The Weather Eye apparently benefitted from the Studebaker windshield washer bag, predicting the showers and thunderstorms with deadly accuracy. Will the scurs secret fall into NOAA’s hands or will they continue to fly under the radar? (pun intended). Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with a slight chance of an isolated shower or thunderstorm by evening. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the mid-50’s. Thursday, partly sunny with a moderate chance for daytime showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 60’s with lows in the upper 40’s. Mostly sunny Friday and cooler with highs in the mid-60’s and lows in the upper 40’s. Saturday, mostly sunny with a slight chance of an evening shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the upper 60’s with lows in the mid-50’s. Mostly sunny on Sunday with a slight chance of evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70’s with lows in the low 50’s. Monday, mostly sunny with an increasing chance for showers and thunderstorms by evening. Highs in the low 70’s wand lows in the low 50’s. Mostly cloudy and cooler for Tuesday with highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the mid-50’s. The normal high for September 15th is 73 and the normal low is 50. The scurs will be on the lookout for those large yellow livestock haulers. Yes boys and girls, school is back in session!
The hot humid conditions of this past week pushed crop maturity along at a rapid pace. The milk line on the corn in some early planted early maturing hybrids was nearly gone by week’s end, putting it out of the danger of an early frost. Early planted early maturing fields of soybeans were starting to move out of R6 into R7 in the same timeframe. The heat is not exactly what we wanted as moving the maturity along too quickly tends to take test weight off of corn and reduce soybean seed size and weight. Luckily temperatures have moderated and a slower pace is more in line with reaching the potential we have left.
After dipping under 13 hours of daylight back on the 5th, we continue to lose daylight at nearly 3 minutes a day. The signs of fall that were starting to show last week are becoming less subtle and more pronounced. Canada geese are grouped up and looking for picked sweet corn fields or in our neighborhood, for a dinner date with a field of dry peas that was recently harvested. The leaves on the walnut tree are already turning at the ranch and with a slight breeze beginning to flutter to the ground. Other trees including the silver and Autumn Blaze maples are starting to show initial signs of their fall colors. It won’t be long and certainly not long enough.
Still, there are signs that summer may not be totally done just yet. Hummingbirds are constantly on our blooming plants. While it’s pretty clear they’re migrating, the flowers on the plants are at their peak. Orioles were still at the jelly feeders as of the 7th with four males in their bright orange plumage still keeping things hopping yet on the 6th. The monarch butterflies, the demise of which the handwringers have been blaming various boogiemen for, appear to be as bountiful as ever as this growing season comes to a close. Even the bumblebees are numerous this early September. Could it be we are not as close to the entomological apocalypse as some would have us believe?
On the subject of insects, I consulted with the Boy Entomologist the other day to confirm I knew what I was talking about. The dark colored moths everyone keeps asking about are green cloverworm moths. A large portion of them likely came out of the soybean fields. There was an extremely heavy migration of these moths into Minnesota this spring. Most sprayed the soybeans for aphids, which in most cases controlled the larvae of the cloverworms. However the residual only lasts a couple weeks at best on most products and a day or two on others. Most products are not ovicidal and it's unlikely that they would control pupae, which are frequently on undersides of the leaves. Each generation of cloverworms takes about a month and there are several generations once they arrive here in Minnesota. Hence, the situation we're in now. There are also some lighter colored specimens I've been questioned about. Those are likely forage loopers, coming from the soybean fields as well. The good thing about them is they leave less of a mark on a light colored wall when you squash them.
The recent warm and wet conditions certainly didn’t slow the lawn mowing much. Have taken the recent lawn mowing advice in the Star Eagle to heart and for fall have started leaving the mower deck set at about 3 inches. It does seem to get the lawn out of the blocks a little faster next spring. The between mowings period appears to be shortened so it’s not a perfect tradeoff. The Border Collie poo also tends to stay on top more rather than becoming nestled down between the blades of grass. Since it’s been so wet, it also tends to stay juicy longer. Have to be vigilant, making note of where the dogs are doing their business and exercise caution when one strolls about the grounds.
Mom would’ve turned 90 this past week. Time has flown since her passing in 2013, but the memories of spending time with her on her birthday have become precious beyond enumeration. It’s not surprising as she was one of those who was just tickled you’d thought of her no matter what you’d bring for a gift. Among her favorites were things out of the garden and writing cards, especially if they included wildlife or in later years Border Collies. Her dog Fudgie is still with us and serves as a reminder of those days not all that long ago when we could get together and relax while enjoying the day together. It frequently included a trip to the local Dairy Queen or A&W and watching the birds afterwards, especially the hummingbirds as they’d come to the window feeder on the kitchen window. Those were special days, something to always treasure as we move into fall and beyond.
See you next week…real good then.