The scurs tinkered with the Weather Eye and got it back on track. Amazing what one can do with a piece of baling wire. Will their fix hold or will they need to get a bigger hammer? Starting Wednesday, mostly cloudy with a good chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the mid 70’s with lows in the low 60’s. Thursday, mostly cloudy with a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Mostly sunny Friday with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the mid 50’s. Saturday, sunny with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. Sunny on Sunday with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Monday, continued sunny with highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Sunny for Tuesday with highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. The normal high for September 27th is 68 and the normal low is 44. The sun begins to set before 7 p.m. CDT on the 29th. The scurs are awaiting the chance to fly their Acme drone disguised as a rooster pheasant. Delivery is scheduled for October 10th.
Harvest actually got underway in places this past week. Some soybean yields were reputedly in the mid-60’s on some early maturing early planted soybeans. The Thursday rains slowed any progress that was anticipated, although with a dry forecast, it should get on track quickly. If early returns are a harbinger of things to come we may experience some of the best soybean yields we have seen in quite some time. Some corn should have been harvested by the time this is written to fill some early contracts. Most indications are that corn in general will also yield very well. The fly in the ointment may be the excessive rains that fell in late June and the encore performance in late July. There are stalk rot organisms lurking in some corn fields so the situation will need to be monitored closely.
My return from Canada Monday afternoon revealed very little in the way of harvest activity all the way from the Canadian border aside from silage being chopped. Mike Hergert from Red River Farm Network called me Monday morning expecting to do an interview on harvest progress. Reports I’d been given from one of my ace scouts indicated scattered soybean combining with lots of green beans and pods in the samples yet. Most were opting to wait a few days. Indeed, only one combine was spotted in Sibley Co. as I trekked the backroads assessing the progress. Lots of leaves still on the plants in places so an interview next week will likely be more fruitful.
The Full Moon for the month will occur on September 27th. It as usual goes by several names the most popular of which is the Harvest Moon. It was at this time before the advent of artificial lighting that farmers could work far into the night due to the bright moon that lit the skies. Sometimes it is also known as the Full Corn Moon. The Ojibwe knew this as the Full Rice Moon, aptly named for the staple that would be harvested during the month. The Sioux called it the Moon When Plums Turn Scarlet. At the ranch we know it as the Moon When Days Become too Short. Seems there is never enough time to get everything done before battening down the hatches for winter.
A total lunar eclipse will also take place on September 27th. Luckily Vista’s noted Swedish astronomer plies me with information from time to time so I can stay on top of these things. According to Dale Niedfeldt from the Steele Co. Astronomical Society, the partial eclipse will start shortly after 8 p.m. with the total eclipse beginning at 9:48 p.m. The mid-total eclipse will be at 9:48 p.m. and the eclipse will end at 10:23 p.m. The moon will appear even larger than the total eclipse back in April as it is the closest it will be all year. This of course if it isn’t cloudy.
This last Thursday was the third installment of what has become an annual event: My yearly excursion to my little fat buddy of the north Bill’s cabin in Canada near Atikokan. Some get all fired up thinking that I’m heading north to slaughter the fish. Maybe in my younger days that would’ve been the case. Nowadays it’s to escape the crowds I’ve been exposed to, exhale, and get back to the land, set my soul free. As I get older I find myself valuing my privacy more and more. Some can’t seem to grasp the concept partially due to all the social media I’m convinced. I wasn’t at all disappointed that my cell phone didn’t work. There was a landline if we needed to use it but why? Just me and Bill, cutting, splitting and stacking firewood in addition to feasting and seeing who could best each other in the evening cribbage tournament. Only soon to be forgotten true stories are told sans embellishment during these sessions.
The birds are always something worth noting when we’re there. The hummingbirds were a “no show” making me wonder if they were still at the ranch or had moved on there as well. They were as of the 21st. There were still robins making their way through and juncos of course. They have a tendency to show up at the ranch within a week or so of my travels north. Juncos were heard already Tuesday morning. Also of note were the red-breasted nuthatches and the chickadees. It usually takes an ugly winter for the red-breasted nuthatches to be winter guests at the ranch while the chickadees are frequent visitors, welcoming me upon my return to the ranch.
Learning trivia about old cars has certainly become a wonderful pastime. For instance, I read during my Canadian stay that Studebaker stopped making horse drawn carriages in 1919 so they could focus on the automobile business. My dad, being an old Buick guy, could appreciate the fact the Buick V8’s were known as “nailheads” because the perpendicular arrangement of the heads on the block and the small diameter valve heads gave them that appearance. Another tidbit I remember was the air cleaner body on the 1963 Buick Invicta station wagon we had. It was emblazoned with “Wildcat 44.5” This didn’t refer to the engine displacement but rather to the ft. lbs. of torque it produced. It did really wind up for a station wagon. My brother Roger proved that when he used to lay patches with it in the driveway when our parents left of course. Pretty sure he was still in grade school yet as he had trouble reaching the pedals without pulling himself forward with the steering wheel. Also pretty sure in the absence of 4-wheelers back in the day, Dad didn’t have to use a lot of imagination to figure out where the divots were coming from. Dad was funny that way.
See you next week…real good then.