The scurs wanted a do-over after the weekend when they mistook the AC lever for the defrost lever on the Weather Eye. Will they make up for the error of their ways or be shamed once more? Starting Wednesday, sunny with highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the mid-40’s. Thursday, sunny with highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the upper 40’s. Mostly sunny Friday with highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the low 50’s. Saturday, sunny with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the low 50’s. Sunny Sunday with a slight chance of evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the mid-50’s. Monday, partly sunny with a modest chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Partly sunny skies for Tuesday with a good chance of developing thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. We will see 15 hours of daylight on May 22nd, about the same as we saw last July 20th. The normal high for May 22nd is 71 and the normal low is 50. The scurs have their zubas ready for a dip in the cement pond.
The Full Moon for the month occurs on May 21st and goes by one of several names. Most commonly it’s known as the Full Flower Moon, although it was once known as the Corn Planting Moon and the Milk Moon, presumably because people planted corn and turned their cows out on pasture once upon a time in May. How times have changed. The Ojibwe knew this as the Blossom Moon and the Sioux called it Moon When Ponies Shed. At the ranch, it is definitely the Moon When Border Collies Shed, judging by the wads of hair that suddenly appear along the baseboards.
The weekend frost caught most of us off guard. At the ranch, we recorded a 31-degree low Saturday morning and a 30-degree low on Sunday morning. Bear in mind we live on a hill and the thermometer sensor is mounted about eye level on the garage door frame to keep it out of direct sunlight. In other words, it gets much colder than that in lower lying areas as well as in open spaces. We had very little frost while neighbor David’s tree planting area was pure white. The damage the frost did has yet to be fully determined as of this writing. Corn that was examined Monday showed that despite the total loss of green tissue, the growing points were well below ground and very much alive. Whether it’s able to push out new green leaves is the question. Some early planted soybeans that were emerged also took it on the chin and in some cases may need some additional soybeans stabbed in to maintain stands and yields.
Last week’s rains made area lawns go nuts in spite of the cloudy weather most of the week. It was comical to drive around and see people donned in insulated coveralls manning their mowers Saturday. I did some mowing myself late afternoon and it was brutal. The radishes in the garden have loved the cool temps as well as the rainfall. Some of them should start to produce any day now and not a moment too soon. Thing is they are a mish-mash of varieties and whatever we get will be a surprise every time.
Another banner week of bird arrivals and in some cases departures. Leaving us for points north were the white-throated sparrows and for the most part the Harris’s sparrows. New arrivals included our first hummingbird of the season on the 13th, some white-crowned sparrows, a catbird, and a rose-breasted grosbeak on the 14th, not to mention a reappearance of a few Harris’s sparrows. Must’ve come back for the frost. Female orioles of both Baltimore and orchard species were spotted at the jelly feeder. The jelly is starting to disappear more rapidly and hopefully there are some sales soon. At any rate, we don’t worry about having to turn music on in the morning to start the day; the air is full of bird song starting with robins rising sometime before 5 a.m., followed by wrens, orioles, brown thrashers and everyone else. Rain or shine, automatic timer and no electricity required!
Found something a little odd at the kindly neighbors’ pasture as I was using the weedeater on the fence Sunday. Checked the bluebird house and found one bluebird nest on top of another. Guessing that the original nest was abandoned and another pair decided to build over it. Didn’t see or hear bluebirds but am told by the pasture owners that they have at least one nesting pair near their house.
The tabby cat and her offspring continue to grow and expand their size and territory. The mother cat, Tincture is very protective and lets the dogs know when they’re on her turf. There are no if’s and’s or but’s about it. When the dogs get too close she’s not afraid to unleash all 4 lbs. of fury right in their face, resulting in a hasty retreat by Fudgie or Ruby in particular. Kind of ironic since both dogs outweigh the cat by over 40 pounds!
Both dogs are in mid-season lawn mower herding form though and Ruby has routinely been finding something nasty to roll in out in the yard. If you’re a dog, it’s what you do. Outside it’s no big deal. However once inside, it becomes a big deal. Somehow with our busy schedules she’s escaped getting a bath to this point. When things slow down for a moment, she’ll get one. It’s fun to torment Ruby as payback and if you’re a human around the ranch, it’s what you do.
See you next week…real good then.