Minnesota Outdoorsman - Minnesota Fishing and Hunting Reports
 

Recent



Author Topic: Fencelines  (Read 86939 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Dotch

  • Moderator
  • Master Outdoorsman
  • *
  • Posts: 2169
  • Karma: +29/-1
  • Liked: 169
  • Likes Given: 133
Re: Fencelines
« Reply #660 on: September 04, 2018, 02:12:48 PM »
No time to wallow in the mire...

After last week, the scurs are developing webbed feet. The Weather Eye has added a duck icon to its settings. Will the rinse cycle continue for another week or will we see rainfall begin to moderate? Starting Wednesday, mostly cloudy becoming sunny with a slight chance of forenoon showers. Highs in the low 70ís with lows in the low 50ís. Thursday mostly sunny with highs in the low 70ís and lows in the low 50ís. Partly sunny becoming mostly cloudy on Friday with a slight chance of evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70ís with lows in the mid-50ís. Saturday, partly sunny with a slight chance of a forenoon shower. Highs in the upper 60ís with lows in the mid-50ís. Mostly sunny for Sunday with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-70ís with lows in the upper 50ís. Monday, mostly cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-70ís with lows in the mid-50ís. Partly cloudy Tuesday with possible morning showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70ís with lows in the upper 50ís. On the 6th we drop back under 13 hours of daylight, about where we were at back on April 5th. September 12th the sun will set at 7:30 p.m. CDT. The normal high for the 12th is 74 and the normal low is 52. The scurs are wondering if life jackets might come as standard equipment on the new Gremlins.

Crops continue to hurtle towards the finish line although with all the rain itís been a challenge to get very far into fields to document it up close and personal. Much of the corn moved past Ĺ milk line and some has a documented abscission or black layer documenting its physiological maturity. Typically when this happens, the grain is at 30 Ė 32% moisture. Given good drying conditions, corn can lose ĺ - 1% of moisture per day. However, given the cooler forecast with continued wet conditions, that may be wishful thinking. Maybe weíll have to count on soybeans being ready before corn. Or not. Most of the soybeans are still somewhere in the R6 stage and some are showing a change in pod color although they havenít yet reached the mature brown color yet which would make them R7. Weíre still a good three weeks away from the early planted early maturing soybeans being ready to harvest given good drying conditions.

At the ranch weíve finally been able to gather some of the fruits of our labor. A nice picking of green beans was rescued from the mud and actually cleaned up better than expected. There were even some to share. More zucchini of course as well as several of the regular sized tomatoes. The yellow pear tomatoes have been kicking in a handful or two so itís best to grab them before they fall off the plant. Also noted were some vermin, namely slugs that were helping themselves to the string beans. Did my best to get them picked off of the pods as I really didnít want any extra protein in the microwave dish. While itís tempting to eat them like their relative the snail, alas, slugs can also carry a parasite that can lead to the development of meningitis. The slugs should also be processed, removing their head and entrails. No thanks. Think Iíll stick to burgers and lamb chops.
 
The orioles are still coming to the jelly feeder. I reluctantly purchased one last jar of the bargain brand grape jelly to get them through to the end of their stay. They were still here on Labor Day this year and last as well. The last one we saw at the ranch a year ago was on September 4th. Not to worry though. The hummingbirds have suddenly decided that a t trip to the jelly feeder isnít all bad. Along with the cannas, four oíclocks, salvia, petunias, morning glories and nectar feeders, they seem to have a tough time deciding what they want to eat some days. No such problem with me.

Sunday finally offered a golden opportunity to take the Stude out for a drive. Iíd been looking for a good excuse for several weeks. Untimely rains hadnít helped matters. My niece and nephew were to be in the area attending a local music fest so theyíd planned on stopping in for a visit. Weíd discussed the potential for a cruise earlier although the forecast wasnít promising. In the late forenoon though we caught a break. It had rained earlier and shortly afterwards the forecast suddenly changed from a total washout to partly cloudy. Once our guests arrived to shower off some of the mire from wallowing in the muddy campground, Ruby entertained them with her ball playing talents in addition to her usual bizarre Border Collie habits.

