By in Random

In Farm Country, You Can Tell the Seasons By the Fields

Where I live on the central south shore of Lake Erie, this is farm country. To the east and the west are metropolitan areas that are converging on this rural area, but not any time soon will the family farmers give up their way of living that goes back generations in many cases.

Until I was away from here for a number of years, I didn't appreciate the beauty and uniqueness that are the fields that stretch as far as the eye can see. Small farms, large farms -- each one is different but with enough in common to shout "familiarity" to even the casual observer.

Right now, much of the corn has been harvested, with the farmers plowing under the residual stalk material for the winter. Soybean fields are turning more yellow each day and cool night, with the harvest to happen soon.

In spring, some of the most beautiful sights are those of freshly-plowed fields, rich brown earth replacing the white blanket of winter.

During the summer, everything is green, albeit different shades of green. The wheat, the corn, the soybeans grow at varying rates. The rule of thumb for sweet corn is to be "knee high by the 4th of July" for an on-time initial picking.

Even in the winter, the fields with their expanses of unbroken snow have their own allure.

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Image Credit » by Pezibear

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LoudMan wrote on September 27, 2015, 6:26 PM

I remember the vivid beauty of that part of the country. It's gorgeous.

Feisty56 wrote on September 27, 2015, 6:29 PM

I lived here over forty years before leaving the state for a decade. I had no clue how much these everyday views were important to me -- until I returned.

VinceSummers wrote on September 27, 2015, 6:37 PM

I wonder how many of these fields are GMO fields? At one time, I would have loved the romance of farming. Now, I'm not so sure.

paigea wrote on September 27, 2015, 6:47 PM

I love the scenery here in the middle of farmland too. But it is dusty!

AngelSharum wrote on September 27, 2015, 7:04 PM

We have a lot of corn and other fields here as well. It is pretty to look at.

CoralLevang wrote on September 27, 2015, 7:24 PM

What a beautiful depiction of a vocation/avocation that moves with the seasons. Lovely.

And does not need to be sullied naysayers. *grrr*

markgraham wrote on September 27, 2015, 8:12 PM

I know what you mean, for I lived in a rural suburban area in Western Pennsylvania and passing those huge fields were pretty, I liked the corn fields, but I also liked the fields in winter as you describe but without the crops it opened up the area.

wolfgirl569 wrote on September 27, 2015, 8:21 PM

I would not live anywhere else. Love to look out on the fields as they grow. Not so much in the winter sometimes tho. I hate cold and the snow reminds me of that

Feisty56 wrote on September 27, 2015, 11:01 PM

I don't know, VinceSummers , to be honest. I do know the local farm from whom we have been buying sweet corn since I was a child still has the same yellow and white corn as always. As for the rest, I don't know.

Feisty56 wrote on September 27, 2015, 11:03 PM

Yes, it is dusty at times -- and in the spring the smell of fertilizer can be pungent. : )

Feisty56 wrote on September 27, 2015, 11:04 PM

The fields have their special appeal, just as the forests or the mountains.

Feisty56 wrote on September 27, 2015, 11:06 PM

Thank you. I feel blessed to live where I do, just as I'm sure others wouldn't live anywhere other than the city, near the ocean, in the desert...

Feisty56 wrote on September 27, 2015, 11:08 PM

There's such majesty in the expanses of the fields, don't you think?

Feisty56 wrote on September 27, 2015, 11:43 PM

Those fields offer sights and even sounds to those who pay attention.

Feisty56 wrote on September 27, 2015, 11:46 PM

The only problem for me with the open fields of winter is the blowing snow and drifting on to the roadways. Farmers around here used to be diligent about putting up snow fences to help stop that drifting, but not so much these days.

missfortune wrote on September 28, 2015, 12:04 AM

One of the odd things that happens here is "the drive" - for whatever reason hundreds of people in the area all drive to Butler or Somerset to see the leaves change. i mean its not like they are changing riht before their eyes or anything like that. I never got sucked into going to one of these events .. lets hope my luck holds out this year

Paulie wrote on September 28, 2015, 1:00 AM

I grew up on a farm in Wisconsin so I can readily identify with everything in this article. Why is the soybean harvest so late? My dad planted soybeans for a few years and always had them harvested by the beginning of September.

BarbRad wrote on September 28, 2015, 3:13 AM

The same is true here in wine country. You can tell the seasons by looking in the vineyards.

Rufuszen wrote on September 28, 2015, 5:48 AM

I live on the edge of the city and my bike rides take me into the country. It is easy to spot the seasone!

