Again the scurs are glad their digging around under the dash cured the Weather Eye’s forecasting ills. Our streak of warmer temperatures and sparse precipitation continues along with dodging the frost some slated for the Full Moon. Does our luck continue another week or will there be long faces soon? Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the mid-50’s.Thursday, mostly sunny with highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the low 60’s. Mostly sunny on Friday with a moderate chance of showers and thunderstorms developing by evening. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the low 60’s. Saturday, partly sunny with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the mid-50’s. Mostly sunny and cooler on Sunday with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the mid-40’s. Monday, sunny with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70’s with lows in the mid-40’s. Partly sunny Tuesday with increasing chances of developing thundershowers towards evening. Highs in the low 70’s with lows in the mid-40’s. On September 16th we will have lost just over three hours of daylight since the summer solstice. The normal high for September 16th is 73 and the normal low is 50. The scurs are hoping the apple orchard opens soon as the signs of fall have them craving apple pie once again.
After a few cool days the crops have been making up for lost time. A few weekend days in the 80’s and lows staying within seasonal norms has farmers beginning to have hope again. Corn made progress with the milk line coming down towards half on many of the early planted hybrids. Soybeans are turning in earnest in most fields bringing the spread of white mold to a halt. If temperatures cool and become more erratic we are still not out of the danger of some loss from frost given the amount of later maturing corn that was planted this past spring. It will be no surprise if the drying bill for the corn turns out to be larger than most recent years.
Crickets have been making a nuisance of themselves inside the house at the ranch as temperatures have cooled. Some of them are rather vocal and more than once I’ve awoken to the sounds of their chirping. When it bothers me enough so I can’t sleep, I go on a seek and destroy mission. The one that really irked me was right under the bed and calling vociferously for a mate. I got my bat killing sandal out and after turning over a few shoes and socks, there was peace and quiet once again.
Painted lady butterflies have been numerous this fall in areas with flowering plants. Reputedly they are migrating south, not unlike the monarchs, although the painted lady butterflies overwinter in the Southern U.S., not Mexico. This was a tremendous summer for reproduction here in Minnesota with larger numbers of larvae found in soybean fields than in many years. Fortunately for them we did not need to treat many soybean fields for soybean aphids or their numbers probably would’ve been compromised somewhat. One more reason IPM pays.
Larger amounts of vegetable peelings and leftovers are going over the fence to the sheep this time of year. Sweet corn husks and cobs have rapidly become favorites along with the overripe string beans. Weeds from the flower beds and garden also find their way into their lot. It doesn’t take much for them to come running just to see if it’s something edible. It’s certainly not as though they’re hungry however. Most of the ewes are a couple axe handles wide after a summer of plentiful grass in the pasture.
It was International Drive Your Studebaker Day on Saturday and what better way to celebrate than taking a cruise with members of the local car club. All told we put on over 300 miles and better yet we all returned home without breaking down. We first motored to Buffalo where we took in the Veit Automotive Foundation Museum. It was fascinating and brought back memories of items I hadn’t seen since I was a kid growing up in the early 60’s. The restored gas pump collection was exceptional. There were even some of the lighted crown-type pumps I remember at Flynn’s Pleasant Grove store on display. The tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and when he mentioned Andy Granatelli and Raymond Loewy my ears pricked up.
Granatelli’s pedigree with supercharged Ford flatheads in racing was legendary and they had an example of one of those engines on display. His later involvement with Studebaker made him a household name. Remember STP? It was a product that Studebaker owned and when Studebaker hired him, Granatelli became its front man. Use of his company’s Paxton supercharger and Granatelli designed engine in the Avanti with subsequent records set on the Bonneville Salt Flats made it a real screamer. It’s still a very sought after automobile to this day. French-born American designer Raymond Loewy’s group was responsible for the body design of the Avanti along with many other earlier Studebaker models. His work also touched us with many iconic logos as well as the designs for Coca Cola machines, Greyhound buses and the International Harvester letter series tractors to name a few examples.
From the Veit museum we went to Ellingson Motorcars, a classic car dealership in Rogers. One of the salespeople caught sight of the Silver Hawk and complimented me on it. The next thing I knew they grabbed me and wanted me to look at a 1952 Studebaker Champion. Given the low miles and general condition it looked like it truly could’ve been owned by some little old lady who only drove it to church on Sundays. While highly collectible as that model year marked Studebaker’s 100th year in the transportation business, to me it was frankly sort of dumpy. It was sandwiched between the bullet-nose models in ’50 and ’51 and the sexy ‘53 Loewy coupes. Sure, that Champion was old, but if I want to see old and dumpy I can look in the mirror. Think I’d rather save my pop bottle and gopher feet money for an Avanti R2.
See you next week…real good then.