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Stoskopf Diaries

August 17, 1997

It only got into the 80's here today. Not exactly our typical August hot, dry, windy days. The 4-H club's swim party was tonight. The kids had a blast but it was pretty cool by the time we called it quits at 9 p.m.

August 18, 1997

More rain today! The guys sat at the elevator and solved the world's problems over coffee with several other farmers. Then it was back to repairs this afternoon. Everyone is getting really concerned about getting all the field work done, fertilizer applied, etc. and having the fields in shape to plant wheat by mid-September. We usually shoot for starting to plant wheat on September 20th. In some fields, it may take at least 3 more trips over the ground to get the weeds killed, chopped up, and get the ground smoothed up enough to plant wheat.

August 19, 1997

Dean went to a county extension wheat pre-planting meeting tonight. It's always interesting to hear what researchers from Hays and K-State have to say about the different varieties, as well as learning more about marketing, controlling costs, and more. He learned that one of the head guys is going to make the rounds with our farm management field man during the next Barton County round of visits. That means it's time for me to get all the bookkeeping caught up.

August 20, 1997

Wayne had a good laugh today because the mid-morning thunderboomer caught one of his teachers with his car windows down. I doubt the teacher appreciated all the kids laughing while watching him run out and back in the rain getting the car windows closed. Another sudden thundershower right at noon caught everyone by surprise again.

Wayne had a classmate over after school today. They caught their grasshoppers for science class. Wayne's old butterfly net had too many holes (from being used to catch other bigger things, I think) so they had trouble getting the grasshoppers caught.

Dean went to a public meeting about Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area tonight. It was really an update on several different projects that Kansas Wildlife and Parks have going at Cheyenne Bottoms. Sounds like there will be more ducks and geese migrating through this area than in previous years.

August 21, 1997

More repairs. With the fields wet, there's not much else the guys can do but try to get everything ready to go full blast once it does dry out. Wayne's school had open house tonight. We enjoyed meeting the new teachers and learning what the kids are going to be studying. His school only has 4th and 5th grades - 3 classrooms of each grade. He's really excited about all the things they have planned.

Julie opted to stay home and practice her flute for a band test tomorrow. Since she's involved with both band and vocal music, she doesn't have a study hall during school. With 2 hours of volleyball practice after school, she's really going to have to stay on top of her schoolwork to keep up.

August 22, 1997

Wow! Made it through our first full week of school! Everyone seems tired! We had a 4-H float committee meeting at our house tonight. We're planning a float for the Labor Day Parade in Hoisington. Since we use our hay trailer, we usually build it in our machine shed and then someone drives it to town - very slowly - for judging on the morning of the parade.

August 23, 1997

Dean and Wayne mowed the yard today. The weeds and pollen are just terrible now. Usually, our area of Kansas looks pretty dry and is turning tan and brown in August. Not so this year. Everything is green and lush. The Milo looks great but the weeds are taking over all the forgotten corners of fields, yards, corrals, etc. For people who have allergies, an August like this can be really bad.

Wayne caught and froze a sphinx moth tonight. It was flying around the petunias in his flowerbed. A similar moth last year had a proboscis that was 3-4 inches long and we'd watch it try to maneuver it down into the throat of the flowers to collect nectar, quite a feat if the wind was really blowing. Since we didn't plant any tomatoes this year, we haven't been too concerned about the moths - which lay the eggs for the tomato hornworms. At least that's what we decided last year when we looked it all up in the bug books. We'll see what the 4th grade science class decides this year.