Some weekend rainfall dampened spirits, adding to already wet field conditions. Will our weather rebound or will we be waiting until next week? Starting Wednesday, mostly cloudy with highs in the low 60’s and lows in the low 40’s. Thursday, sunny with highs in the low 60’s and lows in the low 40’s. Sunny Friday with highs in the mid-60’s and lows in the low 40’s. Saturday, sunny with highs in the low 60’s and lows in the low 40’s. Mostly sunny on Sunday with a slight chance of an evening shower. Highs in the upper 50’s with lows in the low 40’s. Monday, partly sunny with a slight chance of showers. Highs in the upper 50’s and lows in the low 40’s. Partly sunny for Tuesday with a chance of showers. Highs in the low 50’s with lows in the mid-30’s. The normal high for November 6th is 48 and the normal low is 29. The sun will set at 6 p.m. CDT on the 4th. We will slip below 10 hours of daylight on the 7th and the sun will rise at 7 a.m. CST on the 8th. The scurs will be enjoying their extra hour while consuming Halloween treats on Sunday. They need to keep their strength up so they can hold their nose and pull the lever for the presidential election.
Harvest and fall tillage came to a screeching halt after the rain on the 26th. Most have seen corn yields far above expectations. Very likely 2016 will go down in history as a high water mark for many. Weather conditions, while providing more-than-abundant rainfall, overall allowed for some excellent crop development in the months of June and July. Metered rainfall was key to our success. Those who are hung up on total rainfall probably should review rainfall distribution by rainfall event before rushing to judgement about matters such as additional nitrogen. Temperatures should be cool enough for fall anhydrous ammonia although soil moisture conditions have generally delayed application. If it smokes and you can detect strong ammonia odor, enough is likely being lost to cease application until conditions improve.
Late last week and early this week I spent more time travelling to and in Canada. Starting to get familiar with the roads between here and the border. Even the dog at the Duty Free shop is starting to recognize me. The leaves were all down except for a few of the tamaracks on the American side. Something that sent a shiver up my spine on my way north though was the sudden appearance of snowbirds south of Akeley. The closer to the border, the more common they became of course. Once at camp there was the odd chickadee and a gray jay that stopped by to check out the peanut shucks we’d left out for animals looking for some salt. I was hoping that I’d hear a barred owl again and I was not disappointed. The first night “who cooks for you?” was heard against the silent backdrop of the forest.
Billy and I picked up where we left off cleaning up around the camp and finished getting the cabin winterized. Splitting and stacking the wood that he’d cut up on our previous visit was on the agenda. We also managed to figure out the wood burning stove which was persnickety about allowing smoke to go up the chimney, preferring instead to smoke up the cabin. A quick cleanout and reading the detailed instructions led to success although I’m still not sure exactly what we changed to make it work. The smell of a wood burning stove is still one of those odors that's unmistakably pleasant to the olfactory senses. And the warmth takes the chill off like no other.
It’s also been fun to get to know some of the people in the area. We had a spectacular meal and great conversations at a get together with friends on the lake. Canadians have always fascinated me, not only with the way they talk and the fact that they live so far north, but because they seem to be just as interested about how things operate south of the border as we are about their systems. Many of the same problems concerning taxation and services are not unique so we have no exclusive on it. There’s no doubt either that they’re probably more interested in our presidential election at this point than we are. Most of us in the States are just getting so tired of it that it’s time for it to be over. Frankly, I’m more interested in hearing about how the Canadians keep their drinking water flowing out of the lake in the dead of winter!
The trip home was about as usual. I thought I’d programmed the route in my phone to take me around the Twin Cities. However as I realized I was past St. Cloud, I had to look again to see what it was up to. Somehow it had reverted back to the proverbial “fastest route”. Now, to be fair, parts of the Twin Cities are nice and there are some nice people there. However, I would not want to live there again and I sure as heck don’t enjoy driving through there. Once that far into the route though it wasn’t easy to improvise and know where I’d wind up with any degree of certainty. I decided instead to gut it out one more time. The Google Map lady of course kept announcing this delay and that delay due to accidents, yet cheerily chirping that I was “still on the fastest route”. Let’s see, I’ve been sitting still for ten minutes and that’s somehow faster than taking a little longer route where traffic is actually moving? Got it.
Finally, traffic slowly began moving again and after a couple more delays for accidents as well as false alarms, I was able to run at the posted speed toward Owatonna. In the meantime it was fun to torment the GPS lady with invectives to hear her say “I’m not sure I can help you with that”. After putting the hammer down I decided next time I’m going to help myself. I’m going old school and buying a map.
See you next week…real good then.