Harvest Sunrise 2016

Harvest Sunrise 2016

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Harvest Rhyme Time

At one Kansas farm, it was time to cut wheat
Two young girls, Grandpa Randy did greet.
They arrived with their mom, to the field they did go.
But upon their arrival, winds started to blow.
The skies became dark, though it wasn't at night.
All the lightning around gave Grandma a fright.
No picnic for supper. No stopping to eat.
Get into the combine: It was time to cut wheat!
Off they did go, as the thunder did rumble.
But even before the rain started to tumble
A belt on the combine, it split right in two.
Oh no! Now just what would they do?
A ride in the semi, to Zenith they'd go.
At harvest time, you just go with the flow.
Grandpa would drive them away in a truck.
Before the storm came, if they had any luck!
They rolled into the co-op. The trip it was fine. 
They came to a stop at the end of the line. 
Other farmers had the same plan, it did seem.
Beating the storm was part of their scheme.
The girls waited patiently for their own turn.
Waiting with Grandpa, there was much they could learn.
He answered their questions; he considered each one.
One question? Two questions? No, they were not done!
Then it was time to pull onto the scale.
It was the next spot on the wheat's market trail.
A probe dipped into the semi truck bed.
Took a sample of wheat from that farmstead.
Some tests must be done, co-op workers have said.
They want to make sure it can be made into bread!
Into the elevator, it was a tight squeeze.
But Grandpa could do it. He did it with ease.
Now inside, it was time to dump wheat.
Once it was done, it was time to retreat.
Then the big semi was once again weighed. 
A ticket would reveal if the wheat made the grade.
Yes, it was fine. Yes, it was great!
Once made into flour, it could appear on your plate! 

Since rain sprinkles fell, we quit for the night.
We came to the house for some harvest bites.
The storm had made the girls late for their meal.
So they tore into supper with a great deal of zeal!

Because of the rain, harvest couldn't start soon.
Until the next day, it would be afternoon.
So Grandpa took two little girls to the pond.
Fishing with Grandpa can forge quite a bond.
Kinley had barely cast her line in
When a fish bit her worm, she started to grin. 
For Brooke, it took longer. She had to wait. 
But then she got one, and, boy, was that great!
The sun and the wind, they dried the wheat out.
"We're ready to help Grandpa!" They declared with a shout!
So off they went, down through the field.
Grandpa was hoping for a very good yield!
On the combine, there was a thing called a reel.
It turned through the wheat stalks. It was a pretty big deal.
All of the wheat goes through the machine.
From the stalk and the chaff, the grain then is gleaned.
When the combine tank was all full of grain
We could tell it was, too, through a big window pane.

Grandpa then let us push on some knobs.
The wheat came out of the bin in a pretty big gob!
An auger delivered the grain to the truck. 
Into each corner, the wheat soon was tucked.
When it was full, the truck driver did start
To drive to the co-op to do his own part.
It takes all kinds of workers to do all the tasks.
We all try to help Grandpa out when he asks!
Harvest is hard work, so hard that it seems.
A nap is in order. Hope for sweet dreams!
Then it was time for a good harvest meal.
We sat in the car. It was such a great deal.
Our time on the farm had to come to an end.
Until next year, more time we will spend!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Murmur of the Wheat

At church Sunday, a friend handed me a bookmark she'd found stashed away. She knew I'd love the poem, and she was right. (Thanks Gerry Ann!)

The wheat has been doing plenty of  "murmuring" as strong southern winds blew Harvest 2017 right on into South Central Kansas. Here's Exhibit A, a video I shot last night after delivering supper to the field:
Admittedly, part of the sound is the wind rushing past the camera. But listen for the rustle, too. It sounds a little like the legs of corduroy pants rubbing together. (Not that I'd know that sound or anything!)
We started harvesting wheat Monday afternoon (June 12). The strong southernly winds dried down the KanMark variety first. So far, it appears to be an average crop, though test weights have been really good.
Brief rain showers brought the cutting to a halt Tuesday evening.
Randy likely won't be able to start cutting quite as early today because of the rain. (And the wind doesn't seem to be howling this morning for the first time in four days!)
But the clouds sure made for some pretty photos last evening. (You have to find the silver lining, I suppose, when you're stopped in your tracks when you've barely gotten started!)
We'll likely be back at it later today. When wheat fields near harvest, they seem to do more than "murmur" to farmers. They give a full out "siren song," enticing them to fire up the big machines and bring in the harvest.
Note: The bookmark was from the Kansas Wheat Commission. It doesn't have a year on it. Here are both sides. If you click on the photo, you should be able to read it more clearly.

And Happy Flag Day from the County Line!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Check Please!

Check please!
I'll gladly take a "check" when it involves riding 4-wheelers on a beautiful summer morning ...
... especially when it's with this guy!
The "check" involved trips to two pastures to see if the cattle were doing OK in their summer vacation spots. The fences were in place, and the calves and their mamas seemed to be thriving.
We did find an extra inhabitant. (The bull on the left in the photo below was an uninvited guest. I never would have known. He looked right at home to me.)

A neighbor's bull seemed to think we were having a better party on our side of the fence, so he joined in.
While we were waiting on reinforcements to arrive, we took the 4-wheelers down to a bridge for another photo op.
But after our best efforts to encourage him to part with his new friends - our cow-calf pairs and our own bulls - he wanted to make himself at home. Even with two more 4-wheelers added to the round-up crew, we eventually gave up, and our neighbor called a cowboy to round him up and take him home.
But really: Who'd want to leave this place?
The dam at the Ninnescah is always a picturesque place.
But so are the venues with no rushing waters.
Randy sometimes teases me about the "flowers" I like. But at least he didn't call these pretty pinkish-purple flowers weeds. (I couldn't find them on my online Kansas wildflower guide, so if you know what they are, please let me know.)
As the day got a little warmer, the cattle decided to take a swim. Who could blame them?
But we still had one more location to check. Our pasture on the Rattlesnake is lush after our spring rains.
Pretty views of the creek were a lot easier to find than the cattle.
They were trying to escape the heat and the flies by hiding out in the plum thickets
I think I would have preferred a dip in the water.