The scurs were a little disappointed that the Weather Eye got ahead of itself, predicting rain for Monday rather than Tuesday. When in doubt, blame global warming. Why not? Everyone else does. Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with a slight chance of an isolated shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the upper 60’s. Thursday, partly sunny with a good chance for showers and thunderstorms. Highs near 80 with lows in the upper 60’s. Mostly sunny Friday and cooler with a continued modest chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the upper 40’s. Saturday, sunny with highs in the upper 60’s with lows in the upper 40’s. Sunny on Sunday with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the low 50’s. Monday, continued sunny with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the low 50’s. Sunny for Tuesday with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the low 50’s. The normal high for September 22nd is 70 and the normal low is 47. The sun begins to rise after 7 a.m. CDT on the 22nd. The scurs have their calendar marked for the autumnal equinox although our nearly even amounts of daylight and darkness will not occur until the 26th. Winter is coming. Oh goody.
Days are definitely becoming shorter and the crops are making dramatic progress towards the finish line. Some fields of early planted early maturing soybeans will likely be combined this week. Corn has moved along to the point where a frost or even a hard freeze is unlikely to harm it much. The milkline on most hybrids was well past half milkline in most cases with some earlier planted earlier maturing hybrids having black layered. Stalk quality is started to be talked about and rightfully so. Corn is relatively tall this year and ear placement is also fairly high. It gives wind plenty of leverage, especially when it blows like we all know it’s capable of.
Some of the birds we’ve come to enjoy over the spring and summer continue to say their goodbyes. The last oriole we saw at the ranch was about the 7th. Last year the last one was spotted on the 8th. They showed up on May 2nd so we really can’t complain. Knowing what’s coming, given the chance many of us would start to fly the coop pretty soon too. The local barn swallows appear to have departed as well. A week or so ago, swallows were lining the wires for about a half mile in front of the ranch. Pretty sure the locals were still here as they were flying through the window on one side of the granary and out the other. The hummingbirds are still bountiful yet, but their days too are numbered. Last year the final hummingbirds we saw were on October 4th.
Saturday was International Drive Your Studebaker Day and no I’m not making that up. A fitting day it was at that. With lawn needing mowing and dozens of other things that could be done, I decided that the Silver Hawk needed to make a trip to the A&W in Spring Valley. It was perfect weather to open the side vents on the front fenders and let the fresh air in, screened for bugs of course. Mrs. Cheviot had arranged to meet her sister and brother-in-law. We had intended to take them for a cruise earlier, but schedules and health did not allow. We went for a loop from Spring Valley to Stewartville and back. The Stude performed beautifully, cruising smooth as silk on recently redone U.S. 63. Using features like the overdrive along with the Studebaker exclusive hill holder clutch, the cruise was a success, turning heads and generating a “thumbs up” wherever we went. Unfortunately, before we knew it we had to return home.
The gas gauge apparently is fairly accurate. Non-oxygenated fuel was impossible to find on the way home so we were on pins and needles watching the gauge running on empty. We made it home, but had no idea how much fuel might have been in the tank. It holds 18 gallons. I ran some errands with the pickup the next day and grabbed three gallons to put in the Studebaker, enough to get us to Waseca for a fill. I had purposely not wiped the car down anticipating that I would make a run to fill it up late Sunday. In addition to the three gallons I put in it, I put a hair over 15 gallons in it, that after the trip to Waseca. We had to have been running on fumes. The good news was it gave us an excuse to enjoy one more trip on what was an absolutely beautiful weekend for cruising.
It always saddens when a customer for 20+ years and faithful reader suddenly passes away. Gudmund Nodland farmed with his wife Ethel where Ethel grew up south of Waseca. They received the paper from Ethel’s sister and I frequently was asked about some of the things I’d written when I went there to look at their fields. Gudmund was a kind soul and always had a smile on his face when we’d stop. Typically he and Ethel would invite us in for in cookies and something to drink. He also would offer us sweet corn from his field, something I took him up on occasionally when our own garden sweet corn wasn’t ready yet. Those were a much appreciated half dozen ears of perfection. Gudmund also gave me an old International electric fencer, one I still have today. It still works and is pressed into service occasionally should we suffer a lightning strike or one of the other units just gives up the ghost. In recent years Gudmund frequently wasn’t his normal self. He didn’t talk about it much other than mentioning his mobility was suffering. I was surprised to learn recently that he was in the care center and absolutely shocked to read of his sudden passing back on the 5th. Come to find out he had been ill for some time. I’ll miss going there to look at his fields and most of all I’ll miss that smile as we visited over a cold beverage and cookies.
See you next week…real good then.