Old-growth Weeds

It was quite the relief to have the cloud cover and cooler temps arrive, along with being accompanied by a light rain. I’m sure all of our farmers were delighted to see it raining even the slightest. That strange smoky-looking haze we had last evening, had the looks of high humidity, but I swear it had the slightest smell of smoke. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is the smoke that’s made it here from those fires out in the Pacific Northwest. We all had better brace ourselves for a spiking in produce prices come this Fall, and mostly due to the crop failures out West. This is the first year in many where I’ve been noticing more farmers converting their lowlands into hay fields, which means they’re getting more money per bale this year, and likely getting sold to out of State buyers.

Being the last business day of the month, I had plenty to keep me busy between my out of office appointments. When making appointments for next month, it felt a little funny when writing the month of August, which in my book is basically our last full month of summer. Since we’re still in uncharted territories with this climate change, it’ll be interesting to see what our Fall is going to be like. It’ll be fantastic if we don’t have a killing frost until October because that’ll give my tomatoes and peppers more time to produce.

I had to meet an HVAC person over at a home to inspect a furnace, and while there we had a nice chat about the recent events that’ve taken place in our City. We held similar opinions regarding that proposed 100+ unit apartment house that company from South Dakota is wanting to build down near the banks of Willow Creek. If that does get built, I’ll give it ten years at the max before it has evolved into something much different than we’re now seeing. Just this past winter, I noticed someone had hung a soiled mattress cover over the balcony of the one they’ve already built, which flapped in the wind for weeks before it was taken down. That to me was a sign of poor management because hanging “dirty laundry” over a second story balcony for all to see, would definitely not be allowed. I mentioned to someone after seeing it, “All I can see in my mind, is that mattress cover flying off that railing and landing on someone’s windshield as they’re coming around that sharp curve, and creating an accident.”

There were follow-up calls I had to make to several buyers regarding the price points on homes they’d recently viewed. There was one I showed which in my mind was at least $25K over-priced. The only thing I thought it had going for it, was the trick-out double garage. I gave my opinions, so we’ll see what happens.

Early this afternoon, I had another home to show a buyer whom I’ve known for a number of years, and since he’s now decided it’s time to buy something, I’m sure there’ll be some resistance, and only due to having never owned a home before. There’s no doubt there’ll be a tug-o-war going on in his mind over renting or buying.

As much as I wanted to take tomorrow morning off and get back to work on one of my personal projects, I now have two forenoon appointments that I had to schedule. I keep reminding myself, “You gotta make hay while the sun shines.”, because you never know when our market is going to enter a major slow-down, and if it does, that’s when many of the Realtors are going to be squealing like little piggies. The only thing that may keep our market moving, will be the continued influx of buyers coming from out of State which I’ve dubbed “The inland migrators”. The drought, water shortages, and fires out West are definitely creating incentives for people to move.

When looking at the news today, I wasn’t surprised to find the Delta variant of the China virus making its way around the world. China now has it, so we’ll see how well they’ve be able to contain it. I’m still a bit troubled by the way in which our State is handling it, because nobody really knows if the vaccinations they’ve had, will keep them from getting it. I probably look like someone from another planet while in stores, and only because I continue to wear my face mask. The only ones I still see wearing them, are a few of our elderly, and that’s it. Personally, I have no problem wearing a face mask because that just helps protect me from catching a cold or flu from others.

It didn’t surprise me to find several other Realtors calling and asking if my Clear Lake acreage was still for sale, in spite of my having already posted it as a pending. It never seems to fail when having a property like that because for some reason, the buyers take longer to make up their minds. Luckily, my buyers wasted no time in looking at it, and then getting pre-approval at a bank before offering on it. In time, that property will end up being the best investment they’ll ever have made. In a good way, I’m still a bit envious of that site, as the last time I was out there, I counted ten different varieties of mature trees. Now where can a person find that type of country setting in North Iowa? The last site I sold that was in similar size and condition, was riddled with those nasty Silver Maples which in my book, are nothing more than old-growth weeds. Tonight’s photo is one I took out there of a Catalpa with its unusually twisted limbs. Once the undergrowth is cleared from below and around it, that’ll be an eye-catcher.

Having talked about the wild parsnips and Queen Anne Lace last night, I now want to mention how over-populated our City and countryside is with that nasty Virginia Creeper. Just these past several years, I’ve been battling it in several locations. By the way in which they propagate, they should be re-named the Kudzu vines of the North. I know we’ve had them around for generations, but I think they’re getting worse due to how lax people are getting in regards to keeping their landscapes free of invasive species. I always have to laugh to myself whenever buyers think they’re grape vines.

Tonight’s One-liner is: What lies behind us and what lies ahead, are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.

Joe Chodur

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