Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Pop, Pop, Pop Goes the (Pop) Corn in the Pan!

Does it confound anyone else that I can remember a poem from grade school, yet I sometimes can't remember a name that's right on the tip of my tongue? Or, when I'm watching Jeopardy!, and I know the answer. Really, I do! But I just can't transfer the answer from the depths of my mind to my mouth quite fast enough.
The yield may not be good, but Randy loves to be on the combine.
We started cutting corn yesterday afternoon, and as I rode with Randy in the combine, I kept thinking about a popcorn poem I learned at Byers Grade School. We are cutting field corn, not popcorn, but the corn coming into the bin behind Randy still reminded me of the poem.

Pop - pop - pop!
Goes the popcorn in the pan.
Pop - pop - pop!
You may catch me if you can.
Pop - pop - pop!
Says each kernel hard and yellow.
Pop - pop - pop!
I 'm a dancing little fellow.
Pop - pop - pop!
I can whirl and skip and hop.
Pop - pop - pop - pop - pop - pop - pop!

Maybe I can't remember that other stuff because my brain is cluttered with nonsensical trivia like that! (My sister, Lisa, also remembers the poem, too, so it has stood the test of time.)
Our dryland corn will not be a bumper crop. It won't even be an average crop because of dry and hot weather during pollination and grain filling stages. But it's still a job that has to be done. The first field we're cutting is at 16 percent moisture, which is dry enough to haul to the elevator.
You can find "gold" in every situation.  So I did.
I didn't like taking photos of the field we were cutting from the combine cab because it looked weedy and sparse. But I liked the Corn Palace-like mosaic that Randy's shadow cast against the backdrop of a filling grain bin.
Because Shawn was swathing sudan on a custom job for a neighbor, Randy was both combine driver and semi driver. I went along for the first trip to the Zenith elevator for Corn Harvest 2017.
Once we arrived a Zenith, Randy untarped the load ....
 ... then pulled onto the scales to be weighed. 
 A sample is taken to test for quality and moisture, using the probe at the office.
Then it was time to go to the dump pit. This time, they sent our truck to the outside dump site.
The grain is dumped via gravity from the bottom of the semi.
And then it's "See ya later!" to the guys at the elevator pit.
Back to the office we go to weigh on empty.
Ask the truck driver to pause so you can get creative with the rearview mirror shot.
Do a quick check of the prices (pretty much all down - sigh).
Attach the scale ticket to the magnet clip and head back to the field.
And repeat!


  1. I'm glad Randy still has a smile on his face despite the discouraging crop. We are so at the mercy of the weather and our surroundings! In looking at the pictures from the elevator...let's hope the bottom of the truck got closed up good and tight before the next load! :) Oh my, that would be awful, wouldn't it?! Anyway...I was out your direction two weeks ago,taking Jenna to college in Hesston KS. The scenery sure looks different out there than it does here!

    1. Randy loves the combine, even if the yield is less than ideal. The co-op workers are good at making sure the trucks are ready for the next load. But you're right: It would be a mess if not!

      I hope Jenna gets along well. I'm sure it's hard being so far away. I hope you're transitioning to this new normal. We're 1 1/2 hours away from Hesston, so keep it in mind in an emergency, etc.

  2. You found 'gold' beautifully. All the best for the rest of the harvest.

    1. Thanks, Helen. The sunflowers are pretty and plentiful this year. Wildflowers/weeds always seem to thrive, even in less-than-ideal weather conditions.

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