The scurs and their Weather Eye seem to be invincible. There are even rumors of someone starting a new Nash-Rambler Corporation. Can’t miss. How much more of this success can the scurs take, or are they doomed to wind up on the ash heap of history? Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with highs in the low 70’s with lows in the mid-50’s. Thursday, mostly sunny becoming mostly cloudy with an increasing chance for showers and thunderstorms by evening. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows around 60. Mostly cloudy and slightly cooler Friday with a good chance of daytime showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Saturday, mostly sunny with highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Mostly sunny on Sunday with highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the low 60’s. Monday, mostly sunny with an increasing chance for showers and thunderstorms by evening. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the low 60’s. Partly cloudy for Tuesday and slightly with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms in the daytime hours. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the low 60’s. The normal high for August 31st is 80 and the normal low is 59. The scurs will be heading to their favorite foot long hotdog stand by the northwest corner of the Coliseum upon their arrival at the Great Minnesota Get Together. One with fried onions, please.
The Full Moon for the month arrives on the 29th and goes by several names, the most common of which is the Full Sturgeon Moon. It also goes by the Full Green Corn Moon and the Full Grain Moon. The Ojibwe were fond of calling this the Berry Moon as the blueberries are generally plentiful in August. The Sioux were also fruit lovers, calling this the Moon When Cherries are Black. At the ranch, we like our fruit a little larger perhaps, but it frequently is the Full Cantaloupe Moon.
Corn and soybeans both made steady progress this last week, although it was slowed somewhat by wetter weather and a cool-down over the weekend. When highs are in the mid-60’s as they were on the 20th, that corresponds to the highs we see in early October. No wonder we caught a glimpse of fall heading our way. Corn has dented, although few fields have begun to exhibit a milk line just yet. Soybeans to a large degree are now R6 meaning that the seed fills the seed cavity at a pod on one of the uppermost four nodes on the plant with a fully expanded leaf. Both SDS and white mold became more apparent this past week, although it appears at this point they will nibble at yields rather than gobble them in most instances. Soybean aphids have largely been subdued, although some who sprayed too early wound up repeating the process. Sweet corn yields continue to sound impressive as yields reported over 10-ton-per-acre are still common.
After returning safely from another Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, I was thinking the orioles were probably done for the season. Not so fast! Sunday morning I thought I heard a male in the tree scolding me as I was gawking out the window after morning chores. I went in the house and returned with some grape jelly to see if I could entice the noisy bird out of the tree. It didn’t take long once I was back in the house. He descended from high in the ash tree and cautiously made his way to the feeder. Once there, the brightly colored orange and black male quickly took several beak-fulls of jelly and disappeared. He was back the next morning however and seems to be settling in. For a while anyway. Now he has company in the form of another male equally as developed as he is and a young male. They seem to spend a lot of time bickering and squabbling over the feeder contents. Oh well, there’s plenty of grape jelly in the refrigerator. The goldfinches continue to feed regularly at their usual stations with the color on the males beginning to fade ever so slightly. The hummingbirds have a vast array of flowering plants to choose from. With 4 o’clocks, nasturtiums, morning glories and too numerous to mention types of salvia, they definitely have it made as they get ready for their long journey south.
Area gardens continue to yield a bountiful harvest of produce. At the ranch, the green beans have about run their course and the cukes are showing signs of slowing down. The first planting of sweet corn is in prime form now, tomatoes are becoming abundant and the first of the muskmelons has ripened. The flavor of some of the garden stuff has been slightly disappointing, possibly due to the over abundant rains we’ve had. Not to say that can’t change. Sometimes as we move into the cooler part of late summer and early fall, the amount of sugars being deposited in the fruits and veggies increases, making them more flavorful than their earlier season counterparts. Next up should be the apple crop. When it’s ripe in late September, there should be a lot to choose from. The sheep have been taste testing the ground falls to this point. No complaints from them.
The cooler weather certainly agrees with the resident canines. Even Fudgie at 13 trots around the yard like a much younger dog, looking forward to her trips outside with large blocks of time consumed when the lawn or garden need attention. She tires more easily than Ruby, but then who doesn’t? Ruby’s just one of those Border Collies with boundless energy, sometimes to the point where it becomes annoying. It’s at those times especially when trying to take a breather from the day’s activities, it’s OK to let her become fixated on staring at a ball for 15 or 20 minutes. At least she’s quiet and sitting still. The show must go on.
See you next week…real good then.