Is It Fall Already?

The weekend Farm Report comes to us from Ben.

The days are clearly getting shorter. It’s a little discouraging it’s already dark by 8PM. The barn swallows have moved on and the hummingbirds seem to be gone. Maybe the RedWing Blackbirds too. I do enjoy fall. I really like the change of seasons and fall and spring are my favorites. I enjoy the fieldwork and planting crops in the spring, and then fall and the harvest and doing that fieldwork and completing the cycle for another year. Not everyone in the house appreciates the earlier darkness and cooler temps. It’s all good.

Healthwise I’m improving. After feeling like I plateaued a few weeks ago, I can tell a difference again. Got the kidney stone removed a couple weeks ago. Got the stent they placed after that removed the other day (Lots of new experiences!) I can stand on one foot for a few seconds. Left knee will hurt until I get it replaced, but I’m walking better and driving and even climbed up on a box to reach something the other day. I even went to the car with both hands full one morning! AND I stepped over the dog in the kitchen! Getting there!

The sandhill cranes were out in the pasture this past Thursday. It was really nice to see them. Thanks to Steve for sending them our way…

Header photo is neighbor Dave’s cows. Kelly took a walk one night and was talking to them.

Chickens and big ducks are doing well. I went out to do chores and they came running.

We’re having a tough time with the ducklings. Down to two.

The one with the bad leg didn’t make it. And one day I let three out, and an hour later, one of them was dead. I don’t know. Fingers crossed for these two.

Crops are looking good. Corn stalks are starting to dry out and the kernels are dented. There’s still milk in the kernels, but it is coming along.

Multiply the rows around (16) and kernels in the length (36) = 576 kernels on this ear. Then we count the number of ears in 17.5’ (remember we counted the plants this spring. That’s 1/1000th of an acre) and it will vary, but roughly 30 ears per 17.5’, x 1000 = 30,000 x 576 = 17,280,000 kernels / acre divided by 80,000 kernels / bushel and that gives us 216 bushels / acre. Which is way too high for my farm on average. Factor in the deer damage, corn on the edges that the trees impact, ears that aren’t so good, hope for a late freeze, and well, we’ll see at harvest. But it does look like a decent crop this year.

Who were your neighbors when you were growing up?

92 thoughts on “Is It Fall Already?”

    1. I see that a young Spaniard will be playing this afternoon in the US Open tennis championship against a Norwegian player. Should be an exciting match. Two very good players, each vying for their first grand slam victory.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love “AND I stepped over the dog in the kitchen!” Glad things are looking up healthwise.

    I remember Gladys who Mom and I used to have coffee with. Then in the next house, I lived right across the tracks from my best friend Sandy, our families were close friends for years. Fast forward to 1960 when we bought our house, and then we had pretty good neighbors all around. That’s where we played kick the can – the block was swarming with kids around my age.

    I babysat for the Naumans across the street, whose toddler (Tommy) was nicknamed Taja Beeho…

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  2. How big is a neighborhood? The question today connects to yesterday’s in the sense that a neighborhood is that portion of a community where you feel a personal sense of belonging.

    The suburban block where I grew up was a first generation settlement, in that most of the families were the first owners of their respective homes. The adults were almost all the same generation, having married right after the war and produced children who were consequently all about the same age. It was a tight-knit enclave. The couples did things together—parties, hayrides, block picnics. The dads had poker night, the mothers bridge club. The kids ran in a pack. When my parents bought lakeshore property about an hour out of town, three other families bought lots on the same lake. A substantial portion of the neighborhood relocated en masse to the lake in summer and the fathers commuted from work.

    The suburb was Robbinsdale, which had its beginnings more as a small town on the fringe of Minneapolis—the end of the line for the streetcars. When I was growing up, it was a self-contained community that supplied most everything the populace required. Venturing into the city was an event.

    Even more significant, Robbinsdale was a settled community. Many families had been there for generations, forming dynasties of a sort, where you could recognize the family to which someone belonged even if you had never met them before. My own father had grown up in Robbinsdale and his parents still lived there. Their circle of friends and acquaintances reached back to the first decades of the twentieth century and those families were the ones that made up my larger sense of neighborhood.

    Of course none of that is true any more. All that cohesion has dissipated and the community has squandered most of its character. Now that my parents are gone, I have no reason to visit the block where I grew up but last time I was there I indulged, house by house, in the memory of the original families that once occupied them. None of those first families remain or are even recognized by the present occupants, each home having passed through multiple owners in the last sixty years.
    That first neighborhood resides only in my memory. Ghosts.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I was so fortunate to experience wonderful neighbors and neighborhoods as a child, full of other kids to run wild with, and kind adults. There were always some scary people who were to be avoided. But that was pretty easy to do. One neighbor, Harry, a retired Methodist minister, took up residence at our house to welcome us all home from school every late afternoon. Then he would teach us to play cribbage. I think he understood my mother’s difficulty coping, so he used his presence to help her manage our days. That was so effective. He was also our repair man, fixing and fiddling around the house. From Harry I learned the power of a gentle presence.

