Another little dribble of rain on the 18th kept the scurs in good graces with most. Will their Weather Eye deliver yet more good harvest weather or is the onset of winter just down the road? Starting Wednesday, mostly cloudy with a good chance of daytime showers. Highs in the upper 40’s with lows in the upper 30’s. Thursday, partly sunny with highs in the mid-50’s and lows in the mid-40’s. Partly sunny Friday with highs in the mid-60’s and lows in the low 40’s. Saturday, partly sunny with highs in the low 50’s and lows in the mid-30’s. Mostly sunny on Sunday with highs in the mid-50’s and lows in the low 40’s. Monday, mostly sunny with highs in the upper 50’s and lows in the low 40’s. Mostly sunny for Tuesday with a chance of showers. Highs in the upper 50’s with lows in the upper 30’s. The normal high for October 31st is 51 and the normal low is 32. The scurs are looking their downright scariest as we begin the start of the treat eating season.
The weather dished out a treat this past week and allowed steady harvest progress to continue. More reports of corn being put directly in the bin without additional drying being necessary and tillage beginning to go more with the generally dry week. Yields continue to amaze and on-farm storage is showing signs of getting full as lines are suddenly appearing at local elevators. As expected, there have also been some reports of ear molds causing some dockage as the crop comes to town. Many fields exhibited ears that remained erect allowing September’s heavy rains to keep ears damp and prone to more damage. The heavier rain forecast for Tuesday night prompted those with patches of soybeans remaining to put the bean head back on to salvage what they could. The air was a cloud of dust and mold that in some cases it almost made it appear the combines were on fire. Many of the harvested beans were severely damaged by the standing water. It remains uncertain in some cases which elevators will even take them.
At the ranch it was time over the weekend to start getting the yard ready for winter. Mrs. Cheviot dumped the pots and planters while I mowed the ditch for what will hopefully be the last time. Fudgie and Ruby were happy to follow the mower back and forth. They also got to herd the mower behind the house as the crackly leaves in the backyard were pulverized to confetti. Odds are they’ll get one more crack at the mower as the leaves weren’t totally down yet. The cannas were cut off as their season officially was over. The bean hook used to cut corn and weeds out of soybeans worked wonderfully, making short work of that operation. At least no attempts were made to cut my finger off.
Cat trapping or more appropriately kitten trapping was also on the slate. Seems Tincture, the mother cat that adopted us had another late batch of kittens about a month ago. They were wild although she brought them down to the barn initially last week. For some reason she moved them back under some rubble by the granary where they were spotted several days later. A small live trap comes in handy for such occasions and by late afternoon on Sunday we’d caught all four of them. There were two orange kittens along with a white and a gray one. One orange kitten and the gray one were just plain nasty, requiring some taming down before someone would want them for anything other than target practice.
Columnist extraordinaire Bob Hanson checked in with me last week to see if our Silver Hawk might’ve belonged to his wife’s relatives in IA at one time. Alas it likely did not. According to the build sheet, this one was originally delivered to Neosho MO which is south of Joplin. Also, ours is a ’59. Bob thought the Hawk in question was perhaps a ’60 or ’61, which would’ve made it a “Hawk” and not a Silver Hawk. Studebaker dropped the “Silver” portion of the name for ’60 and ‘61 before remodeling the line into the Gran Turismo Hawk in ‘62. The body style remained essentially the same with subtle trim differences and a larger V8 engine than the ’59 model. One thing I discovered our Silver Hawk did not have listed on the build sheet is an automatic DQ locater feature. It still worked to perfection Sunday as we found our way to Blooming Prairie, home of the Awesome Blossoms. Also home of Peanut Buster Parfaits and Heath Bar Blizzards.
Speaking of silver, this Halloween marks the 25th anniversary of the infamous ‘91 Halloween Blizzard. Snowfall amounts of up to 2’ were reported in the area and power outages were common as the storm took many of us by surprise. It was a simpler time in those days. No cell phones or internet. I remember getting home and backing the Chevy Luv into the old garage as the rain was falling along with the temperature. The then little Wenzel boys called on us that evening for Halloween before the rain changed over to snow. Not long afterwards the power went off and stayed off for three days. Luckily we had a gas stove as we melted snow so the sheep had water. The Coleman lantern provided light for us to read by and we had a small 9 volt transistor AM radio tuned into WCCO. The radio was unique. It was round and covered with a Hoelon logo making it look like a miniature can of the wild oat/foxtail herbicide. Never saw another one like it. Don’t think it works anymore but keep it in the junk drawer as a memento.
Most fondly though, I remember Murphy the tri-colored Sheltie puppy we’d acquired earlier in October that year. At 10 weeks, she was a furry little bundle of energy. When the power went off playing with her gave us something to do other than read or stare at each other while the temp inside hovered in the upper 40’s. Murphy loved attacking this ladybug hand puppet we had, inflicting painful little bites with her needle sharp teeth. The growling, snarling and pouncing went on for about an hour and then suddenly, as if her batteries had run out, Murphy would nap for an hour. We’d nap too of course. Once she was fully recharged, the process repeated itself. This happened many times over the course of the next several days. It kept us sane until the electricity and our normal lives could be restored.
See you next week…real good then.