Fledgling bluebirds, flycatchers, hummingbirds and yes, wrens! One morning about 3 weeks ago I stepped onto the “coffee” porch for the early hour and suddenly, all was quiet. After a month or more of ‘wreny’ chatter, it had ceased. That fast. Soon I spied a few chicks taking short flights, and they were gone from the nest above on the rafters for good. Then the bluebird young were at the bath, and the flycatchers took over being the noisy ones. Truth to tell, I’m not sure how/if the “John Deere wrens” survived? They no longer ride around the granary yard, tucked up in the wiper housing… So I can only hope they are happily off somewhere.Hmmm.
I’m not sure I can recall a prettier July here, with the temperature staying very pleasant all the way up into the final week. We’ve not had any long-lasting fires yet, and just now the skies are getting smoky from Canadian fires. The reprieve, or reprieve until now, we are most grateful for and now are reminded that another bad fire cycle could begin anytime with the real heat is here to stay.
An overview of the grain crop is a positive one at this point. The crop looks strong, hasn’t weathered any real stress at all during the developmental stages and just now is feeling the heat which should prove to be perfect for finishing the grains. With sustained sun and high temperatures, the crop should cure in a classic fashion we often hope for, and receive here, east of the Cascades. I turned the last of the irrigation off on the 23rd and I look to start harvesting our winter grains in a couple weeks. There should be little lapse in harvest as we head right into all our spring emmer and einkorn after the winter rye and wheat.
It is during this time between irrigation and harvest that I service the ole’ Gleaner, as well as perform mid-summer service on any other machines that may need it. After draining last year’s oil, blasting out the Gleaner’s air filters and topping off fluids after a full greasing, I climb up into the cab, shove the throttle all the way to full, turn on the key and, without fail –even after sitting for 10 months – the Gleaner always fires right up and idles like it has been running every day. Truly amazing! I had a few sensors that weren’t reading accurately, but that is all remedied for now and near as I can tell; she is “ready to roll”.
Another mid-summer project is turning under our cover crop. We fired up the red demon (aka International 1086 tractor) and began disking down the vetch with the off-set disk. Nice to know these green goodies will protect the soil during the heat, as well as add back a bunch of green nitrogen for next year.
There has been no lull at all with orders at the granary even as the heat settles in. Very lively pace all summer, and we are grateful. Nice to know that we have such a loyal group of buyers both on large scale, and the home users. In our 14th year now, who would have known!? Guess we better keep on doing more of what we do.
I hope this finds all of you enjoying the full summer. My reprieve has been a few evenings to a favorite trout stream, where our Lab Tucker can wade alongside me while I try and catch dinner. I’m not sure who enjoys this more! Indeed, it soothes the mind and body after working in the heat. Or, in Tucker’s case, sleeping in the heat.
I look forward to reporting on the harvest next month. Until then, stay cool!