It’s a topless summer.

Workers. Not just the crews working on the “acreage”. The guy living there since way back when it was a farm has been running around without his shirt on too. Many years ago I quit wearing a hat. Once I had a tractor with a cab roof to protect me from the noon day sun I never felt the need. My son liked open station (topless) tractors. He died eight years ago rolling one over a terrace.

Body slammed by one hundred fifty horses.

Markets. On any normal year we spend the most active weather months, spring-early summer, looking for a top in the price charts. This year we seem to be looking for the bottom. The hedge funds are wearing their shorts and their not covering them. If they do that may be the only rally left this summer. A kind of never summer summer.

How high can that dead cat bounce?

Corn. Up to five in a row. A stalk, an ear shooting out, but a broken off dying top leaf or two and tassel. Topless corn. And I’m very fortunate. Not far north and east of me the fields are really beat up. Driving by those unfortunate neighbors I am starting to see loads of silks covering the almost totally downed-broken off messes. Just add pollen.

Do these anomalies show up on their satellite views?

Beans. The Japanese beetles (Not an Asian cover band) are giving the sore-beans a run for the money. My money’s on not spraying them, the bankers are reluctant to loan farmers the basic needs let alone rescue treatments on a crop in surplus. According to the hucksters down @ the board of trade. I’ll trade ’em their delusions for a little bit of reality.

We’re nowhere near seven years ahead.

Dancers. Bottomless too. Just ‘cross the river from Offutt. Quite a party when the fly boys get paid. Twice a month. For a mere ten or fifteen bucks you can sit and watch yourself thirty or forty years ago. Or get a closer look for a few more ones. But that might only make you feel old. I guess I finally understand those old geezers who only stop for a short while.

Now that I’m one.

That’s enough orneriness for a hot summer day. Stay cool. Stay hydrated. Stay topless. We have a lot of silks to cover. Spin those tassels …….

Then, there.



Does Dark Matter

At night when the sun with all it’s environs are safely behind a few katillion tons of earth plants and animals more than sleep. We heal and dream and grow. For plants to grow properly, at least the plants that I invest in to grow, the darkness isn’t as important as the overnight temperatures. According to what I’ve been reading whilst it rains.

For a few days, with nightly lows down to the 60 mark things should be normal. What I’m wondering is will the next few days relatively lower than normal daily high temperatures be like saved up cools in the bank for the probable hotter days and nights yet to come? One thing’s for sure, they will serve that very same purpose for the psyche.

Kind of like a nap account. Take every nap you can have the luxury to get. So often times in the hustles and bustles we’re engulfed in there’s simply no time. Though I do remember a day long ago coming back from eating lunch at McClelland’s still open Dew Drop Inn that included an “illegal” (they never carded me) serving of my first frosted mug of draft beer. We’d been cultivating beans.

I hopped on my older brother’s John Deere G with the front mounted four row cultivator and started around the field across the road from the one we’d just finished before lunch. About a quarter mile in and around a corner with old rouge trees growing in it was my brother’s brother in law. Tractor shut off and fast asleep under the trees. Maybe he’d had a few.

Enjoy summer. Spring was unsprung at 5:07 am local time. We have three whole months of wonderful warmth to enjoy. Remember to rest. Dark matters. With what amounts to almost twice the daylight as the last solstice it’s easy to overdo it. Lots of liquids. Even if, especially if a few of them are frosty. You know what I mean.

See ya then, see ya there.




Wish the markets were.

Iowa is green and getting greener. Every year the transition from desert browns of winter to deep forest greens of summer is phenomenal. For about the next month, until the bigger half of Iowa that’s corn turns the almost milky white of corn tassels, we are soaring on the rain forest canopy as we undulate along the rolling hills’ back country roads. Those taking me home.

You don’t get the same sensation flying down the I-80 super slab, aka the king’s highway. Maybe that’s from the always present fellow travelers distracting you from everything except staying alive @ 80 mph in NASCAR bumper to bumper formations. There are long stretches of lonesome sanity between the islands of chaos if one drives a more sane 65 mph.

Your view will be reduced to the right hand side when the maniacs overtake you but that’s still a better view than 90% of the drivers with dirty looks on their face to your left. I still smile and nod. Their rage may be assuaged by my acknowledgement. They are usually more enraged by that speeding maniac on their rear bumper. Once they’ve chased them a while they seldom fall back.

But I digress …….

That’s my post. The beans are growing well in the near triple digit heat. I swear the corn grew six inches overnight. The government program has been adhered to and the paper work going to the crop insurance lady will allow one more summer trip across the fertile fields of home and back. Next? Iron. Hay. Trees. In that order.

Then, there.



Quick Draft Post

Piss on it.
Summer’s half over. But that’s not the half of it. Summer starts on the longest days of the year. The beginning of Summer is the half of it. Summer’s the beginning of the second half. We are half way through summer and Fall’s not all that warm. If you like the heat like I do we are two third’s through the height of it. Before long we’ll be rejoicing in a hot day, not “dealing with it”. I’ve quietly been rejoicing in the hot days we’ve had. Warmal Colding or not.

Then. There.


Some Summer

The last day of summer. I know I have been speaking of Fall but the first day isn’t until tomorrow. It’s still summer if only for a day. What are you going to do with it. I think I’m getting my other combine out of the barn over on the west farm here on Rosewood Road. I already took the 1460 out of the barn here at home to move heads around. The last couple of weeks I’ve been hauling three heads home from about one hundred miles away out in Nebraska. I bought them a year ago and the gentleman I bought them from was getting antsy to be rid of them. I plan on using the 15″ bean head on the 1440 this year. The 20″ head I used last year is too wide for these old hills and that narrower, lighter combine. I fought it all last year.

The 1400 series (1420, 1440, 1460, 1480) IH Axial Flow combines never had the pivoting, land hugging head mount on the feeder houses that the later models came out with. On side hills in western Iowa the combines can get to leaning over pretty far as we cut around the hills. Farmers used to tip over a combine once in a while. I’m just trying to keep the whole width of the cutter bar down on the ground. On the bottoms are no problem, this year that’s only about twenty acres on the two hundred soybean acres I have to harvest. The rest is up on the side hill where the “new” head will pay off. Cutting up and down the sides of wash outs with a narrower head may be better also. As long as I’m not disking them shut before finishing the combining. Then the extra width is beneficial, giving more room to maneuver the disk.

I guess I’m spending my last day of summer much as I’ve spent the last number of days, getting ready for fall. And telling the internet about it. Also known as staying in the same routine. The nights are getting long enough you hardly need an afternoon nap. The nights are getting chilly enough you may have to close a window sometime through the night. I’m getting old enough I can close them when I get up to pee. It won’t be long we won’t be able to leave the windows open. We’re going to miss the sweltering days of summer. We kind of did miss them this year anyway. I’m looking forward to Indian summer as it will at least be some summer if we get it. So far this year it’s never quite made it this far north. Some summer is a good thing. Even if but for a day.