    Harry’s wife, LaVonne, was equally lovely and long lived. Her mother lived to be 104, so LaVonne was 85 years old when her mother finally passed on. Lavonne was “only” 99 when she died.

    Yesterday I visited my ancient mother. Tiny and frail, she has failed markedly in the last month.

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  4. OT. In the last week several folks have asked me about the link to Steve’s celebration today and I sent them all to Molly. Unfortunately the horrible summer cold that I’ve been battling has not abated enough for me to bring it live to a gathering today. So did everybody get the link who needed it and is it forwardable? I did email Molly this morning but I’m guessing this is a busy day for her and she hasn’t responded yet.

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    1. I have the link and I think I’m all set. I’m learning to walk before I run, and didn’t even attempt to enable myself to actually speak to you all. So I take it I just get to sit and watch, whether you can watch me watching, I’m still not sure.

      I am wondering if I will ever get the hang of this enough to invite you all to link up with me next year for the Entrada. Perhaps even the Xop (Chop) in May.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I saw you, Fenton, and sent a “chat” message which I don’t imagine you got. There were I think, 7 of us on Zoom including you – Sherrilee, Margaret/PJ, Renee, Ben, Wes, me…
        And in the physically present crowd I saw Anna, Linda, Jacque, Tim, Bill… did I miss anyone?

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        1. Barbara, thanks, no I didn’t. The only one I saw was when Renee left. I was pushing buttons like a maniac to start with, and things kept coming and going.
          I wish I could have seen the actual event better, but on my phone it was so small.

          Liked by 1 person

        1. We were really fed up with one corner of our kitchen, which still hadn’t been renovated. So for our twentieth anniversary presents in June(though we’ve been together thirty years all told), Jane bought some kitchen units, and I installed them. Romance is alive and well.

          One more corner to go.

          Liked by 3 people

  5. The previous memories are tough acts to follow.
    We only had “next door” neighbours for a few years, around 1960 until 1967,when I left school. We had four sets in that time, no we didn’t drive them away, there were constantly changing circumstances, I suppose.
    But this is about the Glovers. They lived in the hamlet of Stowford, a couple of fields away from us. Harold worked on a farm, and I believe he never smiled or had a cheerful thought. Mary, well I don’t think I saw her smile either. There were three daughters at home, and a son, Keith. I don’t think it was a secret, but we didn’t know, that Keith wasn’t really Harold and Mary’s son. He was the illegitimate son of a much older daughter, Lil, who I was never too familiar with. She was now married, and had two children, younger than us, who therefore were Keith’s half siblings. Shocking. I think that country people, at the time, would theoretically think all this was shocking. But in practice, they were all neighbours and friends.
    So Pauline, the youngest, was thin and shrill, and I don’t remember her smiling. My sister Jane still knows her, and apparently she’s the rock who takes care of what family is left. Wendy was gorgeous, happy and friendly, and unattainable. Angus was mad about her, and was the only one of us who would go to their house. I suppose he’d sit there like a fool and drool. Wendy and a friend would dress up to the nines, and parade-you know how girls will parade round a village in pairs? Nowhere to go? We didn’t even have a village. We had a lovely picture of those two fools perambulating up and down the country road. I’d love to get hold of that picture now.
    But mostly the damn lot of them would come to our house, and Mum had this memory of them standing lined up along our kitchen wall while we finished our dinner. Keith got to be a real menace (my sister tells me now), until I later let him know forcefully we were sick of the sight of him. I think he held that against me for ever.
    And Shirley, second eldest, a few years older than me, was my first, secret, girlfriend. All right, furtive. I’ll draw a veil over the technicalities. I didn’t brag about her at school, and in fact, never told anyone about her for forty years. It just lasted a little while, until she met her future husband, and then she just stopped showing up, and I eventually grasped what had happened. Shirley died in sad circumstances some years ago, after a life of abuse.
    All the dates and events from that time are jumbled up in my head, and I can’t unravel them, hard as I try. But if I love someone, generally it’s for ever. I still think about Shirley.

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  6. The Killdeer Mountains, about 40 miles north of us, are in our neighborhood. They really aren’t Mountains, just very tall bluffs that are sacred to our Indian tribes here. They were important for doing vision quests. They also hold a strange and sad history as being the location of one of the last battles of the Civil War, when General Sully and his troops massacred a bunch of Indians they had chased there as a result of the Minnesota Uprising. It is considered a Civil War battle because it occurred before the South surrendered.

