The scurs kept the heat on in the forecast thanks to the Weather Eye. More summer on the way or another glimpse of fall in store? Starting Wednesday, partly sunny with tiny chance of forenoon showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Thursday, partly sunny becoming cloudy with highs in the low 80’s and lows in the low 60’s. Sunny on Friday with highs in the mid-80’s and lows in the mid-60’s. Saturday, mostly sunny with a slight chance of forenoon thundershowers. Highs in the mid-80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Mostly sunny on Sunday with a modest chance of evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Monday, sunny with a slight chance of a forenoon thundershower. Highs in the mid-80’s with lows in the mid-70’s. Mostly cloudy and warmer on Tuesday with increasing chances of developing thundershowers. Highs in the upper 80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. The normal high on the July 15th is 83 and the normal low is 62. The scurs are still scraping the roadkill Tootsie Rolls off their shoes following last weekend’s community celebration.
Crops put on a growth spurt this past week with the warm temperatures although some were somewhat bemused by the wind leaning and flattening parts of some area cornfields. Root systems on this corn reflect the spoon-feeding moisture pattern we’ve been in. While most of the corn will right itself, there is likely to be some goose-necking. Some tassels are already being noted in “high heat unit” areas around sheltered areas. Soybeans have reached full bloom and some could argue for even some R3 plants within some of the early planted, early maturing soybeans. Some oats are beginning to turn and the recent wind also flattened that. Odds are it won’t come back up. Some were beginning to call for rain and they got what they asked for. Rainfall locally on Sunday night ranged from 1.34” in Bugtussle proper to 2.18 at the ranch with reports of over 3” in suburban Matawan. This should make for some pretty later second and early third cutting hay.
After putting out some brush fires at work Monday morning, we loaded up some lambs that were headed for the show circuit. Oddly enough they loaded more easily than we might’ve guessed, especially since most were airborne a month ago when we picked them out. It also gave us an opportunity to move the remaining yearling ewes to pasture. They did just as yearling ewes normally do: Hung by the fence for a week waiting for a feed bucket to come their way. It didn’t as there is pasture to burn. Time for them to stand on their own four hooves and eat grass like the rest of the brood ewes.
With rain in the forecast for Tuesday, Monday was a good day to get some late planted garden in as well. The garden was tilled shortly after the sheep were loaded up and by early afternoon, it was fit to plant. I’d left room for some shorter maturity sweet corn, some string beans and was able to stab a few cukes into some of the hills that hadn’t come up very well. It went quickly, toss in some lawn mowing and before I knew it, it was time to head to Beaver Lake and watch the fireworks there, courtesy of friends with a fantastic new pontoon. Sure a far cry from the 30 gallon drum welded in someone’s shop jobs I remember seeing as a kid. Sweet ride.
The kittens have names! Since their Dad’s name was Bugs, it was only fitting that he black one would be called Daffy (he is) and the lighter orange one makes a good Elmer. Like the crops, they’ve really hit a growth spurt. Unlike their father or mother though, these are long, lanky cats. And as typical tomcats, really kinda lazy as well. They like to eat, sleep and be petted, in that order. If you’re a tomcat, it’s what you do.
As the short week rolled on, it was apparent the work missed on the first two days would still be there next week. The car show at Farm and City Days provided a nice diversion and some relaxation. In addition I got to see two of the most deserving people named co-Grand Marshalls for the parade. Both have given a lot to our community without asking for much in return. In my best Tom Bruzek voice, “Thank YOU!”
I had a little health related scare this past week. I woke up Wednesday at 5 a.m. to see something crawling on my hand. At first I thought it was a tarantula and hurriedly flicked it off onto the floor. My next move was to subdue it with a sandal and at that point, deemed it to be a small bat. Did it have rabies? I could feel or see no sign I’d been bitten so wasn’t too concerned. To be on the safe side however I kept the bat and checked in with the clinic to see what the proper protocol was.
When they got back to me I was shocked. Since a bat’s teeth are so small and sharp, one may not feel or see any evidence that you’ve been bitten. I needed to get the bat to the U of M soon to prepare it for testing by the MN Dept. of Health. I could ship it UPS in a styrofoam container with ice, somehow making sure the bat didn’t get frozen or I could take it up there myself. If I did neither, the best course of action would be to undergo the rabies shots. Rabies is almost always fatal. None of the options were very appealing but I had to pick one.
On top of the usual workday fun and games, a spreader appeared in my yard full of fertilizer for the pasture and hayfields. Rain was in the forecast. The spreading would’ve taken a few hours so backed it in the shed. Once accomplished, the bat in the cooler and I blasted off for the St. Paul campus. I knew roughly where the lab was so it wasn’t hard to find. The lady was reassuring and stated it would be Friday afternoon before they’d have results back. No news was good news she said. If the animal tested positive, the Health Dept. would call me directly. Friday afternoon rolled around and I hadn’t heard anything yet so I called the number at the U. “Yes, we have the results. The bat tested negative” she said. “Great!” I replied. “Now I can get back to biting people!”
In retrospect I could’ve blown it off rather than burning four hours to get it checked out and everything would’ve been OK, this time. Still, it was comforting not to wind up like the man in the book “Old Yeller” who chained himself to a tree so he didn’t transmit “hydrophobia” to his family. Don’t wanna be that guy. The peace of mind was definitely worth it.
See you next week…real good then.