It was still warm and somewhat muggy as I backed the car out of the garage. This meant opening the vents on the fenders and rolling the windows down before hitting the road. I set a course towards freshly resurfaced MN Hwy. 13. Having driven on it in my pickup with its stiff suspension, I was anxious to turn the Silver Hawk loose on it. It responded well and the radial whitewalls made the ride smooth as glass. My guests were quick to pick up on some of the quirky features on the car no longer part of todayís automobiles. The door handles, the little vent window latches and multiple cigarette ash trays were among the favorites. Studebaker was definitely ahead of its time though. Along with innovations such as fold down front seats, the hill holder clutch and overdrive, the Silver Hawk knew exactly where the nearest DQ was. All this without GPS! We had a great time visiting and best of all they bought me lunch.
 
Afterwards we headed back down the road for some sightseeing. I was able to point out some of the finer features of living in rural South Central MN including Beaver Lake, several fields of sweet corn as well as the odor from hog barns and Wasecaís vegetable processing plant. We pulled into the driveway having cheated death once again. (Seatbelts were not standard equipment in 1959. When Studebaker made them standard on the Avanti in 1962, it became the first automobile in the industry to do so). Mrs. Cheviot had arrived home in the meantime and was under the influence of the annual SFC (State Fair Crud) complete with hacking and coughing. Ruby was tending to her so we looked at the sheep before it was time for our visitors to head back. The afternoon had flown by and the cruise had offered a great respite for everyone. It sure beat the heck out of stacking hay!
 
See you next weekÖreal good then.
Time itself is bought and sold, the spreading fear of growing old contains a thousand foolish games that we play. (Neil Young)

Online Dotch

  • Moderator
  • Master Outdoorsman
  • *
  • Posts: 2169
  • Karma: +29/-1
  • Liked: 169
  • Likes Given: 133
Re: Fencelines
« Reply #661 on: September 12, 2018, 10:04:05 PM »
The road has got me hypnotized

Since the Weather Eye didnít see the severe clear coming the scurs ended up trading in their swim fins for suntan lotion. Will our recent good weather fortune continue or will we see the monsoons return? Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with highs in the low 80ís and lows in the low 60ís. Thursday sunny with highs in the upper 70ís and lows in the mid-60ís. Sunny becoming partly cloudy on Friday with a slight chance of overnight showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 80ís with lows in the mid-60ís. Saturday, sunny with highs in the low 80ís with lows in the mid-60ís. Mostly sunny for Sunday becoming partly cloudy with a slight to modest chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 80ís with lows in the upper 50ís. Monday, mostly sunny with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 60ís with lows in the mid-50ís. Mostly cloudy Tuesday with possible showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-60ís with lows in the mid-40ís. On the 16th we drop back under 12 hours and 30 minutes of daylight, about where we were at back on March 26th.The normal high for September 16th is 73 and the normal low is 50. The scurs have their hearts set on another weekend of lounging by the cement pond.

What a difference a week makes as the weather gods have smiled upon us. Or as Betsyís Dad says, after a heavy September rain frequently we have stretches of nice weather. Heís absolutely correct. The water that had everyoneís dauber down dried up nicely with the low humidity. The warmer temps and breezes earlier in the week put everything back on track once again. Corn is rapidly approaching maturity with several fields checked this week showing a black layer. Soybeans were also not to be denied. The sunshine and warmer temperatures had most fields turning rapidly with many at R7 finally, with plants showing one pod on the main stem with mature color. Some of the earlier planted, early maturing varieties are approaching or will soon be at R8 where 95% of the pods have reached mature color. It typically takes five to ten days for soybeans to drop below 15% moisture. The last cutting of hay for the season is underway out in our neighborhood, delayed by the rain and wet soil conditions. It should still allow adequate regrowth for overwintering given reasonably normal fall temperatures and moisture. Fingers crossed.

The orioles were coming to the jelly feeder as of the 4th. The kindly neighbor had some yet over the weekend.  I reluctantly purchased one last jar of the bargain brand grape jelly to last the orioles through to the end of their stay. They were still here on Labor Day this year and last as well. The last we saw of them at the ranch a year ago was on September 4th. Not to worry. The hummingbirds have suddenly decided that a t trip to the jelly feeder isnít all bad. Along with the cannas, four oíclocks, salvia, petunias, morning glories and nectar feeders, they seem to be playing hide and seek. That or they have a tough time deciding what they want to eat. No such problem with me.

