The cool weather forecast by the scurs came to fruition. The Weather Eye’s performance made them wonder if they should cover their tomatoes. Will the heater finally kick in on the Weather Eye or are we in for more early October highs? Starting Wednesday, mostly cloudy with a good chance of forenoon showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the low 60’s. Thursday, mostly sunny becoming cloudy with a moderate chance of evening thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the low 60’s. Mostly cloudy on Friday with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Saturday, partly sunny and with a moderate chance of a shower or thunderstorm, Highs in the low 70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Mostly sunny on Sunday with a moderate chance of an evening shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Monday, partly sunny with a modest chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the low 60’s. Mostly sunny and warmer on Tuesday with increasing chances of developing thundershowers. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the upper 60’s. The normal high on the 4th of July is 83 and the normal low is 62. The scurs hope to outsmart the fireworks police by shooting their stash off a day early. They’re also hoping the literacy rate is not high amongst their ranks.
Crop progress slowed with the cooler weather somewhat. Corn and soybeans still grew, just not at a breakneck pace. Some of the taller corn is 4’ in height and soybeans are beginning to show some flowering here and there. Some iron deficiency chlorosis has appeared, causing great consternation. Actually it was present last week, but with all the potentially negative things last week, decided not to overload people. It is generally associated with wet soils and high calcium carbonate content in soils that interfere with the uptake of iron. There can also be a nitrate nitrogen component that exacerbates the problem. At this point not much can be done to change the crop status. Typically when we get warm growing conditions and continued regular rainfall (such as we did last year), the soybeans grow out of it quickly. Then people find something else to worry about when the next crisis, manufactured or otherwise, arises. Chemical weed control applications have been made for the most part in soybeans and the results look promising. The new dicamba tolerant soybeans have provided an additional tool for controlling giant ragweed in particular. Small grains have enjoyed this cooler weather pattern that has meshed well with the flowering and early grain fill. Second-cutting hay will be ready soon if some haven’t already cut it by the time this makes print. Rainfall-wise we have continued to be fortunate with amounts being generous while avoiding those costly multiple-inch blasts.
Like the crops, the garden at the ranch seems to be stuck in low gear. The heat loving vine crops have struggled to produce true leaves while the weeds, particularly lambsquarter, have been thriving. That will lead to a showdown when conditions are dry enough. Surprisingly the tomatoes have probably fared the best thus far. While they’re not huge, they’re healthy and very sturdy looking plants. They were planted extra deep as they were starting to get somewhat gangly prior to that. The last of the tomatoes were planted along with snapdragons and additional salvia, something likely to make the hummingbirds happy as the season progresses.
In the meantime, the hummingbirds continue their heavy feeding at the nectar feeder. They go through about a pint of sugar water a week. Contrast that to the orioles and catbirds going through a quart of jelly per week. I had to laugh at Mitch, the local grocer, when I thanked him for carrying their favorite food in the form of bargain brand jelly. He looked at me rather quizzically and asked, “Orioles eat grape jelly?” Yup, I said, and lots of it. I’m fairly certain he doesn’t care what people do with the jelly once it leaves the store, just so long as they pay for it.
Unlike the garden the lawn continues to roar along as the frequent rains have been much to its liking. A freshly sharpened set of blades on both mowers has made a difference as the grass has become tough. Rather than the mower just chewing it off, it’s good to see a nice, smooth shave. Ruby doesn’t seem to notice. She just follows the mower back and forth, getting out of the way quickly when I hit reverse for corners. Once in, inside her green feet serve as evidence she’s been a busy Border Collie.
The two remaining kittens apparently have been weaned for good. Tincture the mother cat harasses them when they try to come to the food dish. That means I’m suddenly their best buddy. Even the black kitten that was semi-wild is convinced I’m not such a bad guy after all, especially at feeding time. I got the orange kitten to purr a few weeks ago and Monday night the black one did too. Nice to know they have good motors. Knowing this, I’m sure Auntie Mar Mar will be taking them home with her on her next visit.
The Ellendale Days car show is history once again. Young master Morgan wowed everyone with his 1970 Charger R/T. Beautiful car and was very deserving of all the accolades. Sunday it was off to the Back to the ‘50s car show in St. Paul at the State Fairgrounds. Like the State Fair itself, it’s virtually impossible to see everything in the three-day run. The variety of old cars and trucks is unmatched and the show is reputedly the largest automobile show in the U.S. The Silver Hawk was a hit. I saw no other Hawks of that vintage. Between that and Vista’s noted Swedish astronomer’s ’57 T-Bird, it seemed like there were constantly people photographing them. As part of the witness protection program we stayed out of camera range.
I picked up the new set of radial tires at the show I’d ordered for the Stude. They should be installed this week. The tires that were on it when I purchased it were aging and the one front tire had worn funny before rebalancing and having the front end realigned. Looking forward to seeing how it behaves when encountering some of the rough stretches of road around here. Lord knows there are plenty of them. Regardless, I will still be avoiding the St. Olaf Lake road with it. No sane person drives on that road on purpose anymore. So rough its infamy provided the inspiration for an AC/DC song!
See you next week…real good then.