Large fluffy snowflakes floated lazily to the ground slowly covering the landscape in a blanket of white. Barb and I have always enjoyed an early season snow storm, often watching it from the comfort of our warm home with a fire crackling in our fireplace. This scene however played out in the open flatlands of North Dakota where our furnace fought to keep the temperature inside our rig above 50. Although it was still beautiful, it was a might chilly. The good news is that we finally had the opportunity to break out a pair of hats that my sister Carol knitted for us to take on our Alaska trip. It was never cold enough in Alaska to wear them so we took the opportunity this cold spell presented and sported them on the snowiest of days!
But despite the cold we have been very busy here on the farm. There are still several hundred acres of soy beans to harvest and even more acres to till. Soy beans can be a very temperamental crop requiring almost perfect field conditions to harvest. Too much moisture and it is not only hard to get in the field but the plant themselves will bunch up in the combine header making it almost impossible to harvest them. It will take a couple of dry warm days after any kind of moisture before they are ready to harvest again.
|The soy bean harvest continues when the weather cooperates|
|Daisy even got to drive the tractor!|
|This is what happens when you drive a semi into a wet field.....|
|.....a Ford gets to pull you out!|
Even when we cannot get into the fields there is still plenty to do. There are round bales to get out of the field and stored for easy access throughout the winter.
There is grain to get to the elevator to free up some bins in anticipation of the remaining soy beans. If you are driving the roads of north central North Dakota, beware, I have learned to drive the semi-trucks so if you see me behind the wheel your best bet is just to head for the ditch.
There are miles and miles of ditches to be mowed. Little known fact; landowners are responsible for mowing the ditches adjacent to their property on township roads in this area. In fact, not only are they responsible, they can get fined if they are not mowed by mid-October. Failing to mow the ditches will result in snow holding in the taller grass which also act as a snow fence of sorts and more snow on the roadways.
|Gotta love the look of a freshly mowed ditch|
Then there was the corn bin that needed to be cleaned out resulting in a hacking cough and me sleeping on the couch for 10 straight days due to a severe reaction to corn dust. Lesson learned.
Of course let’s not forget the hunting! The colder weather has pushed a lot of northern waterfowl in the area so every pothole seems to be filled with birds. Although we are still a few weeks away from the peak of the rut the bucks are slowly getting more active and Chris was the first on the board this year harvesting this monster buck last Friday!
We were able to get over to nearby McClusky to visit friends Dan and Jeannie who own and operate Prairie Smoke Ranch, the waterfowl camp located on our sidebar. Barb has been busy continuing to look for that perfect apple dessert recipe. We have been delighted with various types of apple bars but my favorite is her hot apple crisp with ice cream!
She went to a Sushi making class/wine tasting with Jeannie in Minot. She even bought everything she needed to make sushi and it was very good! She also got down her bike and has been riding that. This alone is a small miracle as I don’t think they have been of the rack in well over a year. Mine on the other hand, continues to collect dust on the back of the rig. She and Daisy have been visiting me in the tractor and taking photography walks throughout the countryside.
|An old D6 Caterpillar|
|The wind is really hard on flags around here!|
|Full moon coming over the horizon|