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Offline Dotch

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Re: Fencelines
« Reply #720 on: August 14, 2019, 10:41:33 AM »
There are places I'll remember all my life though some have changed

The scurs are having continued success with the Weather Eye as of late. Are our weather fortunes about to change or do we continue living a charmed weather life? Starting Wednesday, partly sunny with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. Thursday, mostly sunny with a moderate chance of evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Partly sunny on Friday with an increasing chance of showers and thunderstorms by evening. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the mid-60’s.  Saturday, mostly sunny with a moderate chance of evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Mostly sunny on Sunday with highs in the mid-80’s and lows in the mid-60’s. Monday, mostly sunny with a decent chance of a daytime thunderstorm.  Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the low 60’s. Sunny for Tuesday with a slight possibility of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the low 60’s. The Full Moon for the month falls on the 15th. We’ll see 14 hours of daylight on the 15th, the same as we saw back on April 27th. The normal high for August 15th is 81 and the normal low is 60. The scurs have their fun money tucked away for their favorite edibles at the Steele Co. Fair.
 
The Full Moon for August goes by several names, the most common of which is The Full Sturgeon Moon as the tribes of the Great Lakes were able to catch this large fish the most easily during this month. It also goes by the Full Red Moon due to the haze common around the time of the moonrise. It has also been known as the Green Corn Moon or The Grain Moon. The Ojibwe knew this as the Huckleberry Moon and the Sioux called it The Moon when Cherries turn Black. At the ranch it is The Full Dog Brushing Moon, aptly named for the continual brushing of a Border Collie whom shall remain nameless.

Seasonal temperatures have prevailed resulting in steady progress of the area crops. Most early planted corn has developed those roasting ears, so named for the pioneer days before many sweet corn varieties had been developed. Soybeans have also made progress with many fields reaching R5. Some of the early planted early maturing fields have largely stopped flowering already. Along with additional SDS being found this past week, white mold was also discovered in some area fields. While it’s too early to tell how severe it may become, we were fortunate to have had a drier spell in late July and early August or it could’ve had the potential to be much worse. Soybean aphids continue to be present although few fields have reached treatable levels.
 
One of the most common questions I’ve encountered lately is “What are all these smaller butterflies?” Most of what we’re seeing are painted lady butterflies or thistle caterpillar butterflies. As the latter name implies, the larvae like to feed on thistles, primarily Canada thistle in this area. Unfortunately they also like to feed on soybeans. While there are plenty of Canada thistle patches around there are far more acres of soybeans conveniently available for them to dine on. The adults migrate into this area in the spring to lay their eggs and usually produce two generations. The larvae can be an economic pest from time to time in soybeans although generally they are just a novelty. There is some evidence that they may be producing a third generation although the hope is that the soybeans should be large enough that the 20% defoliation threshold for reproductive stage soybeans won’t be met. In the meantime, enjoying the large number of adults as they fly around and pollinate flowers is something everyone can appreciate.

More 4-H fair kids heading to compete this week for the first time so hopefully they do well. It won’t be for lack of effort. Olivia has been here most of the time twice a day to work with Nelly, a natural colored Cheviot. Typically Cheviot ewe lambs are wild and the natural colored Cheviots are the wildest of the wild. This lamb however is as tame as and even dispositioned as any animal on the place save for a bottle lamb or two. The fact it was worked with so frequently made all the difference. As cute as it is, it should be a crowd favorite if nothing else.

The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour starts beginning on the 19th. This will be my 16th installment and I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. It’s a week plus out of my summer and with State Fair right on its heels, my thoughts turn more to sleep after such a bomb session rather than jumping out of corn and soybean fields to head to the State Fair on Saturday. I still think back to my roots when it comes to the agronomist position I maintain on tour.

It was 40 years ago this past spring I took a quarter off of college at the U of M to work with the Soils Dept. there. The job would change my life forever. It exposed me to most of the crops that MN had to offer at the time with the exception of wild rice and introduced me to a lot of people who are still friends and mentors to this day. It also involved a lot of travel. One day we’d be working on bluegrass and timothy plots near Roseau and the next thing we’d be working on corn and soybean plots in Houston Co. along with everything in between. Talk about a unique “hands-on” learning environment to gain knowledge about the state’s cropping systems.

