Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Rustling Corn Fields
Now that our mostly rainy October has passed and things have dried out, the corn, bleached beige by the hard frosts, is about ready to pick. The most noteworthy aspect of all these acres of corn is the sound. It's actually quite spooky. Breezes shake and rattle the stalks and the rustling sound seems a bit ominous and threatening. Or could it be I've read one too many Stephen King novels that I can let my imagination run wild like this?
I spoke with the farmer who plants and harvests these fields a couple of days ago about when he'd be picking here. Our northern Illinois weather has conspired against local farmers. The month of May was way too wet way too late, and much of the planting was weeks, even a month, behind schedule. We made up some for lost time with good enough heat and regular moisture as summer passed and the grain grew. But now, the wetness of the fall makes the harvest later than expected.
And actually, it's not really a huge problem...except for the hunters. Pheasant and deer hunting are often the best around the edges of harvested corn fields. Corn gets dropped during the harvest to become free food attracting many of the local critters. Since the stalks are so tall, removing them greatly increases lines of sight for hunters.
While we haven't hunted pheasant on this farm in quite awhile, I was surprised and delighted today to come upon a couple of rather large, very beautiful pheasant feathers while walking with Dakota. So now I know to be on the lookout for these lovely birds as perhaps they have moved back into our area! This would be a wonderful development and no, I don't want any hunters to take them if they are here.