Bill Rivas, Lakota, N.D., letter: Harvest notebook -- A view from the cabIt’s almost quiet in the air-conditioned cab. Perched high above the prairie with a million dollar view. A sip of water, some country tunes. “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.”
LAKOTA, N.D. — Some thoughts while combining:
Amber waves. Three-inch green frogs, fat on grasshoppers, jump out of the barley swaths nearest the now-dry pot holes. Hawks take the mice that scurry before the combine. Fast learners hold tight to their meal ticket.
Dust and chaff and dust roar out the back.
It’s almost quiet in the air-conditioned cab. Perched high above the prairie with a million dollar view. A sip of water, some country tunes. “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.”
With a full hopper, I swing out the boom for the truck below. Unloading is fast, it’s the grain that grows slow.
Another pass around the field and more seed for the trucks.
Geese gather one quarter over, bulking up for a trip South. My thoughts wander everywhere; my eyes stay on the pick-up belts.
Barley beards bounce with their stems toward the rear, grain stays for the beer in the song. No buzzers and no lights are warning, so I know all goes well.
The bins on the farms are filling. Amber flows from the augers. Cars pass the slow trucks as they come off the fields. Gears grind, tarps begin to ripple, and your rearview fills with a Mack on a mission.
Harvest time, do the farmer hustle.