Monarchs have been on the move. Weíve seen small groups hanging on the trees, something we havenít seen since we first moved here in the mid-1980ís. Back then theyíd partially cover the silver maples in the backyard. Some are convinced that the recent uptick in monarch numbers has something to do with increased planting of milkweed. That may or may not be the case. Since the early days of the CRP program and decreased harvesting of road ditches, the milkweed supply has been plentiful in my travels around these parts. Look in the ditches next to the patches of Canada thistle if you donít believe me. When the milkweed plants are examined, monarch larvae are seldom found. In other words it appears that itís not just a simple cause and effect relationship. Factors including predation, prophylactic pesticide use and the overwintering weather in Mexico also come into play.

The garden continues to ramp up production as we head into fall. There are plenty of tomatoes for BLTís now and the string beans are still producing well. The fall garden is recovering from the excess water finally and some of the radishes are exhibiting bulbs. More of the gorgeous weather weíve had recently is needed in order for the snap peas to be players. My cucumber experiment was a dismal failure so Iím hoping the snap peas come through. I felt so fortunate to be graciously offered fresh cukes by some friends and fellow gardeners. I feared this might be the first time in many moons that weíd gone a whole summer cucumber-less. My fears were allayed. I also had the good fortune to receive some heirloom tomatoes as part of the deal. I was able to ante up a gallon of fresh picked string beans. I hope they didnít mind the grass clippings as an added bonus.

Made another trip in the Stude Saturday night as we celebrated our anniversary. Mrs. Cheviot hadnít been for a ride in the piece of automotive history yet this season so after chores we hustled off to Waseca and Club 57. We had a gift certificate and I wore the Club 57 T-shirt Iíd received at their car show a few years back. When the waitress spied it, we were given an additional discount. Sometimes it pays to be old, drive an old car and have lots of car show T-shirts. The meal was excellent and gave us some time to catch up. With Crop Tour and State Fair running concurrently we donít see each other for long stretches. Time flew by and before we knew it, the sun was down; time to head back home.
 
Driving the Silver Hawk reminds one of how cars have changed. Some of the habits one develops with todayís cars become so ingrained itís almost like youíre in a trance at times.  I frequently have those ďOh yeahĒ moments when operating the Stude. Every time I get in it for example I reach for the shoulder belt. There isnít one. Also have to remember to flip it out of reverse to start it. May be disastrous if you donít. Dimming the headlights finds me fumbling with the turn signal then suddenly remembering the dimmer switch is on the floor. Not that it probably matters as the lights donít seem to draw the ire of oncoming traffic when you donít dim them. For a few hundred bucks one could convert the headlights to todayís LEDís I suppose. No thanks. The lights still work and I have new headlights in the original boxes people have given me. Driving around at night isnít something I relish anyway. Too many Bambiís running around and no one wins if you hit one.

See you next weekÖreal good then. 
Time itself is bought and sold, the spreading fear of growing old contains a thousand foolish games that we play. (Neil Young)

Online Dotch

  • Moderator
  • Master Outdoorsman
  • *
  • Posts: 2169
  • Karma: +29/-1
  • Liked: 169
  • Likes Given: 133
Re: Fencelines
« Reply #662 on: Yesterday at 03:02:07 PM »
To find a queen without a king...

Recent warm temps had the scurs adjusting the AC settings cooler on the Weather Eye. Did they overdo it or is it a Goldilocks Deja vu? Starting Wednesday, cloudy with a good chance of rain.  Highs in the mid-70ís with lows in the mid-60ís. Thursday cloudy with a good chance of rain. Highs in the mid-70ís with lows in the low 50ís. Mostly sunny becoming partly cloudy on Friday with highs in the mid-60ís and lows in the upper 40ís. Saturday, mostly sunny with highs in the upper 60ís and lows in the low 50ís. Mostly sunny for Sunday becoming partly cloudy with a slight chance of evening showers. Highs in the low 70ís with lows in the low 50ís. Monday, partly sunny with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 60ís with lows in the mid-50ís. Mostly cloudy Tuesday with possible showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70ís with lows in the mid-40ís. On the 21st the sun will rise at 7 a.m. and the 22nd is officially the first day of fall. The normal high for September 22nd is 70 and the normal low is 47. The scurs will be taking inventory on the wood pile. Thereís a chill in the air.