Some of my favorite memories are working at the experiment stations and bringing back things like potatoes, sweet corn, strawberries and blueberries from the test plots. We lived at the time in an apartment on Brewster St. south of the St. Paul campus. There was more produce coming off the plots than we could eat so we made sure the elderly ladies in the apartment shared in our good fortune. We’d also made a point of hauling in Verna’s and Mom B’s groceries if we happened to be around when they came back from the store. Needless to say we had already reached tin god status in their eyes and giving them excess produce was just the icing on the cake. Frequently there was a knock at the door with a plate of cookies, cake or pie. There was method to our madness.

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

Offline Dotch

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Re: Fencelines
« Reply #721 on: August 27, 2019, 08:58:49 PM »
8/18/19


One more mile and one more road
One last bridge and one less load

The scurs and the Weather Eye are seeing eye to eye as of late. Will their close weather association continue or will quarrels end it in a lover’s spat? Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the mid-50’s. Thursday, mostly sunny with highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Mostly sunny on Friday with an increasing chance of showers and thunderstorms by evening. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the low 60’s.  Saturday, mostly sunny with a good chance of evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the low 60’s. Mostly cloudy on Sunday with highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the low 60’s. Monday, partly sunny with a slight chance of a daytime thunderstorm.  Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the low 60’s. Mostly cloudy for Tuesday with highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the low 60’s. On August 26th we slide back to 13 hours and 30 minutes of daylight, roughly the same as we had on April 16th. The sun will rise at 6:30 a.m. CDT and set at 8 p.m. The normal high for August 26th is 79 and the normal low is 58. Having saved enough of their shekels, the scurs have their hearts set on a foot long hot dog from the NE corner of the Coliseum at the Great MN Get Together.

Crops continue their march towards harvest. Corn is starting to show some dough stage and by the last week of the month, some should start to show some denting, particularly those early planted earlier maturing hybrids. Soybeans also are on the move with the vast majority solidly entrenched in the R5 stage locally. Some early planted 1.5 maturity soybeans should reach R6 sometime next week. Some of the later planted fields were still R4 as of last week but will quickly reach R5. More white mold detects this past week although as late as it got started it’s unlikely to have the kind of impact it did in 2017 when many of those same fields were planted to soybeans. Regardless those fields bear watching for future reference. Soybean aphids are increasing on some of the later planted soybeans that are lagging slightly in maturity. In other fields that are more mature, numbers have dropped. There is no way to know without actually looking at them.

We dodged a bullet east of town last Tuesday the 13th with some rough looking weather skirting generally just north of us. There was some hail that smacked crops around on the backroads to Owatonna causing some substantial crop damage. Perhaps scariest of all was the tornado that skirted just to the north of the ranch. Several videos and still photos were circulated with some making the evening news on TV. No damage from the twister at the ranch but watching from a distance, one had to wonder what was transpiring. Thanks to the magic of cell phones within minutes I knew what was happening and where. And the Dubya’s cows didn’t care.
 
Our garden continues to look underwhelming although some of the tomatoes are over 6’ tall. We did get our first vine ripened tomato of the season the other day so at least there was that. The July 8th string bean planting is flowering like crazy so in a few weeks we’ll likely start to dine on those. The flowering plants are pretty with the four o’clocks being especially beautiful this year. The mix of colors is fantastic and the flowers are about petunia sized As the name implies, they start to open about 4 p.m. in the afternoon and by nightfall they are wide open for business as foraging hummingbirds and sphinx moths can attest.
 
As had been my wont lo these many years, I headed off on yet another Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour last weekend. Also as mentioned last week this is my 16th go round and may be the most intriguing trip yet. There is far more prevent plant acreage scattered over more territory than we saw in 2013. That year it was primarily limited to parts of MN and IA. This time it extends across large areas of OH, IN, IL as well as parts of IA, MN and SD. Does rain make grain? We shall see.
Recently I noticed the electrical substation east of St. Olaf Lake was undergoing some radical changes. More like a total dismantling and elimination process. I had the privilege while filling with fuel one day to ask a Steele-Waseca Electric Co-Op employee about what was going on. Interestingly enough he said the substation there was indeed being removed, temporarily. He also told me it was originally constructed back in the late 1930’s. Fortunately they are totally rebuilding and replacing much of it. Why do I say “fortunately’?

