Sunflower Sunrise

Sunflower Sunrise

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Beautiful In Its Time

Today, I really will be fairly "wordless." I took these photos during one of my "go-fer" expeditions. I liked the contrast of the craggy old fence post and hardware with the beauty of the sunflower.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

A Time to Think

The simple act of stopping and looking at the beauty around us can be prayer.
 –Patricia Barrett, author

A Time to Act

Today notice the little things that make your day special.

A Time to Pray

Thank you Lord, that however small or seemingly insignificant our gifts, 
You can weave them into Your glorious symphony.

Email devotional from Guideposts
A newer red gate is part of the mishmash of fencing. I'd hate to venture a guess as to how long the old wooden corner post has been in place.

New and old: They both serve a purpose. I think there's a lesson there.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Write My Prayers Upon the Sky

Write My Prayers Upon the Sky
Poetry by Beth A. Richardson
From Weavings: A Journal of the Christian Spiritual Life
Photography by Kim's County Line

My heart lives in you, sky.
Dome of light, 
 Of darkness,
Canvas of clouds and stars,
Of swallows and eagles.
My spirit soars in your vastness,
Exulting in your beauty,
The predawn glow in the east
Or symphony of colors in the west.
The Creator slings clouds onto your canvas,
Paints dreams with textures and colors,
Earth dust and meteor granules.
Each new day, a new masterpiece,
A landscape, unique and priceless.
 Write my prayers upon the sky.
Let my joys, my fears,
My visions, my gratitude
Paint their way into God’s heart.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Royal Visitors

Adopt the pace of nature: 
her secret is patience.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

I've been seeing Monarchs flit and float on the air currents as I drove my sedate 45-miles-an-hour to and from Zenith, pulling a fertilizer tank. I hoped the butterflies were not wiping out on the grill of the pickup or blinded by the dust kicked up as tires met gravel road.

Monarchs, the "Queen" of butterflies, are in their annual migration, a journey that takes them from northern climes to the warmth of Mexico for the winter months. To me, they are like flying stained glass, the brilliant orange and yellow of their wings framed by black, like panes of a church window.

At home, I'd walk the tree rows, searching for a Monarch taking a breather. The Rose of Sharon bushes at the driveway evidently aren't butterfly magnets. I've never glimpsed any butterfly swooping in for a quick drink of nectar from those pink and white blooms.

On Snapshot Kansas on Facebook, I'd seen a few people post photos of Monarchs grouped together on tree branches, kind of like farmers hanging out for coffee at the local cafe. But none were using my yard as a gathering place.

On Friday, I parked the pickup and fertilizer tank on an alfalfa field, just adjacent to where Randy was planting wheat. (Yes, we are still planting.) And I finally discovered that Monarchs must like the purple alfalfa blooms.
We were a half mile away from 4th Street, a more heavily traveled paved road. I could hear cars passing by, but I hoped we were far enough away that no one wondered what the crazy lady was doing, creeping through an alfalfa field.
I was finally successful in my quest to sneak up on the hungry travelers. Ralph Waldo Emerson had it right: Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
God, thank You for the moments 
that wake me up to this perfectly beautiful world.
(From a Guideposts daily email devotional)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Full Service Go-Fer

The sign seems kind of worn out - like me, the County Line's Full-Service Go-Fer!

There are definitely some perks to the job. I may not collect a paycheck, but I get paid in beautiful scenery, as the sun comes up ...
... or as the sun goes down.
In between, there's been plenty (besides my camera) in the rearview mirror. I've been making a couple of trips a day to get fertilizer at Zenith.
While I wait for the guys to fill the nurse tank, I read a little of my book.
A sign of the times? My bookmark is a hang tag off a sack of certified wheat seed.
Once the fertilizer tank is full, I then do a little more reading while I fill the 100-gallon diesel barrel.
Randy says he's not looking forward to the next co-op bill. I will concur, after watching the numbers spin on the gas tank (and hearing that the fertilizer is $4.20 a ton).

Driving at 45 miles an hour gives you plenty of time to appreciate the beauty around you. (Don't worry! I came to a complete stop to get this photo. The sky was just so pretty!)

But it was only a brief time out before I was back at the field to deliver the latest load of fertilizer. 
A trip to Miller Seed Farm yielded a pickup bed full of certified seed ...
... and a quick stop for a photo on the way there. (They are closed from noon to 1 for lunch. I was early. Really!)
And speaking of lunches, I've been delivering them at noon or at night, depending on the day.
Did I mention those sunsets? The working conditions aren't so bad.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Just Sow-Sow

Life around here has been "sow-sow" for the past week and a half. We are planting our 2016 wheat crop. Some people would say we are "sowing" the wheat crop. No matter the semantics, we've been at it since September 24 and still have several days to go.
Wheat is the primary crop here on the County Line, with a little more than 1,400 of the acres we farm planted to winter wheat. It's planted in the fall and then goes dormant during the cold months of winter before coming out of its "hibernation" and growing again next spring, then maturing for a June harvest.

So why is wheat our primary crop? First, we don't irrigate. Wheat is more drought tolerant than corn or soybeans. While the seed genetics are getting better and helping make dryland corn and soybeans a more viable crop in this part of the state, wheat is a proven performer in less-than-ideal conditions. (Of course, we would love to have ideal conditions, but that rarely happens.)

Case in point: We could definitely use some rain. Randy is having to plant the wheat seeds about 2 inches into the ground in an attempt to find some sub-soil moisture.
This was a graphic I created in 2012, after reading the quote in The Hutchinson News.
But he's planting anyway because it's that time of year. And my farmer is optimist, a good trait in a farmer and a husband, as I've said before.
Earlier in September, we had the co-op topdress the wheat ground with dry fertilizer. Using information from soil tests, varying amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium were added to the fields.
Jake is disking the ground ahead of the planter. (There have been some spectacular skies - just no rain!)

As we plant the wheat, we add a liquid fertilizer.  One of my jobs is hauling fertilizer tanks to the field and then returning to Zenith to get more fertilizer.

The starter fertilizer is a combination of nitrogen and phosphorus laid down right beside the planted seed. As the seed germinates, its roots seek out the nutrients, establishing a strong root system.
The fertilizer gets transferred from the 1,000-gallon "nurse" tank pulled by the pickup to this tank on the drill. Then it goes into tubes ...
and is squirted out of small holes in the drill.
While he's stopped, Randy also fills the drill with seed wheat.
The wheat in the back of the truck is seed wheat saved from the 2015 harvest.
Having the auger is a lot easier than scooping, which we did back in the "olden days."
We have our wheat treated with an insecticide - Cruiser - and a fungicide - Vibrance Extreme.That's why it's that color instead of "golden."
Randy still has to add the certified seed by hand, or rather, sackful. I also made a trip to Miller Seed Farm to pick up our certified seed - KanMark and WB4458.
We plant that seed fairly near the farm headquarters so that we can bin it during harvest and start the whole process over again.
"Sow," there you have it ... wheat planting on a Central Kansas farm. About 9 months from now, we'll hope and pray for a bountiful harvest.