At a recent family outdoor event I was doing one of the things I enjoy most, looking for the best vantage points to photograph the happenings as they took place.
Part way through the occasion my wife told the family that this was a great day for photos as my first rule of photography is to take pictures when the sky has clouds in it that break up what would be an otherwise solid blue sky. The clouds break up all that blank space and create a pleasant effect.
What my wife said was correct, but I do not believe that would be my first rule of taking pictures.
I thought about it more and decided my first rule of photography is to have your camera ready and keep it handy. Those conditions necessary for a great photo typically only last minutes and frequently are gone in seconds.
This started me thinking about what other first rules of an activity might exist.
My wife enjoys knitting, and I asked her what the first rule of knitting was. She said it would be to maintain an even tension on the yarn to keep the stitches uniform.
She is also an excellent cook and I asked her for the first rule of cooking. I thought it would be to use fresh ingredients, something I know she makes great efforts to do in all her cooking.
However, she said the first rule of cooking is in the timing and referred to what I wrote about a few weeks ago where I said food needs to be ready to be served all at the same time. This requires planning ahead to allow starting at different times so everything can be served at the time of the meal.
I did not know I was so insightful.
Then I asked myself about what the first rule of farming is. More thought ensued and I decided that safety is the first rule of farming.
However, safety is the first rule of any activity so that makes safety a given for everything.
What about a first rule for farming?
After more thoughts I decided my first rule of farming is not about raising big yields or making the most money. It is about remembering the people around you.
The best part of farming is the people who work everyday around us. It is the person at the parts counter, the one who samples your grain as you are parked on the scale and the neighbor you wave at as you are driving on the road.
Farming can be a solitary occupation and it can be a very social occupation as we go about our business everyday.
It would be a long day without the friendly wave, a shared joke, or commiserating about the lack of rain in a too lengthy drought.
There is my first rule of farming. Remember the people. Notice the use of the word “my.” Your first rule could and probably will be different than mine.
And while you are thinking of your own first rule of farming, or any other activity, remember to keep your camera ready and close by.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at email@example.com.