Minnesota Farmer


Of Monarchs and Walnuts

The calendar has switched over to September and summer is still supposed to hold here in Minnesota for a few more weeks but there are signs of fall all over the place.

The hot still days we had early last week were replaced by hot breezy days and now cool breezy days.  The high temperatures of over 80 degrees are to be replaced by highs in the low to mid 70’s.  We are not done with hot weather, but a few early morning temperatures of 50 are forecast for the weekend.

As the weather changes, the winds blow first one way, and then the other.  Last weeks blast from the south has been replaced by a northwest wind ushering in the cool.  As the wind shakes the trees, black walnuts and branches fall from my trees.  The squirrels are busy gathering in the harvest for the cold of winter and monarch butterflies are hovering in sheltered areas waiting for the right winds to take them to a warmer climate.

My potato vines are mostly dead and I have dug about half of them.  I have white, red and purple potatoes this year.  There is no more sweet corn to be harvested, but the raspberries are again producing fruit.  Our pepper plants and tomato vines are at their peak and will soon start to die back as the weather cools.  I dug a few carrots today.  The pumpkins and gourds are growing rapidly as if they too know that the cold is coming.

Out in the field the soybeans are just starting to show some yellow.  Harvest may begin as early as the last week of September for some, but most will wait for October.  The fields of corn are showing some drying husks in the sandy areas.  Our corn has already reached the maturity level we were forced to harvest it at last year.

The first high school football game is this weekend, and girls volley ball has already held two games.  Many of our area kids are finishing their second week of school and those who have not yet started will be off to school after Labor Day.

All of this says that fall is coming.  Goodbye shorts and sandals, it’s time to start bundling up for the wonderful temperatures, sights and sounds of fall in the theater of seasons that is Minnesota.

Michael

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