The scurs had the Weather Eye dialed in over the weekend, although the fan must’ve got stuck on high Monday. Will our season come to a screeching halt or will we still be mowing lawn at Thanksgiving?
Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with a miniscule chance of overnight showers. Highs in the mid 60’s with lows in the low 40’s. Thursday, mostly sunny with a modest chance for showers. Highs in the low 60’s with lows in the upper 30’s. Mostly sunny Friday with highs in the low 50’s and lows in the upper 20’s. Saturday, partly cloudy with highs in the low 50’s and lows in the mid 30’s. Sunny on Sunday with highs in the upper 50’s and lows in the mid 40’s. Monday, partly sunny with a slight chance of showers. Highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the upper 40’s. Cloudy and cooler for Tuesday with a modest chance of a shower. Highs in the low 60’s and lows in the upper 30’s. The normal high for October 17th is 59 and the normal low is 37. We dip below 11 hours of daylight on the 17th, still losing minutes per day. The scurs are thinking that covering their delicate foliage may be in order Friday night. Leaving it out to freeze might not be all bad either. Cuts down on watering it.
Harvest continues to move at a breakneck pace. Most soybeans are in the bin with the exception of wet spots that remained too green to combine or areas that were replanted due to drown outs. Soybean yields for many set personal bests. Corn has also been yielding tremendously and due to the relatively dry moisture content, is coming off the fields rapidly. Most were seeing moistures in the mid to upper teens on earlier maturing hybrids (95–100 day) with full season hybrids in the low 20’s. Stalk quality has been an issue in places although in the absence of windy, wet conditions, it has remained in the background. After Monday’s wind however, some may have to rethink the notion of waiting for corn to dry in the field so it can be dumped directly in the bin. Still too early for ammonia application.
Many questions about the spate of annoying insects, namely multi-colored Asian lady beetles and minute pirate bugs. Unfortunately for us as humans, these insects have run out of soft bodied insects to chew on and are looking for a snack before packing it in for winter. It is a common misconception that the lady beetles are only attracted to soybeans. They have for the most part been spending much of their time recently either in the corn searching out the last remaining aphids, in trees doing same or have followed the surviving soybean aphids to their overwintering host, namely buckthorn. They then look for places to hole up for the winter, including your house. Less is known about minute pirate bugs. For starters they’re not trying to squat in your house. They become more well-known this time of year once their food sources are depleted. They then migrate to overwintering sites such as leaf litter, like that surrounding many houses this time of year. They can inflict a rather painful bite. Some are referring to these true bugs as “no see ‘ems,” although they are not related to the tiny biting flies that develop from larvae in rivers and streams earlier in the year. Their calling card is a nasty welt. Despite the bites being painful, there’s generally little evidence you’ve been bitten by a minute pirate bug.
After having numerous distractions the previous weekend, it was finally time to put the mower deck back under Whitey with new belts. While the deck was off I decided it was a good time to put a quick edge on the blades with the angle grinder. I flipped the blades over so the edges could be accessed. With the cordless impact driver, it was a quick process. Changed the oil in the process while the deck was off and things went smoothly. Even the deck that was somewhat persnickety about coming off went on easier than I would’ve guessed. Heading towards the shed and the grease gun I turned the blades on expecting to see grass fly about 20 feet. Instead it barely cleared the discharge chute. Puzzled, I peered under the deck only to see that in my haste I had committed a cardinal sin: I’d left the blades upside down! Nothing a few more minutes of wrenching couldn’t solve, but an embarrassment nonetheless. Didn’t take long and the road ditch was returned to its original pristine condition.
The mowing done and a minor crisis averted where a deer had apparently gone through the fence again, it was time to sneak off for a cruise. Days such as Sunday were made for taking the Silver Hawk out to gaze at the leaves as well as running reconnaissance on area farmers. Mrs. Cheviot and I made a whirlwind tour. We stopped in Waseca for gas where a gentleman admired the car as I filled it up. We then proceeded to LeCenter and Cleveland, then on to Madison Lake to wet our whistle at the Trailblazer. It was a warm day. With the heater core on the Silver Hawk positioned under the passenger side seat as was common back in the day, it was even warmer. Not many people in the Trailblazer Sunday afternoon, although several noticed and commented on the Stude. On the way home we swerved around Betsy’s dad who was pulling a wagon toward the field. Moments later we received a call from him saying how cool the car looked. Looking at the phone I noticed that there had been another call from Shannon Shoenrock’s uncle. Upon calling him back, he too had spied us rolling past his place. Suddenly it dawned on me: This is not the vehicle to go driving around in if you plan on going someplace incognito. Likely have to break out the Soccer Mom van, wigs and sunglasses for that.
See you next week…real good then.