The recent warmth has the scurs wondering if the Weather Eye will continue to spew forth heat or suddenly get back to more normal conditions for November. Only time will tell. Starting Wednesday, aside from some possible morning drizzle, mostly sunny with highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the mid 50’s. Thursday, mostly cloudy with a good chance of showers. Highs in the low 60’s and lows in the upper 30’s. Sunny Friday with highs in the upper 40’s and lows in the low 30’s. Saturday, mostly sunny with highs in the mid 40’s and lows in the low 30’s. Sunny on Sunday with highs in the low 50’s and lows in the upper 30’s. Monday, mostly sunny with highs in the low 50’s and lows in the upper 30’s. Partly sunny for Tuesday with highs in the low 50’s and lows in the low 30’s. The sun sets before 5 p.m. on the 5th and we slide below 10 hours of daylight on November 7th for the first time since February 3rd. The normal high for November 7th is 47 and the normal low is 29. The scurs will be rationing their leftover Halloween candy, hoping it will tide them over until Turkey Day.
Anhydrous ammonia and tillage operations were underway in many areas this past week. The telltale signs of anhydrous ammonia applicators were present in many area fields upon my return from a short trip. There certainly is no hurry however if the warm temperatures are any indication. The closer one can make the applications to freeze up of course it makes the likelihood of loss much lower. Soil conditions are probably about as good as I can ever recall them being for fall ammonia so it appears to be sealing up very well. Rainfall in the month of October turned out to be moderate after a very dry first three weeks, garnering 1.08” at the ranch and just about 1.05” in the gauge at the Mall for Men.
Yet one last trip to Canada to help my little fat buddy Billy of the North to help winterize his cabin before winter sets in. Before leaving everyone always assumes we’re going fishing and while we always have that option, just getting away from the hustle and bustle a few days is more than adequate for me. The flora and fauna keep matters interesting. Trying to think about how the pieces fit together make it an endless puzzle to ponder as we keep in mind that it really doesn’t matter; it’s there to keep us guessing. On the way north from Bemidji, flocks of snow buntings were common as we headed to Frostbite Falls. A harbinger of things to come I fear. The morning after we arrived at camp, the chickadees were on hand to greet us. They appeared to be searching for some small insects on the branch tips of the pine and white cedar. It made me wonder if on some future visit what they might do with some of the sunflower seeds prized by the local chickadee population at home. Some redpolls and siskins could also be heard although not seen, a behavior many of us grew up with.
Leaves were down with the exception of some red and pin oaks along the way. Some tamaracks were still clinging stubbornly to their needles in places even well into Canada. Their yellow tinge blended into the dark green evergreens remained against the gray backdrop; signs of hope that the landscape would once again come to life when the seasons change.
The weather was gray as well. From Thursday through Monday morning we saw the sun for about 10 minutes. Temperatures were freezing when we arrived, making the front porch slick. Visions of doing a one-and-a-half somersault in the middle of the night while making a nature call danced in my head. Luckily it did warm up slightly so the frosty porch was no longer an issue. However temperatures didn’t get much above 40 for the duration of our stay. Still not bad considering what it’s capable of. At least we didn’t have to get out the heavy artillery, namely the long johns and thick wool socks. Come about January, we’d take some of those temperatures even in our latitude.
We were also on a diplomatic mission. Some compensation for services rendered needed to be made. We went to Atikokan bearing gifts for some nice folks who drained Bill’s cabin water previously when the weather managed to dip below freezing. Unlike greater Bugtussle, water lines are unable to be buried six or more feet deep. There simply isn’t six feet or more of soil to bury them in in most places. Later we went to another neighbor on the lake for socializing and to drop off some food items that wouldn’t make it through customs for the journey south. It’s fascinating to me anyway to visit with these hardy souls and learn more about how they think and live for that matter. Canadians are wonderful neighbors. We could definitely do much worse. I feel a kindred spirit with them living as close to Canada as I once did. The land can be cold and forbidding at times while the people typically remain genuine and as warm as a July afternoon.
Once back home again the dogs were excited to see me, especially Fudgie. I laughed as her mannerisms seemed to belie that 13-year-old body, acting like a Border Collie half her age. Ruby of course definitely behaves like a two-year-old all the time and is shedding hair massively to boot. Actually both dogs are. One look at my sweatshirt after some doggie affection and it definitely meant another bomb session with the brush soon. That in addition to countless other chores needing to get done before the snow flies. No rest for the wicked.
See you next week…real good then.