Archive for September, 2010

Fall Colors

Even though most of the fields are brown and in the process of being harvested now, the colors in the ditches and along the edges of the corn are still vibrant.  It is still a very beautiful time of year.


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Life Cycle

All throughout April and May, the countryside is a buzz of activity:  Tractors move slowly down rural roads and across fields.  Plows churn the earth, and disks smooth it back out again.  It’s a time of planters and sprayers, of dust and of rain.  And most of all, it’s a time of hope, anticipation, and optimism.

June and July are months of great change; every time you look across the landscape it’s different.  The colors morph from light to dark; from green to gold; the wide open spaces become hemmed in with walls of stalks and tassels that wave in the breeze.  And one day there is sun, the next, rain.

In August, things become quiet.   The days are humid, the wind is still.  The corn and the sky and the shadows seem frozen in time.

And then September comes, and then fall, and it all starts happening in reverse. Combines drive slowly down the road, lights flashing. At night, the fields are abuzz with lights from the machines, and dust swirls, and grain bins whir.  The walls of corn come down, the horizons become wider, farmsteads and trees and water towers that were hidden in the distance reappear.  The colors go from brown to black as the earth becomes visible once again.

As fall progresses and the days become cooler, there’s a feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment — but also a gnawing sense of mortality as you look about and realize that the seasons have changed; that the fields once full of life and beauty and bounty have given up their fruits.  The energy returns now to the earth, and the cold winter winds will soon blow.

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Summer Comes to Close


Honestly, I am running out of things to say about corn.  But it is still a very, very beautiful time of year as the fields await harvest.

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Country Roads

It’s not technically fall yet, but feels like it.  This is a very beautiful time of year, with cooler temperatures, dries air, and usually clear blue skies.  I rode my bike to Martensdale today, a small town about 20 miles south of Des Moines.  The trail that goes there is a former Great Chicago Western railbed — this particular branch ran from Oelwein, Iowa to Kansas City.  The day was absolutely picture perfect.  Nearly all of the cornfields are brown now.

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Four Months

September 3

May 3

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September Morn

The calendar says it’s still summer, but fall is definitely in the air.  The days have grown shorter, the nights are slightly cooler, the stalks are brittle in the breeze, and (finally) the air and ground is dry.   The fields are especially beautiful in the long shadows of morning and evening.

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