The scurs had the Weather Eye working on more sunshine and it delivered, especially towards the week’s end. Will spring continue to march along or are we looking at a temporary setback? Starting Wednesday, cloudy with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 40’s and lows in the upper 30’s. Thursday, cloudy with a modest chance of showers. Highs in the upper 50’s with lows in the mid 40’s. Partly sunny Friday with a slight chance of an evening shower. Highs in the upper 50’s with lows in the mid-40’s. Saturday, mostly cloudy with another good chance for showers. Highs in the upper 50’s with lows in the mid-40’s. Mostly cloudy Sunday with a modest chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-50’s with lows in the low 40’s. Monday, partly sunny with a slight chance of showers. Highs in the upper 50’s with lows in the mid-40’s. Mostly sunny skies for Tuesday with highs in the mid 60’s and lows in the mid-40’s. On the 27th we surpass 14 hours of daylight for the first time since last August 15th. The normal high for April 30th is 64 and the normal low is 42. The scurs are awaiting the arrival of their first May basket. It’s been a long time since Easter.
After some cooler temps and rainfall recorded the 21st and 22nd, fieldwork got underway again over the weekend allowing many to finish up their corn planting. Corn planted on April 11th at the SROC was beginning to emerge as of Monday the 25th. Some area corn planted the 13th and 14th could be seen poking through behind building sites and groves where sheltered from the wind allowing more GDU’s to accumulate. Rains on Sunday night helped alleviate the worries of some that had corn in dry soil and activated their pre emerge chemicals. Rainfall gauges generally measured rainfall in the .5” - .8” range. Best of all, the rain fell in two different batches so it had time to soak in.
Speaking of rain gauges, through the courtesy of the Waseca Co. Planning and Zoning, we are now recording rainfall amounts officially at the Mall for Men. Rainfall is reported daily and we try to have the gauge read shortly after 8 a.m. every day. The results are recorded on a paper data sheet as backup but are put online daily on the State Climatology Web site. For those who are “old school” it is also recorded on the calendar on my office door. To access this information online go to: http://www.climate.umn.edu/climatology.htm
Click on the colored “MNgage” line, click on “browse,” type “Waseca” into the box where it asks for the county, then click on the “find county” box and the Waseca Co. gauge reports should appear. The results for the most recent New Richland readings can be found by clicking on the current month in the slot for New Richland. If you peruse the rest of the site you’ll also discover that it’s a treasure trove of weather and climate information.
More sure signs that spring is here to stay include the siting of our first toad on the 23rd. They can now be heard trilling in the wetland as the sound of the chorus frogs is beginning to dim. Red admiral butterflies are also numerous, sunning themselves on the west side of the house in the late afternoon. More birds are moving through although no orioles just yet. Looking back at last year, they were here about May 2nd. Not taking any chances and the jelly has been out for over a week now.
Robins are in full nest building mode with the recent rain providing mortar for their mud lined grass nests. A lone pine siskin was sharing the thistle feeder with the goldfinches on the 19th. The male goldfinches continue to gain brightness, adding some color to what has been a bland landscape other than the green grass. The plums burst into bloom over the weekend and the crabapples will be right on their heels. Barn swallows returned on Saturday. Had a hen pheasant fly into the barn and break her neck on Sunday. That same afternoon, a rooster was strutting across the pasture, letting us know the species would carry on. Likewise a pair of Hungarian partridge got up from their dust bath as I was heading toward the black cutworm monitoring trap. Love is in the air.
Ruby and Fudgie got their shots out of the way at the vaccination clinic on the 19th without fanfare. They are surprisingly well behaved in a group setting since they spend very little time on a leash or around other dogs. They seem to know the drill however so it’s just another opportunity to go for a ride for Fudgie and more petting for Ruby, the attention whore. Once home again, Fudgie is content to lie on the porch overlooking the pasture while Ruby stands outside the garage door waiting for someone to come out to do chores.
Last Saturday meant getting the lawnmowers out to mow so it took a while to air up the tires, grease and blow the dust off them. Border Collie sensory overload. Apparently Ruby had not been exposed to the air hose before as she was just bonkers when it accidentally blew in her face. Fudgie was more in tune with just biting the tires in the meantime. Since the dust was glued on tighter than the air hose could remove, it became apparent that both mowers would benefit from a quick rinse. Ruby enjoys chasing the water stream so she also got a quick rinse. After that the official beginning of the tire biting and lawnmower herding season could commence.
Fudgie got a big day of traipsing back and forth and up and down the hill, after which she proceeded to flop on her pillow like a bag of dirt. Not bad for a dog going on 14 years old. Ruby on the other hand apparently needed more exercise and playing ball in the living room was more her speed. Until she saw her most recent TV “villain” came on: That strange “Puppy Monkey Baby.” She just comes unhinged if she happens to see that weird, mythical creature. Add it to the list of the Hump Day Camel, the Spiriva Elephant, any horses, Julie Andrews, Clint Eastwood, etc. Just about the time we think we’ve seen Ruby’s goofiness in tis entirety, she digs a little deeper and comes up with more. She should probably be running for president.
See you next week…real good then.