Once a year I get to participate in farm life. I drive a grain truck around grain fields following a combine. The combine dumps grain in the truck: 400 or 500 bushels depending on the truck, the weight of the grain and the steepness of the hill we have to drive up to reach the silo. Once at the silo, the drivers dump the grain into an auger that lifts the grain up to the top of the silo and deposits it inside for safekeeping. It is hot work, and some of the chaff in the air is itchy; but I love doing it! There is an astonishing amount of wildlife, and scenes I would totally miss if I weren’t out in the field or driving down the roads moving grain from here to there.
This year, I observed many horses, deer with fawns and a few bucks – some starting to shed their velvet… I saw many hawks swoop down to snatch at mice in the newly cut stubble. I watched one hawk who’s intended dinner (apparently some small weasel) had the tenacity to chase the much larger hawk away!
I also noted a cute palomino foal highlighted by a red barn, an unusually colored horse (is that grey or buckskin?) and a spectacular flower bed along the highway. It is not quite fall as I write this – but the colors of fall are evident in the pictures. Most of us around here are looking forward to the cooler weather, and I’m looking forward to trading in my oversized steering wheel for a paint brush.