LoudMan wrote on September 28, 2015, 6:51 AM

Dusrty? Oh yeah? Try the Texas Panhandle, Lubbock, TX or, Oklahoma.

wolfgirl569 wrote on September 28, 2015, 10:00 AM

Ours used to have fences almost everywhere, but after a blizzard someone in the county had the bright idea that they made the drifting worse. So they took the fences out for the farmers. Now the drifting is worse

msiduri wrote on September 28, 2015, 12:32 PM

As a kid, I lived in eastern Colorado for a few years. There was an early freeze one year. Some poor guy's wheat crop was lost, but it froze standing the way the wind was blowing it. It was quite a sight, though I think the farmer was probably unimpressed.

Feisty56 wrote on September 28, 2015, 2:29 PM

I "did" Oklahoma for seven years. : )

Feisty56 wrote on September 28, 2015, 2:32 PM

Maybe that same stinkin' thinkin' has been at work north of you, too. Even kids can see the difference the snow fences made to abate the large drifts. I don't know sometimes what those in high places use for brains.

Feisty56 wrote on September 28, 2015, 2:35 PM

Perhaps you don't realize what a visual treasure you have right there in the colorful leaves of autumn. For many people I know, myself included, a drive or two in the autumn to enjoy the beauty of the season is almost mandatory.

Feisty56 wrote on September 28, 2015, 2:37 PM

Oh, yes, I'm sure you can relate, perhaps even better than a non-farmer like myself. I don't know why the soybeans haven't been harvested yet, but I'm sure it will happen soon.

Feisty56 wrote on September 28, 2015, 2:39 PM

All those sights are something we take in without sometimes even knowing it. If we were to nap like Rip Van Winkle, then awaken, a quick look around at these sights and we'd know just what season of the year it is.

Feisty56 wrote on September 28, 2015, 2:40 PM

I imagine on your bike adventures you see a number of different sights that indicate the seasons. The nice thing is, you share many of those with us via your photos.

Last Edited: September 28, 2015, 2:42 PM

Feisty56 wrote on September 28, 2015, 2:43 PM

I imagine that frozen field made a spectacular and unusual sight for just about everyone but the farmer who lost whatever money he would have made on the harvest.

wolfgirl569 wrote on September 28, 2015, 3:37 PM

That could be what happened. I know one stretch of road down from us that will be worse now as I moved my pasture from thee. The deep drift was always inside it and just to the outside of the fence. But the road was not as bad

msiduri wrote on September 28, 2015, 3:50 PM

Exactly. It was almost like a frozen sea wave. Once it began to thaw, though, it also began to rot, so not only did he lose the money he was expecting, he has to pay to have it removed. I'm not sure what happened.

celticeagle wrote on September 28, 2015, 11:21 PM

We grow a lot of corn and potatoes here. I miss driving in the farming communities and seeing the farm lands. I don't get out so I miss that.

Paulie wrote on September 29, 2015, 3:16 AM

Do you have any friends or relatives who have been farmers?

AliCanary wrote on September 29, 2015, 9:27 AM

Ahh, this makes me lonely for road trips through those amber waves of grain.

lexiconlover wrote on September 30, 2015, 10:41 AM

I have family that lived on the Lake, I'm not sure they still do. But I love the colors and such up there.

Feisty56 wrote on September 30, 2015, 11:07 AM

My soon-to-be son-in-law comes from a farming family. His grandfather and uncle raise cattle (small herds) and farm, mostly corn and wheat from what I understand.

Feisty56 wrote on September 30, 2015, 11:11 AM

Ah, yes, I forgot about all the potato fields in Idaho! I'm sorry you don't get out to see those familiar sights. It's amazing to me how those sights feed my spirit.

I lived near Pocatello for a year and enjoyed every minute of it. I think Idaho is often overlooked as a destination or even a residence, which is sad.

Feisty56 wrote on September 30, 2015, 11:13 AM

I'm hoping you won't think me too silly, but even as a child when we sang "America the Beautiful" I used to have such a feeling of joy and pride. Perhaps that's what yet makes these sights so dear to me.

Feisty56 wrote on September 30, 2015, 11:16 AM

It's getting to be that time of year again here. The cool nights and shortening days are beginning to cause the leaves to change from green to yellow, gold, red and more. It's a spectacular sight that Mother Nature treats us to.

AliCanary wrote on September 30, 2015, 4:40 PM

Not silly at all. This country is beautiful, and I feel the same way.

cheri wrote on October 4, 2015, 11:42 PM

I do really love to stay in a farm and it is my wish to own one.