The scurs and the Weather Eye received all kinds of fan mail last week after the beautiful fall harvest conditions came to fruition. Is this the week Old Man Winter fires a warning shot or will our T-shirt weather continue? Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with highs in the upper 50’s and lows in the low 40’s. Thursday, partly sunny with a good chance of rain and snow in the evening. Highs in the mid-50’s and lows in the low 30’s. Mostly cloudy on Friday with a modest chance of rain and snow in the daytime hours. Highs in the mid-30’s with lows in the mid-20’s. Saturday, partly sunny with highs in the upper 30’s and lows in the upper 20’s. Partly sunny on Sunday with a slight chance of rain and snow. Highs in the low 40’s and lows in the upper 20’s. Monday, partly sunny with highs in the mid-40’s and lows in the mid-20’s. Partly sunny Tuesday with highs in the low 40’s and lows in the mid-20’s. The normal high for October 31st is 51 and the normal low is 32. The scurs are advising that ghosts and goblins leave their Milky Way bars outside so they can freeze. Just call and let them know where you put them so they’re safe.
This past week’s weather was a godsend for those with soybeans still left to harvest. The prior week’s damp, cool weather while not conducive to soybean combining did allow the beans to ripen and even out. When conditions became fit this allowed combining to move along at a rapid pace. West of I-35 a large portion of the soybeans were harvested by the time rains fell Saturday morning. After the rain, several wasted no time and moved into corn picking quickly this past Sunday. As expected last week’s warm dry conditions also provided the additional bonus of taking corn moistures down substantially. Some early corn was as low as the upper teens in moisture with much of the later maturing corn in the lower 20% range. That may not make LP sales as high as anticipated although it appears our dry down in the field is likely on hold at least temporarily.
Locally the ten man dryer is up and running once again! Along with that area cars and trucks parked on the street will be coated with a layer of dust and bees wings. Still, it is a welcome sight as seeing the elevator sitting idle was doing no one any favors. Bugtussle wouldn’t be the same without the dryer’s billowing steam and familiar humming. The dryer at neighbor David’s is also up and running. It serves as a sleeping pill for me, second only to the sound of rain pattering on a roof. Both are white noise of the best kind.
The weekend rainfall allowed some of the condiment projects (catch up) to be accomplished. The flea saga continues so the entire house was vacuumed within an inch of its life. Then, as a precautionary but primarily as a revenge measure, the vacuum cleaner bag made its way into the fire where I’d been burning some brush and out of code wood. Take that you miserable little bastages! Sunday the vine crops were harvested as it was simply too nice to be inside. There are still plenty of salad-type tomatoes and snap peas to pick before it decides to end their season but those shouldn’t take long. A corn shock was also manufactured out of the sweet corn stalks. For some reason this particular variety maintained its stalk integrity well enough to actually made a pretty decent little shock. I still have to marvel at the toughness of those old-timers who shocked corn day in and day out. I mean, cutting all those stalks with a lopper, tying the bundles together with bale twine then positioning them around a steel post so the shock didn’t blow over must’ve taken a lot of time!
It has been interesting to see some of the flora and fauna as the seasons are changing while marveling that some is still around. For instance, a painted lady butterfly was still working over the salvia yet on Sunday the 22nd as was a monarch. It drifted lazily away and all I could think of was it better step on it if it plans on getting to Mexico ahead of the approaching cold weather. A toad was found still hopping around although it was moving more slowly than it might in July. It felt clammy when I picked it up so as not to run over it on one of the gourd picking runs. I noticed some toads had already dug into the compost pile when I turned it so deposited the toad in an area near the barn where I’ve seen them burrow down in past years. Some of the compost may get hauled this fall if there’s time. If not it’ll be there in the spring. The red oak and pin oak trees in the yard put on a sudden dazzling display of color on Sunday. With the sun shining on them their nearly fire engine red was in stark contrast to their plain yet not weak sister the dull brown bur oak tree.
I managed one more short trip in the Silver Hawk on Saturday once the weather lifted. I’d been in contact via a swap page with another Studebaker enthusiast who grew up in Blooming Prairie. He had an old radio that was out of a 1960 Lark so naturally I was interested. The blank that our Lark came with to cover the hole where the radio was supposed to go always annoyed me when I was in high school. I can remember with my brother’s help jury-rigging an old Pontiac radio to put in its place. Without a faceplate it looked a little goofy and worked only marginally at best. Someone removed it so when restoring the car, finding a proper Studebaker radio was on the list. This radio had “Studebaker” emblazoned on the dial and along with the faceplate appeared to be in nice shape. It really doesn’t matter if it works or not though as long as it fills the gaping hole in the dash as it should.
There was a train parked on the tracks in Ellendale so rerouted through metropolitan Bath and downtown Geneva. It was still gray, cool and ugly outside but the amount of bleed-by from the heat control valve made it about perfect inside the car. We met up at the Blooming Dairy Queen (where else?) and after conducting commerce had a great short visit. While admiring each other’s cars we spoke in a language only a Studebaker driver can appreciate. You oughta see our gang signs.
See you next week…real good then.