The scurs got some dandy weather out of the Weather Eye, to the point where folks had to put on jackets and cover up with their blankies at night. Will our taste of late August continue or will we be stuck on July a while? Starting Wednesday, partly sunny with a good chance of a thunderstorm by evening. Highs in the mid-80’s with lows in the upper 60’s. Thursday, partly sunny with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Sunny and cooler Friday with a slight chance of a daytime shower. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the low 60’s. Saturday, mostly sunny with highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the mid-60’s. Mostly sunny Sunday with a slight chance of evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. For Monday, mostly sunny with a slight chance for showers or thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Mostly sunny and sticky 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. The normal high for the July 10th is 83 and the normal low is 62. The scurs will be getting mentally prepared for another edition of Farm and City Days.
Crops continued to progress in rapid fashion last week. Some areas received some welcome rain after seeing corn rolling as a result of the heat earlier in the week. Many corn fields are showing the flag leaf, so we should see some tasseling this week. Soybeans also enjoyed the warm temperatures early week and the rain on Thursday as well. There are already some small pods beginning to form on some of the early planted soybean fields. Some early planted small grains are beginning to show some subtle signs of ripening. Pea yields have generally been very good although as one moves west where more rain fell, they tail off dramatically. Some of the third cutting hay is also getting closer as a result of the early first crop. Odds are good we’ll see some take four cuttings this summer.
Thursday’s rainfall at the ranch marked the first time this growing season we’ve recorded over an inch of precipitation. It came hard and with a lot of wind, leaning neighbor’s corn fields as well as our own Indian corn. Luckily it has largely recovered. So has the lawn. It looks like the time taken to sharpen the lawnmower blades was well spent. If the forecast is correct, we should see more rain this week putting many back in the mower seat again. In Bugtussle proper, rainfall was not so abundant, so residents may get a reprieve until after the weekend celebration.
Bird gawking at the ranch has been steady for most of the summer thus far. Apparently we must be a hotbed of activity for the orioles. There were four adult male orchard orioles vying for a spot at the jelly feeder on Thursday and lots of young as well. Likewise for the Baltimore orioles. Several brightly colored males suddenly appear out of nowhere and after gobbling several beakfuls of grape jelly, they vanish almost as quickly. Lots of hummingbirds right now and they keep the nectar feeder hopping. Several times they’ve almost drained it, which is somewhat unusual for us. There has been one male rose-breasted grosbeak and an occasional cardinal to round out our list of notable guests.
The long holiday weekend went way too fast, the same as it always does. There were several get-togethers to attend so we worked hard during the day and played at night. Mrs. Cheviot was gone so she’ll just have to take my word about the day part. We got lots of weeding done in the gardens, which should’ve been perfect timing. Uprooting weeds and allowing them to desiccate a few days ahead of a rain usually help ensure that they die. It was definitely time to get through the main garden with the tiller. The weeds weren’t huge which was good but they were numerous. Couple that with needing to weed by hand around everything, planting one last row of string beans and putting 26 tomato cages on and that pretty well burned up the 4th. Had thought perhaps that I’d be able to spend some quality time on the lawnmower. Guess again.
As mentioned I played at night. There were some spectacular fireworks displays at our neighbors on the 2nd and of course the annual fireworks at Beaver Lake on the 3rd. Like many Border Collies, Ruby does not deal well with loud noises and especially fireworks. She likes to go to her “safe-place” namely behind the love seat when fireworks or thunderstorms appear. After the second consecutive night of manmade booming and blasting in the neighborhood, she was taking no chances. When I finally got home from some friends’ celebration and into bed, she wedged herself right up tight against my back. I drifted off quickly after a long day, only to be awakened by someone snoring. Ruby of course. Haven’t seen any of those anti-snoring devices for dogs advertised on TV yet, but I bet they’re in the works.
The fireflies have been out in full force since the second week in June at the ranch. It’s almost surreal at times to look out the window after dark and see just how numerous they are. Not all that long ago, some were lamenting there were fewer fireflies. These folks must be related to the monarch butterfly alarmists. For starters, like most insects their populations are cyclical. Fireflies are no exception. They like moist conditions, so when conditions are less moist especially for a number of years, not so surprisingly, their numbers will likely be negatively affected. Also not so surprisingly, the people making the most noise about fewer fireflies often happen to be from areas where life is urbanized. Light pollution, mosquito spraying, along with draining and developing firefly and other insect habitat for another big box store or subdivision are a way of life. Come out, watch what unfolds every night in our backyard and tell me with a straight face we have fewer fireflies. On second thought, just stay where you are. We’re enjoying our monarch and firefly “shortage” just fine thank you very much.
See you next week…real good then.