Apparently the scurs unhooking the Weather Eye from the windshield washer did the trick! We saw the sun, temperatures were more seasonal and the only rain fell late afternoon on Labor Day. Will the changes continue to be beneficial or will Jack Frost pay an early visit? Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with highs in the mid-60’s and lows in the mid-40’s. Thursday, mostly sunny with highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the upper 40’s. Sunny on Friday with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the low 50’s. Saturday, sunny with highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. Sunny on Sunday with highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. Monday, sunny with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the mid-50’s. Sunny Tuesday with increasing chances of developing thundershowers towards evening. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the upper 50’s. On September 12th the sun will set before 7:30 p.m. The normal high for September 12th is 74 and the normal low is 52. With another Labor Day in the books, the scurs will be awaiting the Halloween candy supply.
The Full Moon for the month will occur on the 6th and goes by The Full Corn Moon. It is during this moon that corn is ripening and harvest begins. Well sometimes anyway. The Full Harvest Moon will occur next month as it is the Full Moon nearest the autumnal equinox. The Ojibwe knew this as the Full Rice Moon for this is the time they began harvesting one of MN’s delicacies, wild rice. The Sioux were also into eats at this time, calling this the Moon when Plums are Scarlet. At the ranch, it is the Apple Pie Moon. While there are fewer pie apples than last year there still will be plenty for our purposes as well as ground falls for the sheep.
Crops made some visible progress, with some of the corn beginning to show some pale color as it starts getting closer to maturity. Some of the 95 – 100 day hybrids are showing half-milk line which will help minimize the danger from frost. Soybeans also began to show signs of turning about the time I wrote last week and it didn’t appear much had changed while I was out on Crop Tour. Soybeans for the most part have reached R6 and the disease situations didn’t seem to change much this past week with the drier conditions. Thank goodness as the white mold had really ramped it up the last two weeks in August. Soybean aphids to a large degree wound up being a non-factor in most area fields for the second year in a row. I heard very few complaining about that. Several took advantage of the opportunity to make their last cutting of hay before the end of August due to a favorable forecast.
At the ranch we were no exception. We cut hay on August 30th and it took until September 3rd for it to dry. Everything seems to work against getting hay dry this time of year. Days are shorter, temps are cooler and the dew stays on longer. The hay was cut on top of wet ground, a couple hundredths of rain Friday night, a cloud deck that didn’t clear Saturday until about 2 p.m. and smoke from Canadian forest fires probably cost us a drying day. When Sunday arrived there were still tough spots within the windrows and much as I didn’t want to rake it a second time, it was about the only way to help it dry. The wind blew and the temperatures reached the low 80’s so one might’ve guessed the hay would’ve been like match sticks. Wrong. It still took most of the afternoon before it was truly fit. Patience was rewarded however and stacking the last of the small square bales away, we had accumulated well over 400 small square bales for winter and beyond. It turned out to be some of the nicest we’ve baled in many moons. Cheviot creep pen candy.
The orioles were still at the feeders on Labor Day, with one full colored male and what is either a juvenile or a female gobbling down grape jelly. They could be heard yet scolding when anyone got close to their stash. Hummingbirds are continuing to feed on all the flowering plants around the yard. Between several kinds of salvia, cannas and four o’clocks they truly have it made. They use the nectar feeder some although it seems they are much more inclined to feed on the smorgasbord of flowering plants. Goldfinches may be starting to slow their feeding frenzy as some of the composite family plants are nearing maturity. In the pond area, the sandhill cranes have returned. I was distraught the Sunday before Crop Tour when I heard them calling one morning to the south. I heard two gunshots from that same direction and I didn’t hear the cranes again. I hope no one shot them not only because I like hearing them but because there is no open season in this part of MN. It made me happy to hear their call drift in the window Saturday morning after their absence.
Things are getting back to normal for Ruby again. Mrs. Cheviot returned from the State Fair and Ruby came unwound, about like she did when I came home from Crop Tour. And as she did upon my return she didn’t want to let Mrs. Cheviot out of her sight for the first day or so. Ruby’s nocturnal habits have also returned to their former state with more time being spent sleeping on the bed. As a result I also predict the return of cleaning lots of dog hair out of the filter on the clothes dryer.
It had been three weeks since the Stude had been out of the garage so decided Monday was a good time to change that. After finishing stacking hay, I asked Mrs. Cheviot if she wanted to go along but the jet lag from State Fair had her glued to the couch. So I decided to fly solo. I hadn’t made a loop to the east and south for a while so after checking the car over out the door I went. Besides, I needed to make sure it was ready for International Drive Your Studebaker Day on September 9th. I made a swing through Ellendale over to Blooming Prairie, then down 218 and across to Hollandale on 251 to check on what the Dutchmen were up to. Potato vines were sprayed but not dug yet, onions were on top of the beds and carrots were still green. I discovered on this little jaunt that Studebaker’s technology from the 50’s was truly ahead of its time. How you ask? When the Silver Hawk got to the Dairy Queen in Blooming it automatically made a left turn.
See you next week…real good then.