Tag Archives: corn crop

Walking the track…

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The sky was that crisp blue, Carolina blue, only it hovers in Wisconsin, too.  The air temp was 60 degrees (feels like 58), a nice breeze, a lovely summer morning.  I was walking the track. 

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The track is a half mile oval race track on the folks’ farm, used for training horses for harness racing.  There are three race horses…Kenny, Nurse Jackie, and Vickie.  They are jogged everyday, with few exceptions.  Harness racing has been part of this family for at least three generations, maybe more.  Walkers shouldn’t be on the track when the horses are working, and they were already in the barn when I hit the gravel.  I try to walk every day, at least three laps, when I am here. 

That’s not what I was thinking about when I walked the track this morning, though.  I love this time and routine that I have developed on my visits.  Often, I say a rosary, and that is done in two laps…one rosary = one mile.  Good to know.  Often, I write this blog in my head.  Often, I plan for future projects, or just think.  Sometimes I make a phone call home.  Mostly, I just BE.

Track-walking time is pretty sacred.  I’m close to the soil, crops, the birds, and yet, I can look across the fields and see many changes.  When I arrived three weeks ago, the corn was just a few inches tall, and the beans had barely poked through the soil.  Now, the corn is knee high, and the beans’ rows are filled in.  The hay has been cut, baled, and is well on the way to the second cutting not too many weeks from now.  We’ve had heat, and good rains, and it’s cooled down to a couple of perfect weeks, too.

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Next time I get to walk the track, it will be winter, and an entirely different experience.  I will still be close to the soil, though it will be frozen ground.  I’ll still be able to look across the fields and see the changes, probably snow-covered.  And I still will just BE.  I have to pinch myself sometimes to know this chance I have to experience this part of family and life is real for me.  And so, Amen.

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Corn’s up!

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There are so many different shades of green here, it can’t be described.  But the one that is most prominent these days is the fresh yellowy-green of the tiny corns peeping through the soil.  The fields are blankets of this color stretching across the landscape.  From some angles, you can see the rows threading along.  From others, the green is just a solid sheet.  As the baby stalks get taller, the green color darkens slightly.
Last summer, when I was here, there was a deep drought.  The rice-grass lake in front of my sister’s house, barely had enough water to support the Sandhill Cranes that nest there every year.  The crop was compromised, and each day my farming brother and the folks listened to the forecast of more sunny days ahead, and paced, and worried.
This year, life-giving rain fell at the perfect time.  The corn fields are breathtaking, and now, we are having forecasts of rain everyday this week.  Feast or famine.  Yesterday, more than two inches of rain fell.  There are parts of some fields underwater, the rice-grass lake has expanded way beyond its acceptable edges, and the listening, pacing, and worrying are for not so much rain.  There is concern about the possiblitiy of hail and strong winds.
Until I came to the farm, I didn’t appreciate the delicate balance that is the day-to-day tightropewalk of growing crops.  I am not sure the general American public realizes what farmers do for us, how hard they toil, and how much we are all dependent upon what is brodcast on that weather channel.  Feast or famine.  It is not just an expression.
Meanwhile, the corn’s up, the sun’s out, and fog lies gently on the fields!