Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Soybean Harvest Complete

Today is the last day of soybean harvest. As I do most days during harvest, I came to the field at noon to deliver lunches. 
Today's menus is bacon double cheeseburger, pizza salad, chips, grapes, and cake. 
Plus your choice of pop and water from the cooler I carry along. 
You can see Farmer Fred has his lunch bag by the window. I pack things in foam containers to keep things hot or cold. During the long days of Summer, everything in the bag can be eaten with one hand. Today I included a fork and hope everyone can find a moment to stop and eat their salad and cake.
 For a moment I think that I am one combine short, then notice dust wafting from over the ridge.
 The dust was hanging in the air like a hot August night. There was no wind all day. We have been enjoying perfect harvesting weather.
As we finish the 2014 soybeans we have only one more crop to combine. Tomorrow we start to prepare the machines for corn harvest in GriggsDakota.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A view from the oilfield

Every Monday we welcome our daughter Kirsti to blog from her home in Western North Dakota's oil patch. Take it away Kirsti.

My husband snapped this photo on his phone almost three years ago. It was one of the first photos he shared with me from his new job in the oil field. We had moved here just weeks earlier. We were living in a new (to us) home, a new town, a new timezone. It was a new way of life that felt far removed from my farm-girl upbringing in GriggsDakota. I was a bundle of nerves.
He shared this photo and I knew. I knew we would make a home here. I knew we would have a great life. I knew we'd make it.
I still look at this photo from time to time. It's a reminder of that exciting time in our lives, as well as a reminder of God's faithfulness in directing our paths.
Some see the beautiful sky. Some see the well site. I see hope.

Have a great week! -Kirsti

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Friday, October 17, 2014

The Goose Chase

We have seeded Winter Wheat and the geese can always find it. 
Who can blame them? The tender green shoots are a treat. 
So, once in a while, I drive the pickup around to move them around a bit. 
 They seem to know that I do not have a shotgun along.
And yet, they surely have had experience with a shotgun by now. 
This looks like evidence of a coyote's goose dinner. They hide in the nearby brush to capture a meal. 
So the geese and I are getting rather good at playing the chase away game. They pretend that they will leave. 
 Then circle back to rest on the lake where they know they are safe.
I just hope they are enjoying it as much as I am in GriggsDakota.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Curious Cattle Watch the Harvest

 Cattle are curious when we have the combines nearby.
It doesn't happen that often, but they don't get excited by the noise or bustle of the harvest crew. The herd feels secure in their fence.
But the cattle hang around where they can see what's happening in the field, and we enjoy the view of the pastures. 
We are still combining soybeans. 
 The weather has been "practically perfect in every way," to quote Mary Poppins.
 I think that the sky is bluer in October than it is the rest of the year.
There is so much going on when we unload soybeans on the go. There are soybeans coming into the combine hopper and being augered out at the same time. With tractor, grain cart, combine and the moving crop to manage all at the same time, the drivers need to be alert. 
Combining is dusty work, and we are glad to have cabs to work from. The plants are brittle and dry. The soybeans are at safe storage moisture and so can go directly into a grain bin on the farm. 
As the dust settles on this field and we move on to the next one in GriggsDakota.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Lonely Egret

This is the land of the lonely. Wide open spaces and room to be alone. There is a lonely egret hanging around down by the lake. I haven't seen him with one of his own kind, although he has been hanging out with the geese, ducks and others passing through. 
It is a roaring windy day and I understand why he wouldn't hear me coming. He doesn't see me coming either, despite the fact that I am behind the wheel of a fire engine red three-quarter ton pickup truck.  
I suppose he has been left behind by his flock who flew through GriggsDakota about a month ago. 
Tired, sick, for some reason unable to make the trip at the time. 
 He takes to the air, just to prove that he can fly.
 But the egret pretends he is going to land nearby.
As he nears the water, he seems to find a burst of energy. 
 He squawks his farewell.
And flies away.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Good Neighbor

 We started soybean harvest and like most things this Fall, it's late.
 So when a neighbor offered to come over and help us, we weren't concerned about the color of his combine. We are colorblind and grateful.
While taking photos my memory traveled back to a 4-H Club meeting that I attended at his house. It was June, many years ago. Tim's mom, Rita, raised  strawberries and she and the kids had been picking and freezing strawberries that day. She froze most of the strawberries with sugar for the family, but some with artificial sweetener for her husband, Edward, who was diabetic.  
It was not any trouble to make cake, whip cream, top it with freshly picked strawberries and serve the delicious treat to the 4-H club that evening. Our club was girls only then, the Jolly Lassies. Although most of the girls had farm related projects like livestock and gardening, these meetings were more about the domestic arts. People were kind and generous. 4-H meetings are some of the happiest memories of my growing up years. 
 Tim lives on that farmstead where the strawberries grew and the 4-H met whenever it was his sisters' turn to host the meeting. His dad went to the country school with my parents. Our roots are deep in GriggsDakota.
But, I digress, back to Soybean harvest.
Robbie drove the grain cart on the first day of soybean harvest. 
He had his beautiful copilot along for much of the afternoon. As soon as all of her questions are answered, that city girl just might get behind the wheel and drive a rig.  
The acres are getting done in a hurry with many willing hearts and hands in GriggsDakota.

Monday, October 13, 2014


Every Monday we welcome our daughter Kirsti to blog from her home in Western North Dakota's oil patch. Take it away Kirsti.

My husband frequently drives off the beaten path for his job in the oil field. He's able to see much of the rugged natural beauty of Western North Dakota and experience the wildlife like many only dream. 

What's more, he has agreed to let me share some of his photos here on the blog each week. 

A win-win, I'd say.

Let's take a look at some furry friends he captured with his lens,

These two rams were caught having a snack break.

The abundant rain we've had this year has made for tasty grass to munch.

The hills of western North Dakota are not always this green. This year though, we have enjoyed our unusually lush landscape.

They are unfazed by our presence.

And soon ready to move on to their next meal.

See you next week! -Kirsti

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