Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

There is a scary little pumpkin face in GriggsDakota.
He seems to follow wherever I go.
He likes to play hide and seek
In the woods
And the corn field.
I found him peeking out of buildings
and perched on a fence post,
He offered to climb up and check the bin
He wanted to drive a load of barley to Sutton. Don't worry, Don put a stop to that!
He played in the junkyard
And found the wheels that brought us here.
He took a chilly dip on a brisk afternoon.
Then spent the evening recalling the fishing adventures of summer.
BOO!!!!!!! Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Bea Witchy

I heard a ruckus in the tree outside at dawn this morning.
There was a witch flying around in GriggsDakota.
"Old witches and mean mothers are the BEST!" she cackled.
She scared the cat!
Then turned on her broom and flew away.
I heard her laughter on the wind. All good witches are born on the day before Halloween.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Baseball Tonight!

There was a baseball floating around in GriggsDakota!!
"Oh! Mr. Baseball, why are you here?" I asked.
"The World Series starts tonight!" was his only reply.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Combining Again

Above: The wind blew through the night last night, drying down the soybeans. Rain is forecast to return tonight so we are cruising and storing the soybeans in an air bin.
Above: As mud and debris stick to the tires, we need to be inspired.
Above: Time is short, the wind is bringing rain.
Above: The low spots are filled with water and very soggy on the edges. Farmer Fred proceeds with caution.
Above: We've posted inspiration on the auger.
Above: And on the air bin where we are storing the soybeans.
Above: Old Red needed inspiration as he thought the soybeans may be too heavy for his old engine and hoist.
Above: Our Friends in the Field work near by.
Above: We all do our part to produce food for a hungry world.
Thank you Winston Churchill for the inspiring reminder.

By Special Request

For those of you who love this old GriggsDakota farmhouse, here it is with a fresh coat of paint. The foundation is dark red and we have plans for a few more red details to be added next spring. Built in 1918 by Grandpa Sonny's dad, it is the "home place" to many. Congratulations to Grandma Nola who bravely chose to add a little red to the house for the first time. It looks beautiful.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Waiting and the Wonder

Above:  The combines are stopped, yet the day is sunny. What is happening in GriggsDakota? 
Above:  In the mornings we have hoarfrost or a crystalized dew covering every surface in GriggsDakota.
Above:  As the sun comes up and the temperatures climb above freezing, the frost turns to water.
Above:  The water soaks slowly through the husks of the soybeans and the result is that they are higher in moisture each day.
Above:  There are lots of pinto beans in the Adfarm field waiting for the day of harvest.
Above:  They too have the beautiful hoarfrost.
Above:  Pinto beans are vulnerable to staining and bleaching when left in the field after they are ripe. The husks do protect them, but only to a point. We need sunshine and a wind in order to complete our harvest. We have had some sunshine this week, but no wind to dry the fields.
Above:  The dried out milkweed plant is beautifully frosted in white and waiting for the wind to blow its seeds away.
Above:  The deck rail appears to be covered in white velvet. 
Above:  There is frost on the barbed wire fences.
Above:  The water is a mirror.
Above: Once the crunch of the frosty morning melts, the grass remains wet all day near the saturated ground.
Above:  The frost paints beauty everywhere.
Above:  But in GriggsDakota we're waiting to resume harvest and wondering when that will be.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Combining Soybeans

Above:  Harvest has resumed in GriggsDakota. Farmer Fred took the combine out to start on the soybeans this afternoon. The sun is valiantly trying to shine and there is a breeze which we need to dry down the fields. 
Above:  The head of the combine cuts the standing plant very close to ground level. The ground will be muddy in some spots, but here the combine stays on top pretty well.
Above:  We were concerned that the plants would be too wet to combine. If the straw is wet it can wrap as the combine rolls the plants through its workings, but these were going through and appear dry enough to combine, as you can see below. However at seventeen percent moisture, we will be putting the soybeans into an air bin to reduce the moisture in the beans to fourteen percent for safe storage.
Above:  When soybeans are snow covered, there is concern that the plants could lay down or lodge, especially if they are not fully mature. These soybean plants stood through the snow and wind very well. 
Above:  After Farmer Fred, visible getting out of his cab, makes a few adjustments, he will resume combining and continue as long as he is able to go. The weather forecast is for clouds with rain showers through the week.