Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Combining Near the Quicksand

 We started soybean harvest last week, before we finished the pinto beans.
 They are ripe and dry.
On Winter days I often look out at this snow covered field and remember the days of Summer on this ground. 
I can picture every crop that we raise and a couple we no longer plant, including sunflowers on this land. 
The soybeans are surprising us. They are doing well, despite the dry Summer. We like to take some credit for our weed control practices, but also give credit to an abundance of subsoil moisture collected over our previous wet seasons. 
This will be the last you see of the pinto bean combine for this season. I wandered down to the lake to show you how low it is. I was going to walk up to the edge of the water, but as I stepped, the ground gave way under me. I managed to catch my balance and step back to solid surface. It caught me, who grew up on this lake, by surprise. Quicksand is something that I had not thought of in years. The lake has been high and the edge does not hold the fascination that it did when I was growing up. As kids, we were warned that there were quicksand spots along this lake. We had a couple of beach spots that were solid where we could play, but we were not to wander around into quicksand. 
 I had seen the movies and knew what that meant. 
A hapless cowboy would wander carelessly into a wet sandy area that had no apparent bottom. An endless sandy sinkhole would swallow him slowly, but surely. He would try to keep still and sometimes he was rescued, if he was not in too deep. If you sunk down too far, no one could rescue you. The sand was too heavy, its grip would rip you in two if someone tried to pull you out with a rope. All went silent as the camera panned the horizon. The next thing we saw was the posse and a riderless horse riding into the distance. 
I never wanted to be that cowboy. So even now, as I wondered if the quicksand would be deep enough to cover my boots, I could hear my dad's voice cautioning me. I didn't dare step off the bullrushes that were providing a firm foundation for me as I photographed our soybean harvest. 
 We did not get the predicted frost, so there are still tomatoes in the garden.
And we have soybeans in the bins of GriggsDakota.

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