Like many area landmarks, the substation has been a longtime navigational aid not unlike St. Olaf Lake, the golf course, and the pink schoolhouse near Wilton. Seeing these landmarks gives people a sense of confidence when they’re trying to find the ranch or anyplace else for that matter. I still remember years ago how many people became disorientated when someone painted the purple house. Of course these days everyone relies on GPS and Google maps. You’re taking a leap of faith that some electronic gadget won’t get you hopelessly lost in the weeds someplace.  Just remember, if you’ve come to the pink schoolhouse after crossing the Wilton River Bridge, you can’t get there from here.

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

Offline Dotch

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Re: Fencelines
« Reply #722 on: August 27, 2019, 09:02:54 PM »
You’re looking good just like a snake in the grass

The scurs and the Weather Eye clicked again last week. Will that clicking continue or eventually mean the wheels falling off the cart? Starting Wednesday, mostly clear with highs in the low 70’s with lows in the mid-50. Thursday, mostly sunny with highs in the low 80’s with lows in the low 50’s. Mostly sunny on Friday with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms by evening. Highs in the low 70’s with lows in the low 50’s.  Saturday, mostly sunny with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70’s with lows in the low 50’s. Mostly sunny on Sunday with highs in the low70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. Labor Day, mostly sunny with highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Mostly sunny for Tuesday with a slight chance for a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the low 60’s. The normal high for September 2nd is 79 and the normal low is 58. Oddly enough that same day the scurs have tickets to see that little ol’ band from Texas, a how, how, how…

Crops progressed in my absence while on the road for the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. Checking some corn Monday, the earlier plantings are denting although most would not qualify as full dent. Still, generally speaking once corn dents it’s about a month before it reaches physiological maturity. Soybeans are in much the same bracket. The early planted beans are a full R6 and nearly all the soybeans save for the afterthoughts are R%. Aphid numbers climbed in some of the later planted fields and in some of the early planted fields have all but disappeared. The presence of large numbers of beneficial insects such as ladybugs and their larvae is very evident. Also noted in many fields are aphid mummies, the result of their being parasitized by tiny beneficial wasps. Beneficial to crop producers, not to the aphids. The wasps deposit an egg inside a live aphid and the resulting larvae eat the aphid alive from the inside. Then they use the aphid’s puffed up body to pupate, emerging through a small hole as an adult wasp.  Neato, huh?

As mentioned another Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour is now in the books for me. They have all been unique and interesting. This year, in light of all the prevent plant acres was more interesting than ever. As social media continues to play an ever larger role in our perception of the world one quickly realizes that many are quick to convince folks that because their area has a poor crop, therefore everyone has a poor crop. There is a grain of truth to that in that this year in particular as there was pain to be shared. Most areas struggled to get planting done and this probably won’t be a record crop for most. However, this crop is a long way from being the complete and utter disaster some would have you believe.
Going on the Eastern leg of the Crop Tour means a change to Eastern Time on Sunday morning and then a change back Tuesday as we head west to Bloomington IL. For me it means days that start at 4-5 a.m. and end about midnight. Four days of that takes its toll and the final night usually goes past 3 a.m. when we come up with the national production estimate.
 
This year security concerns due to a death threat made on the western leg of the tour to a USDA employee and another made the next night to my friend Chip Flory made it a little unnerving. Security was present at Iowa City Wednesday night and at the finale in Rochester Thursday night security was tight. Luckily these people tipped their hands before anything happened. People also spoke up and allowed the system to work. The threats were taken seriously and the individuals making them were dealt with accordingly.
 
It’s great to leave all that behind, sleep in my own bed and attempt to get back in the groove again. It takes a while though to get my biorhythms in sync. Toss in a trip to the State Fair Saturday to show sheep then catching up on storm damage and mowing an overgrown lawn Sunday. Suddenly you don’t feel like relaxing because there’s too much to do. By Monday afternoon I finally hit the wall. After nodding off in front of the confuser my body was finally telling me that hey, that’s enough, it’s time to sleep and get back on a normal schedule. I’m game.

