The scurs continue to coax the Weather Eye to keep deliver more of the same and deliver it has. Will it ever freeze or will we get through harvest without it? Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with a good chance of overnight showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Thursday, mostly cloudy with a modest chance for lingering showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 60’s with lows in the mid 40’s. Mostly sunny Friday with highs in the low 60’s and lows in the mid 40’s. Saturday, sunny with highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the low 50’s. Sunny on Sunday with highs in the mid 70’s and lows in the mid 50’s. Monday, mostly sunny with highs in the mid 70’s and lows in the upper 40’s. Cloudy and cooler for Tuesday with highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the low 40’s. The normal high for October 12th is 62 and the normal low is 48. The scurs are celebrating Columbus Day by leaving Saturday’s junk mail and bills in the mailbox. That way they’ll still have a reason to pick it up and potentially make the PC police think it’s no longer a holiday. There’s a method to the scurs’ madness.
The 10-man dryer is running at the elevator so now it truly is fall. Harvest progress has been steady although not without some bumps in the road. Green stems in the soybeans with no frost to even things out have caused some snarling and gnashing of teeth. Along with that there have been plenty of green beans mixed in the sample even though moistures have generally tested 11–12%. Relatively calm conditions haven’t hastened the drying of those green stems or beans themselves much either. In some instances the tough combining has led to soybeans going out the back of the combine, prompting some to switch over to corn for a few days. Soybean yields have in general been spectacular with most running from the upper 50-bushel-per-acre range to the low 70’s. Corn has also been impressive based on the acreage harvested thus far. Many reports of low to mid 200 bushel readings on yield monitors and in actual weighed truckloads as well. It is too early to apply anhydrous ammonia at this point and as Fabian Fernandez from the U points out, applications should be based on soil temperatures and not on calendar date. Read his latest press release at:
There are scattered pockets of color showing here and there so this weekend should be a good one to go forth and gaze at the leaves. Sumac was prominent this past weekend in our travels to the north and the river valleys in particular had subtle signs that the show should be at its peak in the next week or so. It smells like fall too. The odor of senescing vegetation is familiar when one heads out the door in the morning to do chores.
It’s official: The hummingbirds left the ranch on September 28th. We had them for quite a spell though. We saw the first one on May 16th. They were faithful little visitors all summer long to the pots and the hummingbird feeder. I’ve left it up just in case a straggler should happen by. Some have asked if leaving the feeders out keeps the hummers here too long and endangers their survival. It does not. Once the flowering plants they crave begin to decline, hummingbirds seem to know it’s time to get out while the getting is still good. One species I have been surprised to see yet though is barn swallows. This past week a handful still appeared occasionally when I was out soil sampling. Had to look twice but saw them on a couple occasions on different days, the last of which were spotted on Monday, October 5th. Was glad to see them too. There were mosquitoes and was bitten a few times by what appeared to be stable flies.
The gardening season is winding down. Wet weather prevented the planting of the winter radish crop so that will have to wait until next season. However, the pumpkins, gourds and squash managed to make it. The squash crop was somewhat disappointing but the Indian corn, gourds and pumpkins made up for it. Lots of them for decorating which is exactly what happened to much of the crop. They’ve already travelled to a wedding at Watkins, MN and are back to decorate the church as well as the ranch once we find some daylight to see what we’re doing. Had to move the remaining Indian corn from the trailer where it was drying. The squirrels and chipmunks decided it was good enough to eat so helped themselves.
Ruby and Fudgie like this cooler trend and can follow the lawnmower endlessly as a result. They also seem to have diversions to occupy their time. Ruby set up a barking frenzy Monday morning when I was in the shower. It’s not unusual for her to growl and whine at the squirrel eating corn each morning so I couldn’t figure out what had set her off. It turned out that neighbor David had left his dumpster out at the end of the driveway. To Ruby’s way of thinking, it was out of place and required my attention. Fudgie has a stray cat to torment that recently appeared. Actually we haven’t had cats for quite a while and were reluctant about keeping this one around. Cats are known carriers of toxoplasmosis. That can raise heck with pregnant ewes and the lamb crop. And since a lot of people treat our road like it’s a racetrack, any cat we’ve actually liked has ended up being a statistic. The downside to all that is the house sparrows decided the loafing barn is an excellent area to defecate and make a general mess. Since the cat showed up, the sparrows have typically kept their distance. The cat is an adept climber and hunter so we’ve been feeding it just enough to keep it interested. It certainly keeps Fudgie interested with its whereabouts and that’s a good thing. The cat gets to put those climbing skills to good use.
See you next week…real good then.