Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

 It is the season of darkness, the season of quiet. Frozen lakes mean the geese are gone, the land is quiet.
Faded sunlight lasts only a short while. 
Then darkness comes quickly. 
 Harvest is complete. It is a relief. We are thankful for that and so much more.
Happy Thanksgiving from Butler and the gang in GriggsDakota.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Inside the Seed, There Might Be A Tree

Maybe it is because I know that my Grandpa planted this tree from a seed. I remember this tree growing in an old coffee can half full of garden dirt.
 Whatever the reason, it is unlikely that I will pass seeds from trees without picking a few and putting them in my pocket. I take them home, fold a wet paper towel in thirds and lay the seeds about two inches apart on the towel. I fold the towel, carefully put it in a sandwich bag and place it in the refrigerator drawer with the fruit.
I always forget about it. After a few weeks, I rediscover it, as I did these. I wonder what in the world is in this bag and why is it in the back of the fruit drawer. Then I remember and plant the sprouted seeds into soil.
These are mementoes of my nephew's graduation from high school, gathered from the berm across the street from his graduation celebration. The rest that started are from Grandpa's tree. I brought them into the porch to give them extra time to establish roots and whatever else they need before shedding all of their leaves. I plan to move them to a cooler spot, but one where their roots won't freeze.
A tree growing from a seed brings hope for the future in GriggsDakota.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Winter Wheat Establishes Well

 When I was growing up, we didn't raise Winter Wheat.
It didn't grow around here, because the Winter was too harsh. 
Modern agronomy has changed all that. 
 We still have long cold Winters.
 But improved plant science has made Winter Wheat varieties able to withstand the conditions during most Winters.
 The first important step to Winter Wheat success is planting it early in the Fall so that it has time to establish. It then needs some moisture to fully green its leaves and expand its roots.
 There needs to be some residue on the field to help catch the snow that needs to arrive before the deep sub-zero Winter Weather.
And, of course, someone should fuss and fret over it on a regular basis. At least, that's how it works in GriggsDakota.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Just for Fun: The Farm Inspector and Her Mommy

The photos in this post were taken in 2009, but they made me smile again.
"Does my sweater look familiar to those who knew my Mommy when she was just my size?" the Farm Inspector wondered.
Well maybe the sweater is not the only similarity.
If you need help cleaning up after the fun,
getting a job done right,
Or knowing which way to travel, The Farm Inspecor is always ready to pitch in.
When The Farm Inspector, pictured above in her mother's old sweater, chooses you for her team
She will drag
Or coerce you
Onto the field.
The Farm Inspector is always ready to try something new. Here she is trying a sweet pea flower. "Yucky!"
The Farm Inspector is always ready to trod through the jungle.
So just in case there was ever any doubt, The Farm Inspector
Is a lot like her Mommy.
And brings good memories to GriggsDakota.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cattle Enjoying Stubble

 There is a security that comes from looking over bales to see the cattle grazing on the hill.
 The cattle are close to home now and eating barley and corn stubble. 
The cows and calves are being sorted, vaccinated, and pregnancy checked as the calves are weaned.  We listen to a couple of days of protest as the calves give up their milk break and the cows concentrate their energies on the calves that each one carries.
Contented cattle in GriggsDakota.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Snug and Warm

 Fall has lost its color in GriggsDakota. The leaves are on the ground and blown away.
I noticed that critters have been digging by the side of the trail.
This field produced soybeans this season and evidently provides a food source for wildlife. 
 I started to wonder about all the animals who survive on what the earth yields.
They spend the warm seasons raising young and eating, then they grow a heavy coat, and dig a deep hole. 
When the work is done, the animals crawl in and sleep the Winter away. 
 At least I think they are sleeping, or soon will be.
In the Summer grass grows up around these holes and they have caused many a stumble. I once went down into one and as I quickly pulled my foot out I heard a hissing growl. That day I was thankful to be wearing boots. 
 The digging around this hole looks like a small mountain on the flat land.
 If only the digging varmints would plant flags  to warn us of the danger.
Or perhaps they could devise a do not disturb symbol.
I am glad that I am above the ground enjoying the last of our Fall weather. 
  And looking forward to what the Winter will bring.
Which we hope will include a long Winter's nap for everyone in GriggsDakota.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Jack Frost Gives a Preview

 Fog + Freeze = Frost
 It's a simple formula with breathtaking results.
 It has left the geese confused as the cold night turns to sparkling day.
These geese are flying North, something I wouldn't recommend in November. 
This is just a foretaste of our long Winter to come. 
It tastes like the first sip of hot apple cider in the Fall. 
 It is as crunchy as the first Christmas Cookie.
The frost fills us with anticipation. 
As long as we don't look too far ahead, which is borrowing trouble. 
 As the breeze kicks up it begins to blow to the ground and melt in the sun.
The fragile nature of early hoar frost is the charm. 
As Jack Frost provides a preview in GriggsDakota.