Mowing the lawn is somewhat therapeutic after being on the road especially with the headphones on while listening to a Twins game. While it blocks out the noise one still has to be cognizant of his surroundings and small creatures that suddenly appear in the mower’s path. One large toad hopped out in front of the deck so I stopped and placed it in the safety of a flower bed. I also narrowly averted hitting a garter snake that slithered away just in the nick of time. I like having these amphibians and reptiles around the yard as they definitely are the “good guys”. Hitting them also means their decomposing carcasses are a favorite target for Ruby to roll in. Few things stink worse than eau de garter snake ground into a dog’s fur and collar. More than one dog bath has resulted over the years.

Even more therapeutic than lawn mowing is to watch the hummingbirds forage through the four o’clocks we planted for them this spring. I wondered why the hummers weren’t hitting the nectar feeder much and had my answer soon afterwards. Also rewarding is to look at the progress of the morning glories ascending the light pole in the middle of the yard. Earlier in the season I wouldn’t have bet they’d look as pretty as they do. Pale and spindly, they had a rough start with the cool May and June. Flea beetles also hampered their early growth, riddling their leaves with holes. Eventually the morning glories got their mojo back and now they look like a huge dark green anaconda encircling the pole, suffocating its prey. Harkens me back to watching Marlin Perkins safely upstream in a blind while Jim Fowler went the best two out of three falls with a giant reptile. Ah the good old days…

See you next week…real good then.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2019, 09:06:08 PM by Dotch »
Time itself is bought and sold, the spreading fear of growing old contains a thousand foolish games that we play. (Neil Young)

Online glenn57

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Re: Fencelines
« Reply #723 on: August 28, 2019, 09:48:07 AM »
how can one get involved in the pro farmer crop tour????????? :scratch: :scratch:  i seen your email on what you guys do and want in!!!!!!!!!! :rotflmao: :rotflmao: :rotflmao:
2015 deer slayer!!!!!!!!!!

Offline Dotch

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Re: Fencelines
« Reply #724 on: September 05, 2019, 10:14:12 AM »
I heard it, I heard it, I heard it on the X.

The scurs and the Weather Eye doled out more beautiful weather again last week. Will their success continue or will they be on the dole after hitting a bump in the road? Starting Wednesday, sunny with highs in the upper 60’s with lows in the low 50’s. Thursday, mostly sunny with highs in the low 70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Partly cloudy on Friday with a slight chance of daytime showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70’s with lows in the upper 40’s.  Saturday, partly sunny with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-60’s with lows in the mid-40’s. Mostly sunny on Sunday with a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm.  Highs in the mid-60’s with lows in the mid-50’s. Monday, mostly cloudy with a modest chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the mid-60’s with lows in the mid-50’s. Mostly cloudy for Tuesday with a decent chance for a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. On September 6th we fall below 13 hours of daylight, roughly the same as we had back on April 5th.  The normal high for September 6th is 76 and the normal low is 54.
 
While last week was absolutely gorgeous for humans particularly for sleeping humans, it probably wasn’t what we wanted to see in terms of crop development. As Chip Flory has mentioned, a slow burn on the end of the season allows the corn crop in particular to deposit a maximum amount of dry matter. That’s the good news. The bad news is that we are falling slightly farther behind on GDU’s as a result. While that in and of itself isn’t necessarily something to lose sleep over, the potential for injury from an early frost is heightened. Corn this past week was largely reaching full dent which typically means about three weeks until physiological maturity. Some was more like early dent so that adds another five to seven days onto the equation. Solar radiation is a wildcard and so far August was close to normal. Let’s hope we continue to get lots of sunshine as this crop needs all the help it can get to finish before Jack Frost makes his debut.

Soybeans showed some ugliness this past week as diseases suddenly made their presence known. SDS showed up in more fields as did white mold after giving little indication it was present earlier. Fortunately the late appearance of both diseases will likely limit the impact it will have on yield. Two years ago when white mold was a major problem it showed up in early August and spread like wildfire. Drier conditions this time around probably haven’t hurt either and as mentioned in a previous column or two, the slow canopy closure particularly in 30” rows was a blessing in disguise. Now the issue becomes remembering for the next time for these two diseases. Neither problem can be solved easily by rotation so that usually means more input costs to try to maintain yield.
 
