The Weather Eye definitely sprung a bigtime leak last week and the scurs were distraught. Will their Barr’s Stop Leak put a damper on the leak or will we see our rain continue to trickle at a slower pace? Starting Wednesday, sunny with highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Thursday, sunny with highs in the low 80’s and lows in the mid-60’s. Sunny on Friday with a slight chance of an evening shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the mid-80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Saturday, mostly sunny with an increasing chance for showers and thunderstorms into the evening hours. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the low 60’s. Mostly sunny for Sunday with slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 80’s with lows near 60. Monday, mostly sunny with a modest chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Mostly cloudy on Tuesday with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. The sun will rise after 6 a.m. on July 31st. The normal high for August 1st is 82 and the normal low is 61. The scurs plan to enjoy their extra minutes of sleep once their ark is completed.
The second Full Moon for the month of July will occur on the 31st, making it officially a “Blue Moon.” A Blue Moon takes place every 19 years in the month of July. The next Blue Moon will be January 31st, 2018 with another that same year on March 31st. So what did the Native Americans do about two Full Moons in a month? Since their schedule largely revolved around the period between moons, it wasn’t an issue. Sounds like another thing white man managed to screw up.
Crop progress continues to be steady and very close to on track for the calendar year. Corn is in the blister stage while soybeans are largely in the R4 stage, with some of the early planted early maturing varieties making a case for being in the R5 stage. R5 is known as Beginning Seed, with a seed 1/8” long in a pod at one of the four uppermost nodes on the main stem with a fully developed leaf for those keeping score at home.
The recent rains, while excessive in some respects, showed us that it indeed still can turn on a dime in the month of July and on a widespread basis if it so desires. The result has been some phenomenal growth and pod set on the soybeans since it fell. Since August is known as the month that makes a soybean crop, it will be interesting to see what happens when we have a nearly full profile for soil moisture. Sure, there are already people wringing their hands about white mold and whatever else may befall this crop. These are the same people who also worry when we don’t get rain. Personally, would rather have the tradeoff of some gas in the tank going into August for a change.
Just when you thought it was safe to think about skipping mowing the lawn for a week, the rains fell. Amounts varied this past week from roughly 3” – 5”. At the ranch, there was one patch on a south facing slope beginning to show signs of drying out. 3.84” later, that spot largely disappeared. The rest of the lawn is growing like it was still June, meaning 3 – 5 hours out of every week will be spent going back and forth. It will also mean a renewed assault from the mosquitoes that were by some accounts starting to wane. With 7.4” of rain so far in town and 6.76” at the ranch, one can only imagine what’s going to happen.
The hot weekend wound up being spent on stacking the remaining hay in the barn, cleaning up the storm damage and mowing the windbreak. One of the crabapples that we’d somewhat nursed back to health caught the straight line wind Friday morning and split off. I left the rest of the tree, though, as it was loaded with crabapples. If the tree can withstand the winds until spring, at least the birds can utilize the fruit. More hunks of silver maple needed to be dealt with, although that’s just part of the routine of having one of these trees prone to wind damage. Probably the most disappointing loss though was an arborvitae about 12’ tall in the windbreak. It was really the only tree lost there, snapped off about 6” above the ground. These trees were planted as 12” transplants and really stop a lot of snow from getting in the yard. The heat and humidity took their toll and by the time I’d removed the branches from the fence at the kindly neighbor’s, I was pooed. It was difficult to stay hydrated and equally as difficult to keep enough repellent on without sweating or rubbing it off on all the vegetation.
Some of the winged inhabitants at the ranch included the first cicada heard the evening of the 27th. Had heard one earlier back on the 17th at the SROC in Waseca. It appears the grape jelly supply is barely keeping up with the demand at the bird feeders. Some mornings we are serenaded by a male cardinal, something that hasn’t happened in summers past. We’ve been blessed with a great hatch of barn swallows. At any given time there are over a dozen youngsters gobbling down their fair share of flying insects. The hummingbirds are becoming more frequent visitors. They’ve developed a fondness to the Wendy’s Wish salvia amongst all the other types Mrs. Cheviot has planted. The first of the 4 o’clocks has started to bloom so as we move into August, watching the zippy little feathered marvels will make barbecuing on the patio even more entertaining.
See you next week…real good then.