More warmth this past week and the scurs have no clue about what got into the Weather Eye. Is there no end to the nice days or will we finally start our descent to the inevitable? Starting Wednesday, mostly cloudy with a good chance of rain and a slight chance of snow in the overnight. Highs in the low 50’s with lows near 30. Thursday, mostly sunny with highs in the upper 30’s and lows in the mid 20’s. Sunny and cooler Friday with a slight chance of overnight snow. Highs in the mid 30’s and lows in the low 20’s. Saturday, mostly sunny with highs in the mid 30’s and lows in the low 20’s. Sunny on Sunday with highs in the low 40’s and lows in the upper 20’s. Monday, mostly sunny with highs in the upper 30’s and lows in the mid 20’s. Partly cloudy for Tuesday with a chance of light rain or drizzle. Highs in the low 40’s and lows in the low 30’s. The normal high for November 21st is 38 and the normal low is 23. A sneak peek at Thanksgiving Day looks like cloudy with highs in the low 30’s and lows in the 15 degree range. After wearing out their Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald cd last week, the scurs need to go shopping for their turkey soon if they expect it to be thawed before next Thanksgiving.
Still some late season field activity over the past weekend as the forecast of rain sparked a sudden sense of urgency. Fields that had been previously unworked suddenly turned black and some anhydrous was being applied. At least until conditions became too slimy due to the Monday morning rain. Given the rainfall predicted for the week, it may put fieldwork on hold until the ground starts to freeze up. That may come sooner than later, perhaps as early as the weekend.
We got the fat lambs and cull ewes shipped before Mrs. Cheviot trekked off to Louisville. The lambs loaded relatively easily while the ewes had other ideas. Not their first rodeo so they weren’t as cooperative. They knew once we got Ruby out that we meant business. While she’s not a terribly intimidating Border Collie, it’s one more body to contend with. Once the ewes were on the trailer I breathed a sigh of relief. Never have any regrets once they’re on the trailer and the older I get the more that rings true. The aches and pains only serve to reinforce that attitude.
At the ranch, I tried my best to capitalize on the nice weekend weather. It was a little too muddy to haul manure so there a plethora of yard work to do. While it was still fresh in my mind, I got out the pruning saw and loppers. Time to do battle with the face slappers and eye gougers that had taken a lot of the fun out of mowing the lawn. Not that it was much fun in the first place. Got through about 20 trees before realizing I’d made quite a mess before heading out on a special appointment. By the time I got back chores were looming on the horizon so set my sights on Sunday. I couldn’t believe the piles of brush generated although I had to admit the trees looked much better. Along with that, there should be fewer battle scars and less cursing. Grinding up the leaves was next and true to form after a long layoff neither mower would start. Much to my chagrin I’d discovered earlier that the bunnies were already working over one of the small crabapples so onto another “next task” after putting the charger on one of the lawnmowers.
Found the tree wrap and in the process discovered where the one barn swallow nest had been. Yup, right above the tree wrap. Fertilizer for the small trees, I muttered to myself while tossing the plastic spirals into the Gator. For some reason though wrapping the trees really doesn’t bother me. I get to see each one of them up close and personal. Amazing how fast they grew after a phenomenal growing season. Some are getting big enough so that this may be the last time they’ll need to be protected. Gazing around the yard and seeing how those I wrapped up 20 years ago now contribute to the wildlife, shade and protection from the wind, it’s been worth it. And after getting all that done the mower did finally start. The dry afternoon was perfect for pulverizing the leaves into confetti and putting the yard work largely to bed for another season.
Both Saturday and Sunday were too beautiful to spend inside or working the entire day. I’d actually set aside time both days to take the Silver Hawk out for one last spin. Saturday I took someone who’s basically been a father figure to me over the years. I lost my dad when I was 26, so consider myself lucky that his family was willing to loan me Donnie once in a while. His son and grandson came along for the ride as we made the trip to Albert Lea on some of the smoother tar roads we’d discovered the weekend before. In his mid-80s, Don thought we should throw the youngsters in the trunk so we could cruise main for chicks. That was a fun excursion even though like all of them, it ended all too soon.
The next day I retraced many of those same steps so the car could be fueled up and the gas treated with stabilizer. It was about 4 p.m. by the time I pulled out of the yard. I was alone with my thoughts and dropping the car on down into overdrive, the Hawk seemed to appreciate one last chance for the year to stretch out and run. I reflected on the good times I’d had from purchasing the car from a gentleman in St. Louis, days at shows with Vista’s noted Swedish astronomer to the people I met over the course of the summer and the cool places I’d been. I was somewhat sad too that it was all coming to an end for the season. Then like everything else that weekend, I thought of the things that still needed attention on the Hawk and its roommate the Lark. There will be plenty to do on both units until it’s fit to head out once again.
See you next week…real good then.