Summer continues to hang on in some respects. There were still some fireflies September 1st rising out of the grass in the backyard at the ranch albeit more slowly than in July with the cooler evening. Some orioles are also still in evidence as of September 1st. Thought I heard them scolding me while I was tending some storm damage in the back yard  about August 25th. I’d stopped feeding them while I was gone. Since I had some grape jelly left I plopped some in their feeder just to see what would happen. Big mistake. Shortly afterwards several young orioles appeared and later that day male Baltimore and orchard orioles in full plumage were spotted. I even put a couple orange halves and a new nectar feeder out for them in case I couldn’t get their jelly feeder filled in a timely manner. They keep coming so I keep feeding them. Now they know I tried.

Hummingbirds have shown up sporadically. Along with the oriole nectar feeder I purchased a replacement for their favorite hummingbird feeder. As I discovered the hard way, glass still breaks easily when dropped in a porcelain sink. There hasn’t been much interest in it yet so again, was wondering if they were even around. After chores Sunday a.m. I walked past the cannas by the well and there was one busily working the red blooms over. Other times they’ve been seen feasting on four o’clock nectar. In either instance they’re very difficult to see as their coloration perfectly camouflages them against the green backdrop. The easiest time to spot them is when they take a break on the rungs of the tomato cages. One needs to look quick because they’re off in a heartbeat to their next flower.
   
The late planted garden has begun to yield some produce. Tomatoes appear to be ripening more quickly now the days are getting shorter and the evening temperatures continue to cool. So far the yellow pear and grape tomatoes have been the most prolific. After a closer look on Sunday the full sized tomatoes aren’t far off either, showing signs of blushing here and there. It was gratifying to see was the first meal of string beans from the July 8th planting. The 50 day rating on the variety until ready to eat was right about on target. These late planted beans were as frequently happens very sweet and tender once cooked.

Attended the Cheap Trick-ZZ Top concert on Labor Day and aside from being cut short by the heavy weather heading in, it was a great time. Took one of my little fat buddies along so that made it even more enjoyable after seeing the fair all day. I’d forgotten how many hits Cheap Trick had compiled and being a part of the generation that watched MTV when they actually played music videos, ZZ Top brought back great memories. It was also their 50th Anniversary Tour. I’ve been a ZZ Top fan for over 40 years. Much of that time was spent listening to them over the airwaves on rock and roll stations after hours. Thanks to Mrs. Cheviot’s diligence we had great seats, about 16 rows from the stage. Probably a good thing we sat that close. After listening to ZZ Top all these years, it’s likely one’s hearing isn’t what it once was.
 
See you next week…real good then.
Time itself is bought and sold, the spreading fear of growing old contains a thousand foolish games that we play. (Neil Young)

Offline Dotch

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Re: Fencelines
« Reply #725 on: September 10, 2019, 11:51:49 AM »
Those windshield wipers slappin’ out a tempo

The scurs and the Weather Eye delivered yet more great early fall weather. Will they take a fall or continue on a roll? Starting Wednesday, mostly cloudy with a good chance of rain. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the upper 60’s. Thursday, mostly cloudy with a good chance of daytime showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the mid-50’s. Partly sunny on Friday with highs in the mid-60’s and lows in the low 50’s.  Saturday, sunny with a modest chance of evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Mostly sunny on Sunday with highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the low 60’s. Monday, sunny with a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Mostly sunny for Tuesday becoming cloudy with a decent chance for a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Sunset will be at 7:30 CDT on the 12th. The Full Moon for September falls on the 13th. September 16th we fall to 12 hours and 30 minutes of daylight, roughly the same as we had back on March 27th. The normal high for September 13th is 74 and the normal low is 51. The scurs will be on the lookout for Halloween candy arriving daily in stores nearby.
 
The Full Moon as mentioned arrives on the 13th and is known as the Full Harvest Moon as it is the closest to the autumnal equinox. Some years it’s in October but more often than not it falls in September. The Harvest moon allowed the pioneer farmers to work far into the night when it wasn’t cloudy and/or raining of course. They knew better than to put lights on their horses and kept normal hours that way! The Ojibwe knew this as the Rice Moon and the Sioux called it The Moon When Plums are Scarlet. At the ranch we have wild plums although by the time they turn scarlet the birds have them long gone. We have to go by the Full Apple Moon as the trees are usually heavily laden with fruit. When the wind doesn’t blow them off first anyway.

