with a good chance for showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Mostly sunny and muggy on Friday with a modest chance of evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 80’s with lows in the low 70’s. Saturday, mostly sunny and humid with a modest chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the upper 80’s with lows in the low 70’s. Partly sunny on Sunday with an increasing chance for showers and thunderstorms by evening. Highs in the mid-80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Monday, mostly sunny and a tad cooler with a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the low 60’s. Mostly cloudy and cooler Tuesday with highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the low 60’s. For July 20th the normal high is 82 and the normal low is 62. We will experience 15 hours of daylight, the same as we saw back on May 23rd. After bloating on Farm and City Days candy, the scurs have their sights set on those onion rings at the Waseca Co. Fair. Regularity is never a bad thing.
Tremendous crop progress since the rains fell on the 6th. Warm temperatures and dry conditions are just what the doctor ordered to allow the corn to get down to some of the nitrogen that was a question mark after heavy June rainfall. Judging by the color of most of the corn, it is not suffering from a lack of nitrogen. Tassels are also coming on rapidly. Given the ample supply of moisture and nearly ideal temperatures, we should see good pollination. Disease pressure at this point is still relatively low so fungicide applications are a gamble. Soybeans are also on the move. Most fields were in the R2 stage this past week although some of the earliest planted soybeans were a bonafide R3. While soybean aphids continue to become easier to find, the temptation to make early insurance applications becomes greater. A recent press release from the U of M should help temper that notion.
Indeed we have been fortunate to have missed several of the recent severe thunderstorm events. It doesn’t appear the mosquitoes have noticed yet. Most are of the same opinion that going outside when it’s still or getting closer to dark is taking your life in your own hands. As a result the amount of repellent being used at the ranch has skyrocketed. It does give one some appreciation for the month of January. I can honestly say I’ve never been bitten by a mosquito while doing chores that time of year.
Accomplishing anything in the garden has been a major feat. We did snag our first tomatoes on Monday though, a few grape and cherry tomatoes. Picking them on the run makes it easier to get exercise especially when not wearing repellent. Overall things look good at a fast trot. There are some Mt. Royal plums turning purple too although getting up the nerve to battle the bugs has been tough. Should do it pretty soon though as the birds seem to easily find them before we get there. The apple trees continue to impress as well. All the trees have ample fruit so there should be plenty for pies and eating barring some disaster before fall anyway.
It appears there are several families of orioles, both Baltimore and orchard types, consuming grape jelly in our backyard. Up to a dozen individual birds are recognizable as they descend from the tree to the feeder hanging below. Of course there are a few others including the catbirds who like to sneak in when the orioles aren’t there to gobble down what they can before the next wave shows up.
It has taken a while but Mrs. Cheviot finally put the AC on over the weekend. There were wedding flowers being manufactured with some recruited help so it needed to be cranked up to keep them from withering in the heat. Both the flowers and the help. It certainly made watching the Twinkies game more comfortable from the recliner. Within a few minutes I was sawing logs, paying little attention to the TV or the commotion from the other room.
Made an appearance at the Farm and City Days car show Saturday and got to see all kinds of people. Columnist extraordinaire Bob Hansen accused me of going golfing although it’s probably been 20 years since people ran for cover after I swung a club. Al Batt offered me a used but not abused feline, which I gracefully had to decline. The smell of fresh cat poop in a warm garage this time of year really doesn’t tickle my olfactory senses. Pat B. checked the back of my neck for mosquito bites to make sure last week’s report was accurate. And Vista’s noted Swedish astronomer was glad that I’d remembered to bring my cooler. Of course then there were the cars, lining main street, gleaming and polished to perfection. One thing about it, it’s definitely “look but don’t touch.” No telling what might happen if a sticky, gooey handprint were to wind up on the seat of one of those old gals. Yes, on the cars of course.
See you next week…real good then.