After some scattered and scant precip, the scurs got more heat from the Weather Eye. Will they keep their foot on the gas or will they back it down some? Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with a modest chance of a shower or thunderstorm by evening. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the low 60’s. Thursday, partly sunny with a good chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the mid-50’s. Sunny and cooler Friday with highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. Saturday, partly sunny with highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Mostly sunny Sunday with a slight chance of evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the low 60’s. For Independence Day, mostly sunny with a slight chance for showers or thunderstorms. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the low 60’s. Partly cloudy skies becoming cloudy for Tuesday with a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm by evening. Highs in the mid-80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. We’ll see the sun set officially before 9 p.m. at 8:59 on the 3rd. The normal high for the 4th of July is 83 and the normal low is 62. The scurs will be doing their best to evade the Fireworks Police once again. Happy birthday, USA!
No evading the heat last weekend as we got a little taste of July over the weekend. Corn continued to shoot upward with much of it being 4’ to 5’ tall. No worries about it being knee-high by the 4th. It’s a little uneven as a result of the frost, but not as dramatically perhaps as some might’ve guessed. The height differences have become more subtle and less pronounced. We’ll likely start to see some tassels next week, although cooler temperatures could slow that some. Some corn has been rolling in the heat of the day, especially with the breezy conditions. Cooler temperatures have prevailed and since rainfall has been slower coming as of late, that’s a positive. We were 13% ahead of normal as of last Wednesday on GDU’s according to calculations at the SROC in Waseca. Soybeans are generally in full bloom (R2 stage). Soybean aphids have been found locally so while it will likely be a while before treatable levels develop, they’re back for another year. Caravans of pea bines are being seen going from field to field and there should be plenty of time to stab in some double crop soybeans after they’re harvested.
Lawn mowing has slowed in area lawns and no one is complaining, especially me. Ruby and Fudgie may have seen the last of their grass-stained white socks for a while. This should also give me a chance to catch up on the trimming, something that’s been neglected for a few cycles of mowing. It also should allow the ditch to be completely mowed for the first time all spring. The ditch has been silted in enough so that the water backs up in the culvert and until evapotranspiration catches up, it’s like mowing around a mud bog.
The warm-season plants in the garden are finally starting to take off and become competitive enough with the weeds so that with one more pass through with the tiller, I should be able to “lay it by” as the old saying used to go once the last cultivation on the corn was done. Indian corn looks good, the muskmelons are thriving on the heat and the tomatoes are doing especially well. A lot of fruit set and the plants are staying relatively compact. Good thing since the cages still need to go on. One more item to add to the “to-do” list.
Did get after the burgeoning thistle population last week and not a moment too soon. Some of the Canada thistles were starting to flower. While they smell good and they’re a hit with the red admiral butterflies, it drives me crazy to see that. The rear mounted mower was attached and off we went. Felt terrible when I accidentally knocked over one bluebird house that contained some baby tree swallows. Fortunately, the house was intact but had been torn off the now bent post. The babies were still moving around inside so, while shaken up, they were very much alive. I quickly scrounged up a piece of 2” x 6” and some deck screws and within a few minutes, the house was back on the post. The parents came back too once they were sure I wasn’t going to mess it up again. I was thankful for that.
Another car show on Saturday for Ellendale Days is in the books. It was a hot one, but we persevered, sans our fearless leader Jerry. Wasn’t quite the same, but we slogged through it and managed to have some fun. I was behind schedule and couldn’t find the smaller cooler I was looking for so had to bring a bigger one. That just meant putting more refreshments in it. And to make matters worse, The People’s Republic of Steele Co. had decided to put fresh oil and pea rock on my usual route into Ellendale. Once I discovered that, a quick U-turn was in order to double back around by Beaver Lake. Oh well, I was already late and it meant I got to spend more quality time driving the Studebaker!
Sunday I kicked back a little after doing chores, filling some bird feeders and watering all the pots, planters, etc. I decided to go after the thistles in the nooks and crannies I couldn’t get at earlier with some “deadly agro-toxins” as Betsy’s dad calls them. Milestone (aminopyralid) has become a favorite as it is lethal on Canada thistles and starts to bring a Christmas tree-sized bullthistle to its knees within a few hours. As I’ve noted in the past, spraying these weeds also seems to pique the interest of the sheep as they delight in eating the flower buds off of them. As is the case with several products in the carboxylic acid family, a good portion of the aminopyralid remains in the plant in addition to having good soil activity. It also runs right through the animals when they consume it and is not metabolized. In other words it’s like the proverbial match that burns twice. Several times over the years I’ve noticed circular patches of dead broadleaf weeds where I didn’t spray, apparently where one of the ovines had urinated. Not bad. Not only will they eat the weeds, they’ll spray them too.
See you next week…real good then.