The Full Moon for September falls on the 24th and since it is the Full Moon closest to the autumnal equinox, it is the Harvest Moon. It is fitting as the pioneers were able to work long into the night in the light of the moon, harvesting corn, pumpkins, squash and other staples to help them through the long winter months ahead. The Ojibwe knew this as the Rice Moon when wild rice was harvested. The Sioux had their eyes on more fruit and called this the Moon When Plums are Scarlet. At the ranch it goes by The Apple Crisp Moon.

Harvest officially kicked off in the area last week with early planted, early maturing soybeans being harvested. Yields were considered decent for early soybeans with hopes of higher yields as later maturity soybeans mature. Above normal temperatures this past week pushed maturity quickly so getting Mother Nature to cooperate with drier weather once the rainmaker leaves the area would help expedite the process. Some corn was also harvested with moistures as low as 23% reported on some of the 99 Ė 100 hybrids. Strong winds late Monday afternoon did blow some areas of fields flat so hopefully the wet weather forecast doesnít include any more of that.

At the ranch we are in the middle of our fall harvest season as well. We recently completed the last cutting of hay thanks to the Dubyaís. It was some of the nicest hay weíve put up in recent memory and will surely be appreciated by ewes in pens with lambs as well as the lambs themselves. The tomatoes have continued to bear profusely with the first BLTís of the season under our belts. String beans need to be picked again and with the aggressive mosquito population, canít say as Iím looking forward to it. Ate the first of the pears finally on Sunday. A subtle color change from green to light yellow tempted me to try one. It was fantastic. Not mushy or mealy, very sweet and juicy. What a pleasant surprise.

Mowing the lawn has seemed perpetual this year. Sunday I mowed to try to catch up before it decided to rain again. The number of toads was amazing along with the frogs in the road ditch. I still try my best not to hit them as they are our first line of defense for flying insect control now the barn swallows have departed. I guess we do have lots of those big barn spiders as well but they tend to stay confined to the barn as the name implies. Hummingbirds continue to move freely around the yard, finding plenty of flora to feed on in addition to their nectar feeder. The white-lined sphinx moth recently made their first appearance of the season, working over the impatiens and later to be seen enjoying the four oíclocks. Was concerned maybe we wouldnít see them as late as it was getting but my fears were as usual unfounded.
 
We had a natural colored ram in need of his queen(s) and Saturday a.m. that happened. Our usual customer arrived with his small homemade trailer and we proceeded to back it in tight enough so we maybe wouldnít have to touch the wild and odiferous beast. We must be getting wiser or at least luckier as when we opened the gate, the ram decided to bolt and ran right into the trailer. All three of us, ram included, were in a state of momentary disbelief until Gary grabbed the end gate and put it in place before the ram changed his mind. As in years past Gary had made us another treasure, this time a pillow knitted from both homespun white and natural colored Cheviot wool from his flock and filled with same. Just the time involved in creating something like that is astounding, making it a treasure.
 
Apples need picking as the Honeycrisp apples are at their prime. Time to get them in the refrigerator before the birds and other assorted critters decide to help themselves. With the warm weather the Haralsonís are also about ripe. Not only that but the poor tree needs some relief from its heavy burden. As luck would have it our car club picnic was last Sunday so thought Iís make an apple pie. Mrs. Cheviot was still in Massachusetts and suggested apple crisp instead. Iím sure she was concerned I might drop one of her glass pie pans on the concrete at the picnic shelter. She is wise to my ways.

Iíve made lots of apple pies but this was the first time Iíd flown solo on apple crisp. Was a little distraught when it appeared the recipe made way more topping than needed for the foil pan Iíd selected. Luckily I placed the apple crisp pan on an old cookie sheet before inserting it in the oven. There was all kinds of stuff that boiled out of the pan onto the cookie sheet. What a sticky mess! It smelled great although it certainly didnít look like the apple crisp Mrs. Cheviot makes. I took it along anyway as I had no Plan B. I was convinced that Iíd probably be bringing most of it back home with me. Wrong! After the picnic there was one piece in the corner of the pan and that was it. I heard Vistaís noted Swedish astronomer mutter that I could screw up like that again anytime.

See you next weekÖreal good then.
Time itself is bought and sold, the spreading fear of growing old contains a thousand foolish games that we play. (Neil Young)