Gerald says empty brown fields after harvest are the prettiest fields a farmer can see. Our son-in-law Brian finished his harvest yesterday. He completed his first crop on the new field he had bought from a neighbor on Saturday. We’ve enjoyed watching the thick soybean plants there growing taller all summer as we drove past them on the way to town. And we’ve made many side trips up to see his corn and bean crops on our other farm. On a recent trip upstate, I didn’t see any plants as pretty as Brian’s beans or corn.
But as Gerald says, the brown stubbled fields stretching as far as the eye can see until stopped by the next tree line is cause for appreciation and rejoicing. Not fire nor hail nor wind nor deep mud caused by heavy rains can now destroy all the work and expense put into the crops. The fields are resting ready for winter’s snow and promising another planting in the spring.
On Saturday on our way to Anna, I saw only one lovely tree with orange leaves. This morning one short sassafras beside the road had bright red leaves. So far most trees are only browning here in Southern Illinois. Many green leaves are darkening though a few are turning lightly red. Yet we know the colors will soon be deep and beautiful in a couple more weeks, and we anticipate autumn’s visual pleasure in advance as we relish the cool morning and evening air. We’ve had our first frost. And foggy mist rises from our lake each morning.
As I picked the few remaining pods of okra from in the garden, I enjoyed the loud music of crows cawing. Looking towards the sound, I saw large numbers of the birds beyond Scott’s trees where Brian had finished harvest. More crows were flying over my head to join the early birds already having breakfast on beans left behind in the stubble. They were glad the crops were harvested too.
Our tomatoes have been small all summer, and only a handfull remain for picking every other day. Our granddaughter Erin is with us this week, and she is trying to enjoy vegetables more, so I was picking these with her in mind. However, she and her Aunt Chris picked up her other grandmother at 4:30 this morning to take her to Mount. Vernon for cataract surgery. Very typically that grandmother already had Italian beef going in the crockpot. So Erin and all the Johnson family are gathering there for dinner tonight. There are still enough tomatoes for tomorrow though, but they are scruntly.
Tis the winding down season with stubbled fields and scruntly tomatoes. Should those words be added to the dictionary?
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