The dynamic duo of the scurs and the Weather Eye teamed up once again to bring us another outstanding week of above normal temperatures with no precipitation. Is this the week we get a taste of what Old Man Winter has in store or will it continue to amaze? Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with highs in the upper 50’s and lows in the mid-40’s. Thursday, partly sunny with highs in the upper 50’s and lows in the mid-40’s. Mostly cloudy Friday with a good chance of rain changing to snow in the overnight. Highs in the low 50’s and lows in the upper 20’s. Saturday, partly sunny with highs in the mid-30’s and lows in the low 20’s. Mostly sunny on Sunday with highs in the upper 30’s and lows in the low 20’s. Monday, mostly sunny with highs in the low 40’s and lows in the mid-20’s. Mostly cloudy for Tuesday with highs in the low 40’s and lows in the upper 20’s. The normal high for November 19th is 39 and the normal low is 22. Sneak preview forecast for Thanksgiving: Mostly cloudy with highs in the mid-40’s and lows in the low 20’s. The scurs will be putting away the patio furniture and lawn chairs. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
And last it did. As of Tuesday the 15th we will have gone 16 days without measurable precipitation, the longest such stretch we’ve had all year. The next longest span this year was 10 days without measurable precip in April. The last time we had a streak longer than this last one was from September 25th, 2015 to October 22nd, 2015. We can honestly say we deserved this latest one I think. As Mark Seeley used to be fond of saying, this is a good time of the year for a drought. We’re not using much soil moisture and at this juncture our soil profile is relatively full, with just slightly over 10” of available moisture in the top 5’ of soil at the SROC. The lack of precipitation has allowed fall tillage to be completed in good shape and still in a timely fashion. Many have been applying anhydrous ammonia. Given the possibility of a freeze-up in the not too distant future, it should help keep conversion from ammonium to nitrate at a minimum.
Around the yard and buildings it too has been a godsend to have the weather cooperating. At the ranch, it allowed time for the leaves to get mowed and mulched into bite-sized pieces for the night crawlers and made it possible to move the tiger lily patch. That one was a bit of an issue as I had no idea how deep in the soil they were. With lots of dog help and supervision, I soon discovered they were down at least 6” as the blurb on the internet said they’d be. That might explain why running over their space with the tractor and skidloader many times over the winter didn’t seem to faze them. Hopefully they’ll like their new home around the LP tank.
The sheep at the kindly neighbors’ pasture are getting closer to coming home. This weekend should allow barn cleaning to commence following oil and filter changes on the tractor and skidloader. The weather will be just about crummy enough to make it worthwhile by then, with no excuses of it being too nice with other projects getting in the way. That way it should freeze up and be less offensive and for a shorter duration of time. It’s smelled bad enough around these parts the way it is.
The train derailment in Ellendale caught many of us by surprise. I didn’t know about it until I got to the Mall for Men Friday morning. Apparently it made the dust explosion at the elevator look like small potatoes as the town was evacuated and it made national news. I received several texts, emails and phone calls over the course of the day concerning the mishap and asking if I was okay. Fortunately no one was injured and people were allowed back to their houses by afternoon. And as in the case of the elevator mishap, the emergency people were right on top of things.
Sunday after another ignominious Vikings defeat and one too many putz projects, I decided it was time to take a quick yet incognito cruise in the Stude before dark. The air most of the way to Owatonna was fouled by the aforementioned smell of manure being spread. When I got out of the car in Owatonna to put in some gas, I was greeted by the odor of the dog food plant. Just couldn’t win. As I was filling it a gentleman about my age appeared out of nowhere and asked if it was a Studebaker and I answered “Well, yes it is.” He shook my hand and proceeded to circle it while visiting for most of the time the tank was filling. Then as suddenly as he’d appeared he was gone. Strange.
Setting the Silver Hawk’s DQ homing device it took me towards Bridge St. Within minutes I was ordering a medium butterscotch dipped cone. I’d forgotten my phone in the car so went to retrieve it while the young lady was preparing the delicacy. When I got back inside she handed me the cone and apologized as the machine had stuck, making the cone more on the large order than the medium. That was OK I said, (why wouldn’t I?) making sure I got plenty of napkins before sitting down at a table to eat it. No way would I attempt that in the car given my track record for spilling stuff.
About halfway through the cone I spotted a man with a young lad who’d pulled up beside the Stude. They came in and rather than ordering they walked right up to me. Odd. Seeing the mess I was making with the oversized cone, I thought they might be the ice cream police. The gentleman spoke very politely, asking me if that was my car and whether it would be oaky to take a picture of his son by it. “Sure, that’s fine. Go right ahead,” I said as the ice cream drizzled down my fingers.
I watched them from the window as the boy excitedly ran his hand along the top of the tail fin. His dad scolded him. Now maybe some classic car owners would’ve been upset with a little kid touching their car. Not me. The car needed to be cleaned up and waxed yet before putting it away for the season anyway. A lot of wax already on it so no harm done. And besides, if the younger generation shows some interest in something other than video games and playing on their cell phones, I’m all for it. Someday I might be looking for someone from that generation to purchase the auto once I can no longer drive.
See you next week…real good then.