It is the Full Harvest Moon and at least as of this writing it appears we will escape Jack Frost’s wrath at least for now. Given the amount of earlier maturity soybeans planted after waiting for later maturing varieties to become fit last year, it may surprise us how quickly harvest may be upon us. The forecast is also finally giving us some hope. After a cooler than normal start to September it appears to be turning the heat up with some above normal temperatures on tap. This past week corn continued to move toward maturity as some of the earlier planted, earlier tasseling & silking hybrids started to show a milk line. Soybeans also were showing signs of turning although there were also areas of fields where pod and stem blight appears to be afoot. Some of these same areas of fields were apparent two years ago. The premature ripening that results frequently doesn’t do major yield damage on a field wide basis but in areas where it occurs it can reduce yield significantly.
 
At the ranch we continue to see the slow transition into fall even though summer tries its best to hang on just a little longer. There was still a male Baltimore oriole in full colors yet at the jelly feeder on the 9th. The morning glories, cannas and four o’clocks continue to do their thing as the hummingbirds are starting to be more frequent visitors. The barn swallows slipped away under the cover of darkness and the loud bird singing that was constant in June mornings is a distant memory. One can sleep undisturbed with the windows open again. Not a bad idea as the temperatures dip down into the 40’s and 50’s. That’s what they make blankets for.

Our rainfall in August was once again below normal at 3.16” at the ranch and in Bugtussle proper a measly 2.67” for the month. Normal at the SROC in Waseca is 4.75”, making it traditionally the wettest month of the year. Seems the sheep or at least one of the ewes decided the grass looked greener on the other side of the makeshift fence by the granary. It had been that way for 10 years and none of them ever bothered to mess with it. It only takes one agitator though and after a few episodes of putting the culprit back in, I decided to put a stop to that nonsense. Driving a couple steel posts, attaching some insulators and electric fence wire, I placed a hot wire about exactly where those erect Cheviot’s ears would make contact with it. Seems to have been effective. Hopefully l it completed the short circuit between the ewe’s ears.

It’s been a while but the Silver Hawk finally made it out of the garage for our anniversary. Wasn’t a long ride but it got the car limbered up and the thrill of driving a classic automobile returned once again. The road to town is now smooth so it makes the ride that much sweeter. We had supper and it was beginning to get dark.  As we were about to leave someone had noticed the car and asked if it had good lights. Yes, I replied, they’re sufficient. 12 volt? Yes was my response again. Actually Studebaker had gone to 12 volt systems in 1956 as did the US manufacturers who had done so earlier in the decade on a few models.
 
Something else that’s a common misconception is that the wipers are run by vacuum as many older cars were. It depended on the model and Studebaker was using electric wiper motors on some of their models as early as the 1930’s. The Silver Hawk has an electric wiper motor with a two speed switch. However, as with many old cars, the wipers are fickle and like some humans, only work when they feel like it. The wipers in this case only function on the slow speed, sort of. Sometimes they quit randomly about halfway through the cycle so it’s best not to monkey with them. That’s why copious amounts of Rain X have been applied to the windshield. One can see well as the rain beads off the windshield rapidly when you drive fast enough. Not a problem once you hit overdrive.
 
See you next week…real good then.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2019, 12:15:06 PM by Dotch »
Time itself is bought and sold, the spreading fear of growing old contains a thousand foolish games that we play. (Neil Young)

Offline Rebel SS

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Re: Fencelines
« Reply #726 on: September 10, 2019, 12:17:48 PM »
And may I add it's the first completely full moon on Friday the 13th since the year 2000....

Offline Dotch

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Re: Fencelines
« Reply #727 on: September 17, 2019, 09:22:55 AM »
And the leaves that are green turned to brown

Things were wet and wild for the scurs as they discovered a leak in a hose. The Weather Eye had little chance. Will their forecast be drier or will we continue on a fall recharge pattern? Starting Wednesday, partly sunny with a good chance of rain. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the low 60’s. Thursday, mostly sunny with a modest chance of daytime showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Mostly sunny on Friday with increasing clouds and chances of a shower or thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the upper 60’s.  Saturday, partly sunny with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Mostly sunny on Sunday with a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm.  Highs in the upper 60’s with lows in the low 50’s. Monday, sunny with a slight chance of a shower. Highs in the low 70’s with lows in the mid-50’s. Partly sunny for Tuesday becoming cloudy with a decent chance for a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the low 70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. The sun will rise at 7 a.m. CDT on the 21st and the autumnal equinox will occur on the 23rd. The scurs will be tuning up the leaf blower. One can never be too prepared.