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    1. Interesting.. I did not know that. When I worked with the tribe here years ago, some of the descendants of the uprising said they went to Canada for years.

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  7. Guess we’re done! And now we’ve answered the question that was upper most in my mind all day, will VS cry as much at a virtual life celebration as she would in person? Yes she will.

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  8. It was good to see BiR and Michael, Renee and Chris, Ben, VS, Wes (in a dress shirt and tie, with his birds off to the side), and Fenton. Baboons I spotted at the actual event were tim, Anna, and Linda. Did I miss anybody? I suppose I should count Nancy, Steve’s sister, but I don’t think she considers herself one of us any longer.

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  9. Kind of wish I could have said something, if only because of how he loved Tuba Skinny in his last year or two. The only reason I knew him was through being mutual fans of the band. They’re so different from those bands of guys in straw hats I’ve seen tootling away in England sometimes.

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        1. He was always emailing me with analyses about the band. His YouTube comments were more thoughtful than the average. Things that wouldn’t have crossed my mind. But as Sherrilee indicated, he’s up there now, looking at those comments and wanting to edit them.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Have you noticed that so far only two of the people who were there, have showed up since, on the blog. The wake’s started, and they’re all partying! Without us.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Our neighbors were the Asplunds, who had a daughter who was a year older than me and two years younger than my sister. There were two other kids as well, but they were years older and didn’t interact with the little kids much.

    When I was in kindergarten, the husband of the family died unexpectedly. A cardiac event, if I recall correctly, he just abruptly died. My father instructed me that when Kristen returned to school, because her father had died, I was to tell her I was sorry. It didn’t make sense to me, because to five-year-old me, you were supposed to say you were sorry when you had done something wrong, and as none of this was my fault, it didn’t seem to apply.

    When I got on the school bus the day Kristen returned to school, she was sitting alone and not looking at or talking to anyone, just staring out the window with a dark, scowling look on her face. Instead of sitting with her, as I probably would have done otherwise, I lost my nerve and just walked past her seat.

    I suppose my parents probably went to the funeral, but I didn’t go. Don’t remember why – maybe it was during school hours.

    The Asplunds had a cat named Tiger and a dog named Baron. The Nelsons had five dogs – the dachshunds, Fritz and Gretchen; the poodles, Blackie and Nibs; and the chihuahua, Neeson. The Winkies had a blind elderly Boston Terrier whose name is not coming to me at the moment. The Setzers had a Saint Bernard named Heidi. Heidi once leaned against me when I was petting her and knocked me to the ground. I still adored her though.

    The Armstrongs lived up the street. No kids, or maybe the kids were grown up, and I don’t know if they had pets. They lived next door to the Asplunds, but we were instructed to avoid their yard and respect the property line. I imagine they were not very fond of children.

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  12. Sorry I wasn’t involved this weekend. Too much of an emotional load for me. But I was called to the assisted living place for an issue anyway.
    Special friend died yesterday after long bout with cancer. An ugly death.
    I want the cows in the header photo. What is it about cows over a fence and me?
    Grandson is in MRI right now to see if they can get a positive fix on CP.
    My younger child turned 50 today.
    Neighbors in my childhood: I think many of you remember we had no one with a mile of us. But down in the valley were the neighbors with whom we shared work, among them the Swedish bachelor farmers I wrote about years ago. Neighbors in my children’s childhood were special: all ages, kids visited them. We had gatherings on the private beach across the road. Many of them. Up to age 90. How blessed were my children to have that.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. hey Ben great post I’m sorry that I am so late getting in here I wanted to stick my head in before this expires and I’ve got three minutes I enjoyed seeing you and fountaine and PJ and Sherrilee on the screen yesterday or actually Saturday at Steve’s celebration it was very nice and very heartfelt it was weird having you guys all in the room and not hearing from you back to my neighborhood

    I think about those guys every now and again we moved into the suburbs in Bloomington with cornfields across the street and 1957 and the baby boomers we’re out in rare form I had to Brogan Myers across the street the Bowmans next-door Ray Dewberry on the corner Mike Herbold over in the old house he was reestablish guy with a field of tomato plants and raspberries that we would go out and eat every spring and then a revolving neighborhood of people who came and went as it was beginning to happen in the 60s I should look up the Rogge Myers iPhone Scotty Bowman and Lori greg wire turned out to be a beauty who moved to Arizona and I still am in contact with her on Facebook bless Facebook forage I think about these guys quite often and want to thank Facebook for making it possible to look them all up

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