Last week’s showers, as predicted by the scurs and backed up by The Weather Eye, were followed by some gorgeous fall weather. Will we get one more dousing or will it straighten out and allow harvest to commence? Starting Wednesday, sunny with highs in the mid-60’s and lows in the low 50’s. Thursday, partly sunny with increasing clouds and a good chance of showers and thunderstorms by evening. Highs in the low 70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Cloudy Friday with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70’s with lows in the mid-50’s. Saturday, partly sunny with a slight chance of forenoon showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 60’s with lows in the low 50’s. Sunny on Sunday with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. Monday, sunny with highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Partly sunny becoming mostly cloudy for Tuesday with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the low 50’s. The normal high for September 16th is 73 and the normal low is 50. The scurs are thinking the worm will turn weather-wise with the upcoming Full Moon.
The Full Moon for September will occur on September 16th and is The Harvest Moon. The Harvest Moon is that Full Moon closest to the equinox which this year is the 22nd. The Harvest Moon can occur in October although two out of three years it is in September. This is the moon during which staples such as squash, pumpkins, squash and corn were harvested. The light of the bright moon also allowed the pioneers to harvest well into the night. The Ojibwe knew this as the Full Rice Moon as this was the time they harvested the wild rice in their canoes. The Sioux, also interested in food, knew it as The Moon When Plums are Scarlet. At the ranch we know it as The Apple Pie Moon especially if one has Schwan’s ice cream. The Haralson tree is loaded once again.
Crops continue to head to the finish line, although perhaps not as quickly as one might’ve guessed. While some of the 100-day and earlier maturity is mature, 105-day corn planted in mid-April had still not black-layered as of Monday with about one-quarter of the milk line still showing. Likewise soybeans that were turning last week continued to turn and harvest appears to be on a more normal schedule than anticipated. Some of the early planted, early maturing varieties appear to be the exception to the rule. Some of the reports are very promising. Leaf drop is nearly complete in those fields and some dry weather will be in order to allow harvest much before the last week in September.
At the ranch, the mosquitoes continue to hamper garden harvest. While they have been nearly impossible to deal with, a recent purchase of mosquito nets to cover one’s head should help finish the job. Slathering myself with insect repellent is getting old and breathing mosquitoes is not an option. The last of the tomatoes in the main garden remain and picking the squash, gourds and pumpkins will need to begin sooner than later with the vines dying as rapidly as they have. As mentioned above, apples are also on the slate. They are numerous and a breezy day for their procurement would be welcome.
Other insects in the news at the ranch include a nest of bumblebees in the back yard. I grew up fearing bumblebees and bees in general. I was stung by a nest of unknown bees in a stump when I was growing up. Of course I’d messed with them and got what I had coming. Dad had taken them out with some distillate as he called it, actually some heating oil leftover from a tank he’d removed at a house in Spring Valley he’d purchased in 1963 but I digress. After being stung, I was convinced he was the bravest man I’d ever seen.
Ruby and Fudgie both have had run-ins with the bumblebee nest, reminiscent of those many of us as farm youth had when baling straw. Many times when running over the wrong spot in a windrow, we’d suddenly jump off the rack and run as dozens of bumblebees swirled around us. Apparently the bumblebees built their nests in the ground, likely in striped gopher holes and we had the misfortune of disturbing them. The same thing happens when mowing the backyard. Fortunately knowing bees are less active towards evening, I can wait until near dark to mow there.
The orioles appear to have officially left now. After writing they were gone on the 6th I spied one last straggler on the 8th. Haven’t seen any since and the hummingbirds have even taken to trying to fish some of the remaining jelly out of the feeder. They’ve got it made until they decide to leave with all the blooming plants.
And finally it was International Drive Your Studebaker Day on Saturday. www.studebakerdriversclub.com/driveyourstude.asp
As luck would have it, it also fell on the day of a wedding that Mrs. Cheviot was decorating for and I was obligated to attend. By the time I got the day’s errands completed (go here, go there, get this, get that, and oh could you do this?) I was running out of time. The Silver Hawk was still a buggy mess from the weekend before and needed to be cleaned off before it was presentable. There was just enough time to make an abbreviated crop tour and drive to the church in style. I wasn’t 100% sure which church the wedding was at a few days prior. As I pulled into the church lot in Meriden, the lot was filling up. I noticed a restored two-ton Chevy flatbed destined to haul the wedding party to the reception. Yep, I was in the right place and what’s more, I was even on time.
See you next week …real good then.