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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | May 29, 2009

The transition from snow shovels to lawn mowers is now completed. The first blush of dandelions is done. Memorial Day, summer’s first holiday, is in the past.

I counted 178 of my 229 potato plants emerged and they are not done yet. I should have at least 200 in a few days as more are emerging daily.

Windows have been opened and, best of all, they stay open. Fresh air is available for just taking a deep breath anytime without going outside.

We used to watch the wind move the trees, now we can hear it. The distinction between inside and outside continues to lessen. The only difference between inside and outside is which side of the door you are standing. We have not needed the air conditioner yet.

All the corn and soybean seed is in the ground along with the high-priced fertilizer my dealer was happy to sell to me and get it off his inventory.

The corn has emerged; the soybeans will not be far behind. These days are going by quickly.

The month of May created a different environment from a few months ago.Grass, leaves, and now crops add to the total greening of everywhere a person looks.

The clear view I had through the winter is now obscured by a canopy of leaves.

Baby ducks and geese are learning about their new world when only weeks ago they were inside an eggshell. It is time to eat, grow and get ready for next fall’s migration. We have several litters of kittens around here that I have not seen yet, but I will when the mothers bring them here to learn about the solid food I serve to them daily.

The new life of spring is seen everywhere from asparagus in the road ditch to the abundance of bare legs as shorts and sandals become the uniform of the day. Coats, caps, and gloves have gone into the closet for summer hibernation.

It is a truly great time of year. However, there is a fly in the ointment. In less than 30 days, the longest day of the year will arrive and very gradually, we will see the days get a little shorter. It happens every year.

In 30 days, we will have a feel for the crop size for next fall. There will still be a ways to go, but we will already have something to show for what we have done so far this year.

The images of last year’s flooding will be occasionally seen in print and in video reminding us that we are not as much in charge as we would like to think we are.

We can also remind ourselves that the world can still give us pleasant surprises such as last fall’s late frost that gave us the extra growing season we needed because of the delayed planting and then replanting in the spring.

If there was ever a time a late frost was a requirement, it was last year and it happened. It was a gift in every sense of the word.

Those pleasant surprises take some of the sting from the unpleasant variety. I never thought I would see General Motors in a fight for its survival and especially in such a short time. The ups and downs of business cycles are normal, but today the future of a major corporation is being determined. Who is next?

It is a speedy ride through time we are taking. Things can change quickly. My good friend and neighbor Dave has been gone two weeks already and it was a short time ago I heard his booming voice almost daily.

However, for all the smooth times and the bumpy ones, life can be celebrated from watching fuzzy wide-eyed kittens explore their new surroundings to fostering memories of good visits with a friend who is no longer here. It is quite a life.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net

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