My shoes are still in the garage. I had such a heyday (two of them) on Monday and Tuesday of last week, ending with me unwittingly stepping in chicken manure and then getting in the car to drive away (i.e., the car did not smell pretty).
North of Jefferson, Iowa.
Last Monday, on no certain timetable, I drove to Rolfe for an overnight stay. Just north of Jefferson I looked to the west and saw a beautiful picture: a field with straight east/west rows of stubble and a manure spreader* throwing out chunks of manure. By the time I thought to take a picture, I was too far past the rows of the spreader location. By the time I turned around and came back, the spreader was at the opposite corner of the field. It appeared that the operator was taking a break.
I imagine that any farmer (or maybe just anyone, period!) will roll his/her eyes reading this post. Actually, I’m kind of embarrassed to say I did this because it was just so loosey-goosey. However, one thing I’m learning more after leaving full-time teacher-librarian work four years ago and having melanoma (now being almost five years cancer free) is to smell those flowers. So, here’s what I did.
When the tractor stopped at the edge of the field near the manure pile, I pulled off the highway and started to drive up the gravel road. I wanted to ask the farmer if he’d soon resume spreading manure. Just as I got near the field entrance, he pulled out onto the gravel road. Do I stop him? Or, do I just keep driving?
By the time the few seconds passed before we met on the road, I hadn’t developed a game plan. I drove past him and over the hill (so that he wouldn’t think I was stalking him!), planning to turn around. But, there were some cattle just past the hill on the opposite side of the gravel road. Hmmm. Cattle. Manure. I made a connection!
This bovine was over the hill across the gravel road from the spreader/manure pile. (Click on photo to enlarge.)
(Click on photo to enlarge the "bleep" text on this sign.)
So, I stopped and took photos of the cattle. Then I drove back to near the manure pile and saw the farmer’s pickup (which was there the first time I went past.) On the rear window of the pickup was a sign, which, if I had seen it in the Target parking lot, or if Jackson was with me and could read it, I’d think it was highly inappropriate. Somehow, seeing it out in this field, it seemed to fit. I made another connection!!! Boy, I’m really learning now!
This pile is the same field as in the first photo. The windmill was not in this field. (Click on photo to enlarge.)
After taking many photos, I drove the rest of the way to Rolfe, scanning the countryside for another operating tractor/manure spreader. I didn’t see any, but from a distance, took photos of anything that might have been a stationary manure spreader. (When I got home, at closer inspection, I realized that almost all of the maybe-a-manure-spreader photos were of something else.)
Once in Rolfe I ran several errands and did some work at Gunderland, all the while hoping that on my drive back to Perry the next day, the same guy would be out spreading manure north of Jefferson.
Since this is such a cliff-hanger, I’ll post Part II mid-week.
* * * * * * * *
After I post Part II, I’ll stay out of the manure talk and probably move on to a post about Mother’s watercolors of the Pocahontas grain elevator. Or, something else!
*I later learned it was a Chandler litter spreader.
(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)