Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Buzzard Circles: Cue the Harvest Saga

A buzzard was circling the combine when I went by yesterday afternoon. It wasn't there for the combine, but it might as well have been.

The buzzard was dining on the big, well-fed raccoon who had been eating an all-you-can-eat wheat buffet inside our combine. When Randy started the combine up to move to our remaining 275 acres of wheat, the coon went through the machine, tearing up the radiator and assorted other parts.

The buzzard didn't come for the combine. But Straub's International did. If you are one of those people who thinks raccoons are cute, you are welcome to pay our repair bill!

It was just another part of the Wheat Harvest 2016 saga. We started June 15. Yes, way back then, it looked so promising. And, the wheat we cut early was well above average. Then it began raining. We think it's rained seven times since June 20. We had a hiatus from July 2 through July 11 because the ground was just too soggy.
Thankfully, our neighbor, Gary, rescued us yet again. He had already planned to help us cut to finish up. Now, his machine will harvest our remaining crop. Randy got a quick lesson in transitioning from red to green, and he's been driving the borrowed combine. It has 4-wheel drive, so it has been helpful on the still muddy ground.
I'm glad I took photos of harvest earlier. The photos of beautiful wheat are long gone. From the road, there are so many weeds coming through that you can hardly tell we're cutting wheat. The straw spreader looks more like a lawn mower tossing mulch as it chews through grass.
Photo taken June 15, 2016
But we are thankful to again be cutting. We got a sprinkle of rain overnight. Now, if the rain can just stay away for a couple of days: Fingers crossed!

Who would have thought I'd have to juggle getting set up for the Stafford County Fair with running meals to the field? As superintendent of 4-H foods and nutrition, I'm setting up this afternoon. Judging begins bright and early Wednesday morning. In our current situation, I'm thankful that our active 4-H days are over and we aren't trying to get livestock and a dozen other projects ready to go while still trying to finish up harvest.

I hope that we'll be able to say we're done with harvest sometime before the fair is over.  If all goes well and the "creek don't rise," we should be done sometime on Wednesday.

"If all goes well ..." I don't think I'll count on that.

We are ready to put Wheat Harvest 2016 in the rearview mirror.


  1. Ugh. Good riddance to harvest 2016! I'm right there with you on the subject of raccoons...or in our case groundhogs! Someday I'd love to know what good they do, when they cause so much damage!! I'm glad you're able to keep going with the help of your neighbor...even if it is green!

    1. We are calling it done. The borrowed combine is stuck in the mud and we got 2 more inches of rain this AM (Thursday, July 14). The guys broke 3 ropes/chains yesterday and we are going to have to call in a bulldozer to get it out. It's been one to remember - or, perhaps, FORGET!

    2. Two expressions used down under are appropriate for your woes at present.
      'Who'd be a farmer?!!!'
      'You must have run over a chinaman!'
      Sure hope that rain stops soon!

    3. "Who'd be a farmer?!" I love it. Thanks for making me smile, Helen!

  2. Oh dear! Such a stressful time. Enjoy the fair. I look forward to reading all about it.

    1. We got the 4-H foods judging done yesterday. I am glad to help out with a project that was so important to my daughter during her 4-H years. I had several photos do well in the open class division. County fairs and 4-H have been part of my entire life.