Crops responded rapidly to last week’s rain and the warm temperatures that followed. While the temperatures were what everyone was asking for they come at a potential price. Pushing the corn hard on the tail end of the season tends to cause cannibalism of the stalk. If there are stalk rot organisms afoot the result can be disastrous especially in light of strong winds such as we had last year about this time. Checking corn this past week, some of the early planted earlier maturity hybrids had a milk line ¾ of the way down the kernel. The 105 day hybrids were closer to ½ milk line. On the soybean side, having the moisture was fine but a lot of those small pods up top on the plants are just a memory at this point. Some might say those pods really wouldn’t matter and they’re right if the soybeans compensate in bean size. The odds of that happening are decreased however when the soybean plant is pushed as it has been recently. At least they have dropped a lot of their leaves and should be ready to go towards months end.

The leaves on the trees have been hinting at an earlier fall than one might’ve imagined given the late start to spring. I thought perhaps one of my herbicide applications in the vicinity of the autumn blaze maple might’ve caused some premature color. Looking around at some others it appears they either had herbicide issues or they’re turning early too. The nannyberries in the yard are turning bluish black after being scarlet for a few weeks. The Haralson apples are closer to being made into pies soon and the Honeycrisp tree has apples ready to eat. The Fireside and SnowSweet trees will be a little longer, with mid-October being their target date.

The birds have been hinting as well that fall is in the air. The ranch’s last Baltimore oriole was seen at the jelly feeder on the 12th. I placed a dollop of jelly in both cups and aside from a blue jay or two, it’s gone untouched. Hummingbirds on the other hand have ramped it up, feasting on canna, salvia and morning glory nectar when they’re not at the nectar feeders. The four o’clocks have largely finished blooming although it doesn’t stop the hummers from picking through the foliage looking for the odd blossom still on the plants. The fall birds are more evident as well. Blue jays are calling as are the chickadees. Nuthatches are coming to the sunflower feeders with greater frequency. The squirrels are also transporting acorns from across the driveway to points unknown in the lawn. The rate they’re going it could become an oak woods in a matter of a few decades if we don’t keep mowing the seedlings off.

Lawn mowing has continued to be a necessary evil. Give the lawn some rain plus continued warm weather and it’s back to growing about like it did in July. It appears that Howard and Whitey will survive another mowing season. They still do a decent job of mowing but it would be nice to get something a little more nimble around the numerous trees and shrubs scattered throughout the yard. While the ditch still remains a challenge to mow, the days of mowing it may be coming to a close. I’m not getting any younger and there are probably better things to do with my time than see how long it takes before I roll it over on the slope.

Ruby doesn’t seem to care. She enjoys following the mower some of the time, in particular Whitey. When mowing the ditch, she’s right behind me when I glance over my shoulder. For some reason she must’ve been zinged with a stick or twig from under Howard’s deck once upon a time so generally steers clear, watching from afar. That’s OK. She’s put on a lot of miles following lawnmowers the past nine years. She still logs enough time that her white socks are green when we come in the house. Hate to think how green her socks would be if we fertilized the lawn. Might make a good advertisement for liquid Tide!

Have battled yet another alien to a draw. This most recent cold has been a persistent cuss, causing sudden coughing fits along with bouts of sneezing and nose blowing. At first I thought it was something I’d run across in some corn fields. Lord knows there are plenty of molds and dust to trigger allergic reactions. Later I determined it was more likely just the State Fair Crud that Mrs. Cheviot had brought home with her. The general malaise has led to feeling constantly tired as well so sleeping whenever there’s a chance to do so seems to help. Hydration has also been important although I always have to chuckle about that. It’s a vicious cycle once you get to a certain age. Yes hydration and sleep are important yet the two seem to be mutually exclusive all the time.
 
See you next week…real good then.

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

 

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